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Graylin Presbury has been with the International Trade Administration for 30 years. He has spent the last five years in the U.S. & Foreign Commercial Service (USFCS) as a Project Officer in the Global Trade Programs unit.
I had the privilege of being the project officer for InfoComm09, the world’s premier annual B2B conference and exposition for the professional audiovisual information communications industry. It alternates annually between the east and west coasts of the United States.
Both the weather and the technology were hot last month in Orlando at InfoComm09. The conference, held June 14-19, had more than 300 educational workshops and seminars, and the exhibition, held June 17-19, had roughly 850 exhibitors and more than 28,000 attendees, making this the biggest east cost show in its history.
The International Business Center (IBC) provided a one-stop shop for U.S. Government assistance at the show. The IBC featured International Trade Administration (ITA) export and industry experts as well as representatives from the Export-Import Bank and the Small Business Administration.
As a project officer, I particularly appreciated having the support of ITA’s Global Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Team. Through the ICT Team and the USFCS International Buyer Program, we brought in nearly 500 delegates from 27 countries, including delegations from Argentina, Brazil, Columbia, Ecuador, Egypt, France, Mexico, Norway, the United Kingdom, and Uruguay. Additional ICT Team support came from trade staff in our U.S. Export Assistance Centers in Austin, TX; New York; Clearwater, FL; and Portland, OR, which included outreach and export counseling to exhibitors from their states and regions.
The ICT Team was instrumental to our success and the quality of services we delivered. Aside from the 20 or so U.S. exhibitors and attendees who visited the IBC, there were about 35 U.S. exhibitors that scheduled 130 appointments as part of the ICT Team’s Showtime program. In addition to the market counseling provided by USFCS overseas staff, ITA industry experts informed participants about market trends, trade policy and regulatory issues. Representatives from the Export-Import Bank and the Small Business Administration counseled exhibitors about loan guarantee programs, business development assistance and export credit insurance.
To read more about the International Buyer Program, please visit http://www.export.gov/IBP.