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GDPR and Its Impact on Exhibition Events

If you’re participating in any exhibition events in Europe you must be aware of the GDPR. If you don’t, well then, this is the article for you! With the need to protect people’s personal data being misused or privacy being compromised, the EU decided to adopt the GDPR.

Unlike any other country in the world, with the implementation of the GDPR, the countries that fall under the European Union (EU) have changed what it means to exhibit in Europe.

What is GDPR?

The GDPR or the General Data Protection Regulation is a privacy protection law followed by the European Union. The law has laid down a set of rules for organisations to follow when they’re handling the personal data of the residents of the European Union. It came into effect on 25th May 2018.

So, this law applies to all organisations that will handle, use, process, transfer, track, and evident view the personal data of the residents and citizens of the European Union. 

How Does GDPR Affect International Companies?

The law states all organisations and this includes international organisations, companies, etc. So, even if you’re an American, Japanese, European, Indian or any other organisation, you have to comply with the law. Thus, you don’t have to be a European organisation to follow the law.

However, this law applies to only those organisations that are doing business with the countries that fall under the European Union. So, you will need explicit permission in a written agreement or oral manner from the attendees, clients or customers that you can use their data. 

How has GDPR Changed Exhibition Events?

Since exhibition events work on collecting attendee data in the form of leads, customers and clients, the GDPR has raised some questions for exhibitions. Who all fall under the law? When is it applicable? And most importantly, how has it changes exhibition events

First and foremost, data protection of the attendee’s personal information has become a priority. If a company is participating in exhibitions is wants to collect any attendees’ data of an EU resident or citizen, they will have to comply with this law.

But does that mean that companies both domestic and international can’t collect or use any of the data? The answer is yes and no. Yes, they can use the attendees’ data, but they cannot use or collect it unless the attendee gives them permission. 

What does that mean? If an attendee enter your exhibition stand booth, and you’re able to turn them into a lead, you will need their permission/consent before you collect their data and use it for your business purpose. 

Similarly, the attendee can agree to a follow-up discussion but and refuse permission to use their data for any other purpose, be it a future prospect, marketing, and so on. This way, the attendee has full control over who is using their personal data and how are they using it.

Along the same lines, if you’re meeting up with a client at the modular exhibition systems, to a business prospect, signing a deal, it will involve needing some form of personal details. So, even for this, you will need their permission. 

When Do You Use GDPR?

At the trade fair stands that you have set up at an exhibition in Europe, all the attendees that have been converted into leads or any other customers or clients need to give you explicit permission. This is the only way you can use their information.

However, if the trade fair and exhibition is in another country and you have attendees from the EU, then the GDPR does not apply to you. Let’s take an example. 

Suppose you have set up an exhibition stand booth exhibition in Japan and have attendees from Italy. The GDPR does not apply here as the exhibition is in Japan even though the attendees are Italian. However, the opposite would be the case if the exhibition was in Italy.

We hope this article helped you understand GDPR and its impact on exhibition events. With companies using customers data for their business, it has often happened that companies have misused or even sold personal data. 

This is not only unethical practice but also a breach of the privacy of the customers. So, to prevent this from happening, the European Union laid down this law to protect all its citizens and residents. 

Tip of the Day: When you’re setting up modular stands at an exhibition in Europe, make sure to read through these rules and follow them. Lack thereof will lead to heavy fines imposed on your company. 

If you need assistance in building creative exhibition stands for upcoming exhibition events, look no further. At Expo Sol, our team of 50+ dedicated professionals with over a decade’s worth of experience will help you out. Contact us today for more details.

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