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Executing 2023 Programs, while Looking Back and Planning Ahead


Big Picture Report: May 2023
Bernadette Wiltz-Lang, SUSTA

Greetings from New Orleans. This is the time of year when SUSTA juggles several balls at once. I thought I’d share a few updates to let you know what we’re working on. As always, be assured, we’re dedicated to working on your behalf.

First, we’ve had a busy schedule of managing activities since January, from trade shows, to inbound and outbound missions, targeting Canada and Mexico, South America, Europe, South Africa, Asia and the Middle East. Companies have reported exhibiting more than 180 products to nearly 3,000 buyers. Feedback from these activities has been great and the year is shaping up strong. Plus, there are nine more activities in May and June, though the sign-up deadlines for those events has passed.

Activities kick back off into another busy schedule in August. Go to the SUSTA website and check out the schedule of events for August and the rest of the year. Registration deadlines will be coming soon, so be sure you don’t miss out on opportunities that fit into your marketing plan for the year.

Also, while you are looking at the schedule, click on the Export Education tab and consider scheduling a one-on-one virtual consultation with SUSTA’s in-country market representatives. These consultations are with SUSTA’s team of on-the-ground experts in markets from Canada, Mexico, Europe, Central America China, Hong Kong, and India. They know the ins-and-outs of these markets, what buyers want, and can share with you what you need to know to enter a market, from macro trends, to what to expect from standard business practices. The virtual consultations are a valuable resource whether your company is not quite export-ready, but you want to learn which markets provide the greatest potential and how you prepare to enter them, or a seasoned exporter who has registered for a SUSTA event and wants to do some market research.

While 2023 is busy so far, we’ve also been working on our 2024 strategy and activities. We’re putting together a robust program of global marketing activities and exporter education events and other resources for your company. Much of this is influenced by what you share with SUSTA and with you State Departments of Agriculture about the markets you are interested in, product trends, and past performance of various activities. As we look forward to 2023 finishing strong, we don’t want to miss a beat going into 2024. Registration for some of next year’s earlier events will open as soon as August 15, 2023.

Finally, we are wrapping up 2022 – tabulating final results and conducting evaluations. This annual exercise is vital to keeping SUSTA’s program strong and effective. This is where you come in.As you know, SUSTA conducts initial surveys immediately after the event to get your feedback on how the event went, SUSTA’s customer service performance, and other metrics. We follow up with concluding surveys to see what kind of sales performance and projections came out of that event. These follow up surveys are crucial to compiling year end results and determining the return on investment of our program budget and charting the course forward. If you haven’t already, we ask that you please complete the follow-up survey that comes to you approximately six months after you participated in a Global Events activity, and/or complete your year-end survey from the 50% Cost Share program.There are only a few weeks left.