Bernadette Wiltz-Lang, SUSTA
That’s a Wrap! A Review of 2020 Programs
It’s June, which means we are halfway through the 2021 program year and we are done with our six-month follow-up reviews from all the 2020 activities that took place despite COVID. While 2020 was challenging and we all faced many disruptions, I will share the positive news. And yes, there was some positive news coming out of 2020 – a testament to your global marketing activities and the strength of our SUSTA programs.
Overall, participation in all SUSTA’s marketing and education events was strong, reaching 1,428 small and medium-sized companies, including 166 companies who were new to SUSTA activities.
In 2020, SUSTA conducted 22 Generic export promotion activities under our Global Events program. Those included two in-person trade shows, one in-person trade mission, an in-store promotion, and for the first time, virtual trade missions and virtual trade show exhibitions.
Companies made export sales in 26 countries – an impressive total under the conditions in 2020. Given the travel restrictions and event cancellations, SUSTA quickly pivoted to virtual events in March of last year. While these types of activities do not replace in-person trade shows and trade missions, necessity is the mother of invention. I am very happy to report that our participants made sales at 10 different virtual activities in five different key global regions: Asia, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East and North America.
SUSTA also supported 95 companies through the 50% CostShare program. Sales were made in 30 different countries. First time sales were reported in the Dominican Republic, Honduras, Panama, Poland, and Sweden. If we combine Global Events and 50% CostShare participants, there were 23 first time export sales.
For the rest of 2021 we are monitoring the situation for in-person shows closely and fully expect domestic events to take place starting early this fall. Keep up-to-date through your MySUSTA account on all developments. We have trade missions scheduled for everything from specialty foods to seafood, produce, Southern yellow pine logs and all the products in-between.
Meanwhile, we are currently taking stock of lessons learned during the pandemic, poring over your comments and suggestions, and looking at the horizon to finalize our strategy for the 2022 market year even as we prepare for a flurry of activity during the rest of 2021.
Let me also say last year SUSTA hosted a number of trade servicing events such as educational seminars and webinars. We received great feedback from companies who participated in our one-on-one consultations with SUSTA’s in-country consultants. You can still schedule a consultation for Canada, Central America, China, Europe, Hong Kong, India, Mexico and the Middle East. Understanding these target markets is the cornerstone to success.
Let us help you build a strong export future.