Ready for SelectUSA? Crush this 12-Step Checklist to Make Sure

SelectUSASelectUSA is an unrivaled opportunity for international firms looking to scale to the U.S. market, making the event uniquely high stakes for economic development organizations, investors, service providers and the high volumes of mature companies in attendance.

At MEET, we like to say that effective preparation is 90% of winning the race; this is especially true with SelectUSA. Increased participation rates due to lower barriers to entry (no travel expenses!) have raised the pressure to differentiate. It’s also raised the bar for a well-executed participation strategy.

Are you ready for SelectUSA? Here’s a 12-Step Checklist to ensure you’re prepared to step up, stand out and walk away on top. And feel free to connect with us during the event or schedule a meeting with Bill Kenney at We’d love to hear how it’s going.

SelectUSA Preparation Checklist

1. Nail Your Target

Know precisely who you want to meet and what outcomes you want to achieve. It’s not enough to identify industries. Focus on categories within industries and refine your personas by role and type. If you’re able to narrow it down to specific people within each organization who you want to meet, go there.

2. Customize Your Value Proposition

Always frame your value proposition from your target audience’s perspective. By fine-tuning your value proposition and self-introduction, you’ll help to ensure that every interaction is congruent with how you want to be perceived and your prospect’s pain point, improving the ROI of each interaction.

3. Create Your Agenda

Spend time reviewing the SelectUSA agenda and overlay your objectives with valuable content. To increase the likelihood of building connections in these settings, be prepared with questions, speaker research and intelligent chat concepts.

4. Train Your Team

Once you identify your internal team, hold an event orientation that focuses on company introduction and messaging. Bonus points if done by persona type and audience! Delegate event responsibilities by skill, type and role, and train individuals for specific tasks. These investments in your team will exponentially increase their likelihood of success, in turn improving yours.

5. Pre-Set Your Meetings

Make sure every minute of your team’s time at the event is well-spent by using the big stone approach. Make introductions on LinkedIn and secure meetings with high-value connections (big stones) before the event to ensure they’re on the books. Then fill in with other agenda items (your small stones) to help meet your targets.

6. Prepare Your Pitch

Prepare, practice and get feedback on your pitch prior to the event. Don’t be afraid to iterate and adjust, particularly as you consider different audience types and desired outcomes.

7. Collate Your Collateral

At an event the size of SelectUSA, a good pitch will not be enough to keep you top of mind for target prospects. Prepare “leave behinds” – company overviews, investor summaries, and product sell sheets – for every meeting. Strong collateral will inform, excite, and remind your audience to take action after you’re gone.

8. Maximize Virtual Event Participation

In many ways virtual events have removed the friction to participating in matchmaking, networking and spin-off events. Take advantage of these opportunities and prepare for each accordingly. Have prepared questions to build your intelligence and insights, and SHARE your insights/questions during presentations. Differentiate yourself and be ‘seen’.

9. Nurture Your Relationships

Have your post-event communication staged prior to the event and block out time each evening to send these out. For each person you meet, make notes and customize your communications to ensure they feel personal. If you wait more than 24-hours after the event has ended, you’re too late.

10. Identify Your Allies

Identify and be prepared to share your objectives with key resources and partners. Empower these allies to connect you with the opportunities that you seek and ask others how you can reciprocate. Network with connectors/leaders who can guide you, introduce you and promote you.

11. Optimize Your Presence

Wear comfy shoes…virtual style. Help your team be on time and stay focused. Ensure your space is optimal – good lighting with enough room to stand up and move around – to keep your energy level high. Know the technology and how to navigate the platform so you can focus on actively participating and making connections, rather than “finding the bathroom.”

12. Follow Up Diligently

Follow-up is the key to relationship building and event success! Develop pre-written text by persona type and reach out the same day you connect (not the following week). Keep following up until there is a next step.

Congratulations! You’re ready to hit the virtual aisles of SelectUSA! And don’t forget to connect with us at the event to let us know how it’s going.



MEET ( helps international B2B growth companies soft-land and scale in the U.S. through trade shows, virtual and in-person events. MEET’s processes help clients ramp-up sales quickly and maintain a steady stream of high-quality prospects going forward. Contact Bill Kenney for a no-obligation conversation: or +1 (860) 573-4821.

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