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Big Picture Report: September 2021


Bernadette Wiltz-Lang, SUSTA

Preparation + Opportunity = Success

Greetings from New Orleans. I am glad to say we are safely back in the SUSTA offices, and fully operational, as the clean-up from Hurricane Ida continues.

I wish we could say that the global export market was all cleaned up from COVID, but even now, a year-and-a-half later, challenges with international travel, trade missions and exhibitions remain. At this point, to be honest, there’s only a couple things we know for certain; one is that things won’t stay like this forever and trade shows and business travel will resume. The other is those companies who are export ready will be the first to benefit when things do normalize. Not only is patience a virtue, so is planning.

Rest assured, SUSTA is committed to assist and support your plans.For the final quarter of 2021, we have a full roster of activities scheduled. Some are live, though tentatively. And others are virtual. We are providing options; keep up to date through your MySUSTA account.

I am a firm believer that every challenge is an opportunity, and the challenges of COVID over the past 18 months presented us with the opportunity to develop and execute virtual sales events. While these events admittedly don’t have the traffic of a big trade show, they do have quality buyers. SUSTA companies have netted sales in Central America, Europe, Canada and Mexico.

Of course, registration for our 2022 Global Events program is now open too. As I mentioned in the last Big Picture update, the 2022 program year starts off strong with some of our traditionally top-performing shows in Europe, the Middle East, and Asia.If you are interested in these markets and thinking about these shows, consider getting a leg up through SUSTA’s Virtual Consultations with our in-country consultant. It’s a chance to conduct market research and get direct feedback from experts in-market without leaving your office, … and to be ready when you do.In short, it’s a great investment of time in building a successful export marketing plan.

We are continually working on innovative ways to help your company. For example, during the second half of 2021, we stepped up our program in Europe to include a European Test Panel. It is a great opportunity for experienced exporters to have your product samples tested by a panel of consumers in the Netherlands and Belgium and to get their feedback on taste, packaging, product appeal and even what they’d be willing to pay. The post-evaluation feedback gives you a tool to market a consumer-tested product to potential buyers.

As the saying goes, success is where preparation and opportunity meet. Count on SUSTA to support you with both.

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