Exhibitor Tips

Exhibitor Tips, Participant Tips, Workshops and Webinars

Why Should I Participate in Trade Shows?

Trade shows are a vital component of many business strategies due to their multifaceted benefits. These events provide businesses with unique opportunities that are difficult to replicate through other marketing channels. Here are several reasons why trade shows are important for businesses: 1. Direct Customer Engagement Trade shows offer businesses the chance to interact directly with potential and existing customers. This face-to-face engagement allows for real-time feedback, personalized interactions, and the building of trust and rapport. Customers can see, touch, and experience products firsthand, which can significantly influence their purchasing decisions. 2. Lead Generation One of the primary benefits of trade shows is the ability to generate high-quality leads. Attendees are often decision-makers or have significant influence within their organizations. This targeted audience means that the leads collected are more likely to convert into actual sales. Moreover, they often attract people who are actively looking for solutions, making them warmer prospects compared to leads generated through cold outreach methods. 3. Brand Awareness and Visibility Participating in a trade show increases brand visibility among a concentrated group of industry professionals and potential customers. Even if attendees do not make an immediate purchase, they become aware of the brand, which can influence their future buying decisions. A well-designed booth and effective promotional materials can leave a lasting impression. 4. Competitive Analysis Trade shows provide an excellent opportunity for businesses to observe their competitors. By walking the floor, businesses can see what others are offering, their marketing strategies, booth designs, and customer engagement tactics. This competitive intelligence can inform a company’s own strategies and help them stay ahead in the market. 5. Networking Opportunities Trade shows bring together a wide range of industry players, including suppliers, distributors, and potential partners. This concentration of industry professionals facilitates networking, which can lead to strategic alliances, partnerships, and collaborations. Networking at trade shows can also lead to media coverage and PR opportunities, further enhancing a company’s visibility. 6. Market Research and Trend Spotting Attending trade shows allows businesses to keep a pulse on industry trends and innovations. They can gather insights into emerging technologies, new products, and shifts in customer preferences. This information is invaluable for product development, marketing strategies, and overall business planning. 7. Sales and Order Taking Many businesses attend trade shows with the primary goal of closing sales and taking orders. The concentrated environment of interested buyers makes it an ideal setting for demonstrating products and services and securing commitments. They often have dedicated areas for order taking, which can streamline the sales process. 8. Product Launches Trade shows are an ideal venue for launching new products or services. The gathered audience of industry insiders and media representatives provides a captive audience for product demonstrations and announcements. A successful product launch at these industry events can generate buzz and media coverage, amplifying the reach beyond the event itself. 9. Educational Opportunities Many trade shows feature seminars, workshops, and panel discussions led by industry experts. These sessions provide valuable learning opportunities for businesses to gain insights into industry best practices, regulatory changes, and innovative solutions. Staying informed through these educational sessions can help businesses adapt and thrive in a competitive market. 10. Building Relationships Building and maintaining relationships with existing clients, suppliers, and industry peers is crucial for long-term success. Trade shows offer a conducive environment for nurturing these relationships, as the informal setting can foster deeper connections than formal business meetings. Trade shows play a critical role in business development by offering a multifaceted platform for engagement, learning, and growth. The unique combination of direct customer interaction, lead generation, brand visibility, competitive analysis, and networking makes such events an indispensable tool for businesses aiming to enhance their market presence and achieve their strategic goals. By leveraging the opportunities presented businesses can stay competitive, innovate, and expand their reach in the market. For an expanded view on this topic refer to our article How to Choose the Right Trade Shows for Your Business. — About MEET MEET helps international B2B & B2G companies scale in the U.S. through trade shows, events, and strategic connections. Contact Bill Kenney to discuss your U.S. expansion goals bill@meetroi.com or +1 (860) 573-4821.

Exhibitor Tips, Market-Entry, Return on Investment, Workshops and Webinars

MEET’s Intelligent Trade Show & Event System

In our more than 12 years of helping international companies scale in the U.S., we have seen the many challenges that these companies experience when they try to productively participate in U.S. trade shows & events. The U.S. market is large and highly competitive. The trade show and event landscape is abundant and complex. And U.S. buyers have specific needs and expectations. All of this makes leveraging U.S. trade shows and events particularly challenging. The top critical fail points that we see in companies trying to expand in the U.S. include They select the wrong trade shows and events to participate in They negotiate on emotion and anecdotal information rather than fact Their teams are not well prepared, directed, or empowered to leverage the opportunity They do not have a reliable method to measure and continually improve results To solve this we developed The MEET Intelligent Trade Show & Event System (video). This system is built on a series of analytic tools. TRADE SHOW EVALUATOR (video) helps you choose the best and most efficient trade shows and events for you to participate in based on your target buyer persona and expansion stage. TRADE SHOW NEGOTIATOR (video) reveals the best path to negotiate with each trade show organizer. You will be able to quantitatively value each trade show and help the organizer become an ally in your success. TRADE SHOW COOKBOOK (video) helps you identify the specific value drivers for each trade show and event to properly prepare, direct, and activate your team to engage and enroll targets effectively. Each individual will have specific performance goals pre-, during, and post-event. TRADE SHOW ROI CALCULATOR (video) helps you not only measure the result of each trade show and event against specific value drivers but also gives you a basis for accurate hypothesis testing, rate and option negotiation, and continuous performance improvement If this sounds interesting to you, please tune in. We’re going to have a few more sessions that go into the details of each tool. We’re excited about the evolution of these tools and think that they will have a great impact on your business. We certainly would appreciate any thoughts, questions, or feedback that you have. We’ll see you all again very soon. About MEET helps international B2B & B2G companies gain traction and scale in the U.S. through trade shows, events, and strategic connections. Contact Bill Kenney for a no-obligation conversation: bill@meetroi.com or +1 (860) 573-4821.

Exhibitor Tips, Market-Entry, Participant Tips

Are Your Leadership Team and Key Personnel Ready?

Today we’re here to tackle another question about the successful expansion of your business to the U.S. Are your leadership team and key personnel ready for your U.S. expansion? This issue is another significant potential pothole in your U.S. expansion journey. Get it wrong and you’ll have greater turnover, internal dysfunction, and poor results. What we see happen with our clients reveals that there are three basic questions you want to ask Is someone from the management team ready to commit a significant amount of time in the U.S. market? In some cases that may start off as a few weeks. Maybe three to four weeks a quarter. In other cases, it’ll be someone moving right into the market. Either way, there should be significant blocks of time where there is a leader from the team ready to spend time in the market to build intelligence, to build relationships, and to build the team. It doesn’t happen without that institutional knowledge from someone from the home team who is committed. Is the leadership team ready to commit to covering the duties and responsibilities of the person who is now in the U.S. market or primarily focusing on the U.S. market? Is the rest of the team ready to cover those responsibilities full-time or has the person been replaced in those duties so you can take those off their plate? The U.S. is going to take all of their attention. It’s just like nurturing a young baby. The U.S. is going to have lots of needs and opportunities and it will be up all hours of the day and night. Is each department and team within the home office ready and committed to support the new market? The U.S. market has mission-critical startup demands just like they would have in the home market. Websites, marketing materials, social media, trade show banners and booths, and all of the marketing communications elements need to get created and iterated quickly. We see this phenomenon with every company entering the U.S. Where the U.S. team is not at the water cooler every day and they’re not in the social events, so it’s very natural that they don’t get the attention. The challenge in particular to the U.S. market is it’s very normal that within 3-years of entry that the U.S. business is larger than the rest of the business everywhere else in the world. This imbalance in need, authority, and resources between the new U.S. and home office can create a real fail point if not anticipated and addressed early. It is critical to engage your team to assure that you and your organization are prepared and committed to the U.S. expansion. Your collective investment of time, passion, and capital requires success. About MEET (meetroi.com) helps international B2B companies gain traction and scale in the U.S. through trade shows, events, and strategic connections. MEET’s processes help its clients ramp up sales quickly and maintain a steady stream of high-quality prospects going forward. Contact Bill Kenney for a no-obligation conversation: bill@meetroi.com or +1 (860) 573-4821.

Exhibitor Tips, Participant Tips, Workshops and Webinars

5 Reasons You Need to Start Carrying Business Cards Today!

As we all re-enter going to trade shows and events post-COVID, we’re seeing an incredible number of people, as many as 80%, no longer carrying business cards. By not sharing business cards, trade show participants are significantly limiting their ability to make valuable connections and losing lots of opportunities. If for some reason you’ve stopped printing, carrying, and sharing business cards we suggest you change course immediately! I’ll give you a quick story. I was at a trade show a couple of weeks ago. As I was meeting people I was giving them my business card. The first person I met said that they don’t have a business card but they have a QR code. When I scanned their QR code it sent me to their LinkedIn profile. The next person I met said the same thing, “I don’t have a business card but I have a QR code”. Their QR code sent me to their website. The next person I met with their QR code sent me to their email address. The next person their QR code sent me to their Whatsapp. In each case, I was getting sent to different places. The next person their QR code sent me to their profile on the trade show app. Now, I know it all sounds great that we are saving trees. The problem is as somebody who loves to follow up and wants to help connect you to value people and resources I can’t find you the next day. Having all of these different platforms that people are linking their QR codes to has created incredible confusion and complication when meeting people at events. Not to mention that none of them support easy note-taking, event association, scoring, transferability, etc. If you don’t help the people you meet have all their contact info in one place and ultimately their preferred place, you will likely not hear from them again. This isn’t because they don’t want to follow up. It’s because you’ve made it impossible for them to find you and if they can by some miracle find or remember you they won’t remember the context and priority actions. Given that there is not one online standard contact information exchange platform and that these disparate tools, including all event apps, spread the contacts you meet at events across a myriad of different platforms you need to recommit to carrying and sharing business cards as the only reliable option for professionals to exchange contact information. Here are our 5  key reasons why you need to carry and pass business cards at every event: An affirmative exchange of your contact information is solid. You don’t have to worry about technology. You don’t have to worry about anything at all other than handing your card to somebody. As you’ll see in the next four that that handoff does quite a bit to empower action from the people you meet. It’s your branding. This is actually an opportunity to hand your logo to someone and they’ll accept it. You’ve spent thousands and thousands of dollars to build your brand yet you somehow resist handing it over to people. If somebody is willing to accept your brand give it to them. Give them two! Give them ten! They can give it to their friends! Giving a business card enables note-taking which empowers future action. You’re going to meet people who think of something or someone that they can connect you to. Without their easy ability to take notes that information gets lost. If you’re sharing a QR code with your LinkedIn or all these different other platforms it’s both impossible to find you the next day and very difficult to catalog actions. Maybe you’re looking for investment. Maybe you’re looking for customers. Maybe you’re looking for a key employee. None of that stuff can be written down or cataloged easily without a tangible business card and therefore it’s not actionable. Empowers speedy connection to key internal resources. You make it easy for the person you meet to hand your contact info with notes to the more appropriate person in their team for follow-up. The person you meet from an organization at events isn’t always your best company contact. When you pass an analog business card you remove the friction and allow the quick transfer of your contact information with notes to the right internal resource. This empowers fast and accurate follow-up. Empowers real-time connection to key external resources. It’s not unusual to meet good matches and connections for people you meet at events while you’re still on site as these are places where like-minded people gather. Having these opportunities in real-time makes it even more important to have contact information and notes easily accessible. Nothing is easier than having someone’s business card in your pocket and handing it to or allowing a target resource or powerful connection to take a photo of that new contact’s card. As you continue to reduce and eliminate friction in exchanging contact information at events, you’ll make more and better connections. Using business cards will make it consistently easier for the person you meet to take favorable action on your behalf and you for them. If someone will accept your brand image hand it to them every time! Hand them 2 cards. Hand them 10 cards! Watch or listen to the podcast: Youtube Spotify About MEET (meetroi.com) helps international B2B companies gain traction and scale in the U.S. through trade shows, events, and strategic connections. MEET’s processes help its clients ramp up sales quickly and maintain a steady stream of high-quality prospects going forward. Contact Bill Kenney for a no-obligation conversation: bill@meetroi.com or +1 (860) 573-4821.

Exhibitor Tips, Participant Tips, Return on Investment, SelectUSA

The 5 Rules of U.S. Trade Show Follow-Up

Do you want to stand out? Do you want to begin building credibility and trust? Do you want to convert your trade show participation into new revenue? If you answered YES to any of these, then you need to master follow-up in the U.S. Failure to have meaningful and timely follow-up will neutralize even the best trade show strategy and execution. We are always astounded to see how poorly most people and companies are at follow-up. Here are the 5 rules that we find to be most critical regarding follow-up. Use them to realize the potential energy that your marketing and sales efforts creates. Immediate: Like fresh produce at the market, new contacts spoil if they are not actioned quickly. Your timely follow-up communicates your interest and intent. Trust is built as your reliability is experienced. Personal: Demonstrating that you’re a good listener by reflecting back on their top interests or needs, builds connection and opens the door for additional conversation. Be professional and respectful always. Ask: Every communication must have a purpose or next step that is revealed by the ask. This could be a request to meet, a reminder to send some promised information, or a nudge to introduce a key stakeholder. Give: Knowledge and relationships are built over time. In the first follow-up share a piece of company collateral or content that relates to your audience’s goal or concern. With each additional communication, show that your expertise is aligned with their needs. Persistent: Thoughtful and persistent follow-up is critical. Make sure to always communicate a relevant valid business reason for the next step that you are proposing. Valid business reasons must be expressed from the customer’s point of view. Let them know, “what’s in it for them”. Your follow-up should align with how you want to be perceived. If you are empathic, eager, and passionate then let that be reflected in your words and actions. About MEET (meetroi.com) helps international B2B growth companies soft-land and scale in the U.S. through trade shows and events. MEET’s processes help its clients ramp up sales quickly and maintain a steady stream of high-quality prospects going forward. Contact Bill Kenney for a no-obligation conversation: bill@meetroi.com or +1 (860) 573-4821.

Exhibitor Tips, Market-Entry

SelectUSA 2022 Preparation: A Visit with John Bourdeaux, AdvanceCT

Link to podcast found HERE Transcript to podcast found below: Bill : Hi and welcome to the belly to belly podcast and today our focus is the preparation for select USA 2022 And we’re joined by are with John Bordeaux from advanced CT. Hey, welcome John. John : Thank you so much. I’m glad to be here with you. Bill : Fantastic so, you know AdvanceCT does so, so much amazing work and our audience are all international companies that are there either have already created a presence in the US and are looking to expand that or are companies that are looking to enter the US and obviously that’s a lot of the work you all do to help those companies come into Connecticut. Could you take just a couple minutes and tell us about advanced CT and the service you provide for companies that are looking to enter Connecticut? John : Sure. AdvanceCT is a private organization. We’re a nonprofit we partner with the state of Connecticut to help companies that are interested in investing in the state of Connecticut have an easier job of doing. So we’re facilitating inward investment whether that’s coming from another state or particularly from overseas or foreign direct investment. We help companies in the state of Connecticut as well are looking to expand here. So once companies have come and made an investment, they also are we’re in relationship with them on a continual basis to help them figure out the best way to expand and grow here. And what we like to say is we offer a concierge level service. Every company has a unique need when they’re coming and making an investment here in the state of Connecticut. And we like to see exactly what those are and pair companies up with the resources that they need. Sometimes we have those resources we help with site selection. We help with helping folks navigate the permitting and the state of Connecticut’s different departments. We do all those things. And then we also are trying to help folks figure out even innocuous and small questions like hey, you know, what’s this town like? Or if I’m interested in, you know, building relationship with University of Connecticut or Yale, who should I be talking to? We facilitate all those conversations out of those relationships. And we’re helping those companies come here to do interesting things. Get engaged in our ecosystem. One of the great things about Connecticut is we’re a small state. So we’re about 3.6 million people, and we all know each other. And we want everyone in Connecticut wants everyone else to be successful. And so whereas in some in some jurisdictions at some places you’re sort of 6, 7, 8, 9 steps away from somebody here in Connecticut, you’re maybe one or two jumps away from talking to the person that you need to talk to you in order to get the help you need or the leverage that you need, or the relationship you need for your business to be successful. So our job is to help facilitate those those connections and understand what each business’s unique set of needs are, so that we can, as I said, provide that white glove service, and we’ve done everything from you’ll help people find the right site, to helping companies talk to the Department of Transportation to understand trucking tonnage on our highways and bridges, to helping folks figure out, you know, what the permitting is for a particular area of the state, introducing them to the mayors of towns, you name it, we’re here to do it. We’re here to help. Bill : Sounds like an incredible amount of facilitation. Your team must be really good listeners to sort of diagnose what companies need and help make those connections John : We do and what the one of the great things about our team in advance CT is that we’ve got a lot of subject area experts. So Advanced Manufacturing Technology, life sciences, renewable energy, offshore wind, and more. And so we have people in our organization who have extensive experience in those in those industries. So not only are we good listeners, but we also know the right questions to ask. We also understand what it’s like to be a life sciences company coming from overseas coming from Europe, for example, and setting up a shop here we understand a lot of the questions and can anticipate a lot of them because some of the people on our team have actually done that in their professional careers. So we’re able to provide those services in a way that I think is a uniquely help. Bill : Cool. So let’s talk about Select USA itself for a minute and you know, some have called it the Super Bowl of US market entry or the World Cup of US market entry and you know, I guess why does advanced CTE participate? What is it about the event that’s particularly valuable for you? John : Well, I’m a World Cup guy, as I know, most of the rest of the world is too so I’m gonna go with the World Cup of events. You’re basically what we see. A Select USA is it’s it’s the focal point. It’s a focal point gathering of everybody who cares about making investment and in the US, and that’s the companies. It is the government officials, its partners. It’s the people who care about sustainable economic growth and in Connecticut, we care very deeply about the success of our of our of our companies. And one of the things that we take great pride in is the fact that, you know, the companies that do come here and are working at that apex of the knowledge economy are succeeding in incredible ways. We know a lot of great ideas are happening all over the world. And we know that this sort of entry point this

Exhibitor Tips, Market-Entry

SelectUSA 2022 Preparation: A Visit with Jason Hunt Pennsylvania DECD

Link to podcast found HERE Transcript to podcast found below: Bill : Hi and welcome to the next episode of belly to belly and today we’re focused on preparation for select USA 2022. And we’re joined by an from a wonderful friend, Jason hunt from the state of Pennsylvania. He’s part of the business attraction team. Welcome, Jason. Jason : Hi, Bill. Thanks for having me. It’s great to be here. Bill : Fantastic. So, you know, the obviously Select USA is a massive event and we have companies coming in from all over the world looking to enter the US, and I know many of them are interested in learning about Pennsylvania and the opportunities there would you mind sharing what your organization does to help companies that are coming into the US and particularly interested in Pennsylvania? Jason : Sure, so I work for the Pennsylvania Office of International Business Development. That’s a part of our state’s department of community and economic developments. We’re a government agency tasked with Investment Attraction. We also help Pennsylvania companies export their goods and services abroad in Pennsylvania has this dedicated office because international business is a big part of our economy. We have over 5100 foreign owned firms here in Pennsylvania, employing over 300,000 people. Pennsylvania’s products and services traveled to 218 markets around the world. It’s just over 5% of our GDP, value and exports. On the Investment Attraction side we have a network of 12 authorized representatives around the world covering 33 markets, who work with my team here in Harrisburg, our state capitol to help international companies who are looking to expand or to set up new locations in our state. We serve as business advocates and liaisons between these potential foreign investors and various layers of government here in the United States in Pennsylvania. We also provide free services including assistance with research about locations across Pennsylvania, identifying help identifying business sites, introductions to some of our regional and local economic development partners and customized financial assistance. We work with international businesses of all sizes, but I’d say the majority of the companies we encounter tend to be small or mid sized companies who are looking for their first location in the US. Bill : Oh, that’s fantastic. You provide such great service and you know and obviously, you said right off the top, it’s so great to be back in person. It’s like USA. We’re all sort of so much craving that. Now, why Select USA? Why is that important for Philadelphia to be present there and why are you looking forward to it? Jason : Sure. So it’s not just Philadelphia, it’s all of Pennsylvania. That’s a common misconception from the outside. Yeah. But yeah, so why do we participate? It’s at the end of the day, it’s to meet people. It’s a great opportunity for us to put Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh all of our communities in front of a large audience of international companies in a wide range of sectors who are looking for opportunity, in addition to those prospective investors. It’s also we also like to use the conference to make connections to consultants and service providers who work with international companies. Because we want them to know that we’re available to assist their clients if they have, you know, clients looking at opportunities in Pennsylvania. And because it’s helpful to pick their brains and see what they’re seeing you they have clients looking at a wide range of states in a wide range of industries and it’s good to get kind of the bigger picture perspective. conversations with them and our counterparts in other US states who are usually all present. Help us to kind of understand how best to position Pennsylvania to attract new investment and see what the neighbors are doing. Bill : So both the idea that you can kind of meet so many companies that are coming into the US and connect with them and be able to help them and facilitate that, that successful entry, but also the connection to the network, the support network, and also a little bit of competitive intelligence. It sounds like Jason : Oh, sure. I mean, all 50 states are there you can’t help but see what the others are doing. But yeah, the networking is really the crux of the conference for us. Sure. Bill : No, that’s great. And, and as you said, You’ve been Pennsylvania’s been participating since the beginning. I think it’s this I believe, the ninth year of Select USA, but then again, thinking of the audience, these are, you know, in some cases, they already have some traction here in the US and they have, you know, experience in the market. As you know, in other cases, this may be their first trip to the US and you know, as you think about, you know, the event itself, and then whether it’s pre events, following events, or even just folks that have time, either pre or post conference. What are some thoughts you have about how companies can get the most out of this, both this visit to select USA and also their visit to the US? Jason : Sure, select USA has in the past done a lot of spin off events where either before or after, there’s opportunities to examine in detail different parts of the US. I think there’s less of that this year, though. Those are interesting if there happens to be one scheduled in a sector or in a location that’s relevant. I think, maybe next year, we’ll see those come back with a bit more strength. But I think focusing on the main conference, I think there’s probably three things I would I would suggest. One is you know if you’re early in exploring opportunities in the United States, be sure to attend the information sessions. The US Commercial Service, the Department of Commerce, does a good job

Exhibitor Tips, Market-Entry

SelectUSA 2022 Preparation: A Visit with Katy Sinnott from Wisconsin Economic Development Corp

Link to podcast found HERE Transcript to podcast found below: Bill : Hi and welcome to the next episode of belly to belly. And today we’re going to talk more about how to prepare best for select USA 2022. And we’re joined by one of our great friends from the state of Wisconsin. welcome Katie. How are you today? Katy : I’m really good, Bill. I’m excited to be here. So happy that Select USA is coming back in person really excited. Bill : Having withdrawl and it’s it’ll be so good to see everybody in person again this year and I know you all have been participating for quite a few years probably since the beginning. And you know, like, as you look at select USA and you think about your services, you know, what are what is WEDC, the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation? What do you do to help companies coming into Wisconsin Katy : We do so much for our companies. We have full wraparound service, from the very beginning. When you’re thinking about where you want to locate in the United States, we provide all of the industry strengths that you’re interested in, talking about the workforce that you’ll be accessing, talking about the long term pipeline for your workforce and how that matches what you need. So we’re covering you when you’re just looking for your location. And once you have decided on the location, we help you in your next step. That’s the build up. We hope to get all of your authorizations for construction. We help you access the construction needs that you have as well as understanding permitting and if it’s a very, very large program, or project we would help you develop your own team was constant that will help you with that permitting process. And then lastly, we will open and we’ll be with you for long term. We wouldn’t just stay around for just the VA into the state, but we’re here to help you grow in the state. Selecting a new location of your country is a huge decision. And every company is very concerned that they’re committing to the right location, and they’re committed long term. So we speak with you from the very thing where you’re looking, select the location from the build out into your future growth in Bill : Wow, that’s fantastic. So really a multi phased approach to help with that decision give the appropriate sort of data and, and, and connection and then the process of both landing and then and then growing. It’s it really sounds very comprehensive. Katy : And that includes also the incentives that we offer. Bill : Fantastic. Well this is it’s great and certainly our audience, all international companies coming in and looking to come into the US so this is really appropriate. And again as I said off the top you all have been a part of Select USA for quite a number of years. Why? What is it about Select USA that’s so important? And why do you participate? Katy : Select USA is the most robust attraction event in the United States. There is no place where you can see a number of companies that are focused on expansion into the United States, where companies can meet the largest number of states in one location, of course reducing their costs for investigative process, as well as meeting all of the key leaders in the federal government as well as the state government the understand how play help companies land in Wisconsin and the United States Bill : That’s wonderful. Actually. I’ve heard people refer to it as the World Cup of US market entry. It’s kind of where you can see everybody all in one room and be very efficient in terms of making those connections. So yeah, Katy : companies can easily target the states that they’re interested in walk. have similar discussions with each state great understanding of what they have to offer. Bill : Now that’s fantastic. And that’s probably a really good segue to our next question, which is, you know, you think of the companies coming in some of into the US before and done, you know, whether they have customers who already are or you know, they’ve certainly done some market visits, others so it’ll be their first trip and for many their first time to select USA, how would you suggest that companies get the most out of the not just going to select USA but also in their in this trip to the US how can they really leverage their time? Katy : Sure, they’re, I guess two aspects one’s the event and then what to do after or before the event. I think when you’re talking about the Select USA Summit, it’d be pretty overwhelming. It is a huge event. So I think there are a couple key things that companies need to do. One, they need to do their homework, right? They need to have a well defined project, the timeline for that project, so that they can really respond to what they want. And they can talk about incentives in a meaningful way. But histories in a meaningful way. The other thing that they should do prior to landing in the United States, is to fill out their profile. So the profile in the Select USA on its application is the only way that the states can find you until the actual day. And if we can find you before we can do our homework. We can identify the groups and companies that make sense to our state. We look at our industry strengths and we match them to the companies that are coming into the United States. With them this event without that completed. I think that the companies really missed out on some extra research that could be done prior to their coming here. And then lastly, do that

Exhibitor Tips, Market-Entry

SelectUSA 2022 Preparation: A Visit with Alina Harastasanu from JobsOhio

Link to podcast found HERE Transcript to podcast found below: Bill : Hi, and welcome to the next episode of belly to belly. And today we’re going to be talking about how to best prepare for select the USA. coming up in June and in Washington DC and we’re joined by Alina from, from jobs Ohio and Alina, it’s great to see you. It’s been a little while since we’ve seen each other. Welcome to the belly to belly podcast. Alina : Thank you, Bill for having me aboard your wonderful both. Happy to be here. Bill : Thank you. Well, it’s always good to have additional passengers for sure. So we want to kind of attend to our items today. So jobs Ohio, how you guys are amazing. And I know our audience and we’re filled. Our audience are all companies that are interested in expanding to the US and can you share what jobs Ohio does to help companies get traction and be successful in Ohio? Alina : Sure. Um, so we are a private non for profit, we carry basically the same functions as your regular investment promotion organization that you would be familiar with abroad. All our services to companies are absolutely free. And cherry on top of the cake, we also manage the financial incentives of the state for businesses that want to locate or expand in the state. I personally work exclusively with European companies. And there’s a wide range of things that we can do for them, I get in front of them sometimes very early in their decision making process. Other times, they’re in a relatively more advanced state. But if it’s the first, so, a more incipient stage, we help them you know, for with everything that means informing the decision making process. So, research support that would the you know, yield the those numbers that would go into an NPV or an IRR or whatever model the company is using to decide on the feasibility of the project. So it would be, you know, cost and availability of, of labor costs of real estate, taxation, everything that has, you know, a numeric value that can be plotted and potentially benchmarked against other other states, if needed. If there multiple states into consideration, we would provide benchmark information as well against those states. We assist with permits, we introduce companies to service providers, whether that’s lawyers, accountants, tax taxation, people, developers, you name it, we can connect you. We also have a very rich real estate database that can be accessed. It’s very, not only reached but very up to date. We have some 4000, I think between sites and buildings, on it right now, so definitely, there’s a benefit of the choice. As far as the financial services are concerned, or the financial incentives are concerned, think of them three buckets, so the tax credits, low interest loans, and grants. And really, between the three and especially the grants, there’s a wide range of eligible activities and expenses that the companies can allocate those to towards whether it’s the actual fixed asset or it’s the software parcel the workforce development. But I guess the most value they feel in recent times has been a service that we develop the towards talent acquisition, which why is this important and why do international companies value value this? We’ve seen more and more companies being worried about their ability international companies about their ability to attract and maintain people. So we are in a 4% unemployment rate. So they rightfully ask, Well, why would people come to work for a name that they haven’t heard of, as opposed to a company down the street that, you know, their, their cousin, their friend has word, they know how they treat their people. So we work with a company basically to build that employer branding. But on top of that, you know, the talent attraction part the talent sourcing, the training, the pre screening, everything is done by jobs Ohio with with its regional partners, to the point where we become the company’s proxy HR department and the company’s able to focus on you know, ramping up their operations and less about the HR component, if you will, this is a, a short to medium term solution, we would do this for up to 18 months of the of the project after which, you know, the local communities have programs that can help ensure the long sustainability of, of this. So this is kind of in a nutshell, I guess, the, the, our services and our financial incentives. And obviously, companies valued them differently based on how large they are based on how ready they are to pull the trigger on this. But obviously, all of this is on the table for international companies. Bill : Wow, it’s great to hear the about the support you’re now giving in terms of building the team, because that’s obviously a huge and growing concern for companies so can gratulations on that. So let’s switch over to select USA, and maybe talk for a minute specifically on that. And that’s actually an event where you and I originally met several years back, and maybe you could share a little bit about it again, our audience likely hasn’t been to select USA yet. So they don’t know much about it. But why does jobs Ohio participate, what’s important to you in terms of participating? Alina : So select USA is, if you will, the Oscars of our industry. So everybody converges to Washington, DC. And by everyone, I mean, not only the state level economic development organizations such as ourselves, but also regional economic development, organization, sometimes even local economic development organizations, all the service, I guess, providers, so for us, it’s, it’s incredibly important to meet with these international companies, as they are refining their, their their choice, we, we want to make sure that we are

Exhibitor Tips, Market-Entry

SelectUSA 2022 Preparation A Visit with Stephen Cheung, Los Angeles County EDC and WTC Los Angeles

Link to podcast found HERE Transcript to podcast found below: Bill : Hi, and welcome to the next episode of belly to belly and today we’re going to talk about preparing for select USA. And we’re joined by Stephen Cheung from the LA Economic Development Corporation. So welcome Steven. Steven : Thank you so much for having me, Bill. Bill : It’s wonderful to have you and so, you know, LA, DC does so much great work to help drive the Los Angeles economy. You have a particular effort to help international companies coming into the LA region. Can you talk through some of the services that you offer to companies coming into the US and particularly LA? Steven : Sure. When people look at Los Angeles, sometimes they are overwhelmed by our size, especially international companies that when they think of Los Angeles, they usually think of Hollywood, Hollywood traffic and Hollywood. And what they don’t realize is that we’re home to about 10 point 2 million people just in LA County alone, and they’re at different cities within Los Angeles County. Most most folks when they think of Los Angeles they think of one city Los Angeles City, which is a great city of 4 million people but they already know about other great cities like Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, Pasadena combined together, you have 10 point 2 million consumers located in one single location and our industry so so diverse. Were the really international trade center when it comes to trade and logistics because we have the Port of Los Angeles and the Port of Long Beach and number one, the number two container ports in North America. We have a huge aerospace and defense sector, bioscience sectors, clean tech sector, all these other sectors that folks don’t know about. That’s our job with LA, DC. We help them understand the markets that they can go into, and also the complexities between all the various jurisdictions and the municipalities. So between the world trade and Los Angeles as well as the LA, DC, which by the way, the World Trade Center is a component of LA, DC where the international trade arm of LA, DC combined together we provide education information that’s necessary for these international companies to understand how to do business in Los Angeles, and we connect them to our partners so in short, our motto is very simple. We attract, we educate and we connect, we attract the types of companies we want to bring to La we have to understand Los Angeles and then we connect them with the right partners so that they can be successful and entering the markets. Bill : Oh, that’s brilliant, what a great summary and you know, thinking about the companies that are listening to our podcasts, you know, they’re really interested in understanding the US and sort of so many is, you know, think of San Francisco and they think, you know, Silicon Valley, and they think of New York, and so giving them exposure to you know, all the other great regions of the country and certainly LA is just a massive opportunity with such a great intermodal port and all the all the wonderful high tech industries that are there, um, you know, select USA, you know, LA EDC has been participating in for years, what it can you know, again, thinking of our audience, what is it that you particularly find attractive about Select USA in terms of connecting with companies? Steven : Well, it’s a great location, a great forum for us to be able to meet international participants from all over the world, not just the companies but also their government representatives as well. At the same time it becomes a very great forum for us to meet other EDOS around the nation to see how we can best learn from each other. There are a lot of synergies that are there that sometimes because of a geographical location, we’re not able to connect as closely and sometimes we see that we’re aligned. For example, we actually worked very closely with our friends over in San Francisco and San Diego, but usually, we don’t really get a chance to work with our California partners, except that Select USA. So this is both an opportunity for us to work with domestically as well as internationally to make sure that we’re connecting with the right partners to plan out our strategies and our work for the next few years. Bill : Oh, that’s really cool. And I’m thinking about Select USA. One of the features that many companies may not know about are their spin off events and you’re hosting a spin off event. Do you want to give us some highlights as to kind of when your spin off event is and what some of the features and who should be coming to your spin off event? Steven : Sure. We’ve actually been doing this enough events for many many years now and this partnership with Select USA and what we want to do at the beginning when we first created this spin off events about seven years ago as really highlights the importance of attending Select USA, and we saw that a lot of our partners that are coming into the United States to go to Select USA will have to transfer planes anyways and most of them are actually doing it at LA. So why not create a separate event that is free actually to all international visitors coming to Los Angeles so that we could becomes an additional incentive for them to go to Select USA. So we work with a Select USA team as well as Department of Commerce to ensure that we attract the right types of companies that are wanting to learn about the Los Angeles market. And our select LA Investment Summit this year is going to be on June 22 And June 23

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