The new international scenario poses a serious challenge to traditional businesses dedicated to promoting international trade among countries. A change of paradigm is just round the corner, and this new situation is forcing businesspeople, governments and chambers of commerce to continue to drive exports, but using digital tools.
Before the current stage, a “business trip” was common practice and involved a tremendous coordination and planning work: schedules for businesspeople, business meeting agendas with interested importers, and creating links with industry business chambers, associations and other key stakeholders.
While we wait for the new normal conditions to settle down, the current challenge means offering our businesspeople an incentive to go virtual little by little.
Within this framework, online business agendas are one of the services for which RGX is receiving the greatest demand, although we have been supporting this initiative before the pandemic. For example, we have been using this modality with businesses from the Bogota Chamber of Commerce since 2017. In addition, we developed virtual business agendas in cooperation with the Government of the City of Buenos Aires for companies enrolled in the Despega Talento [Talent Take-off] program in 2018 and coordinated a B2B virtual meeting with the Export and Investment Promotion Agency of El Salvador (PROESA) in 2019.
From the lessons learned over the past 3 years, we have selected the following recommendations for the entities that would like to perform well in online business meetings:
Our first recommendation is to identify export markets where the company is in a truly good position to export. Thanks to our proprietary “Methodology to select export markets” and based on key foreign trade variables (among which at present we are including the extent to which trade borders will remain open during the COVID 19 pandemic), we can weight the countries offering easier accessibility for the sector under analysis to sell its products. This is clearly the path to follow if you would like to find international market clients and invite them to an online meeting.
International buyers will ask to see the internationally tradable goods and services offered by the sector under study before deciding to participate in a business round. Therefore, these should be accessible and displayed online at least 30 days before the event. Efforts should be made so that exporters/exhibitors include the following components in their descriptions:
Meetings will have different outcomes, and the resulting requests for information and quotations may vary. Therefore, the organizer should follow up on exporters so that they do not delay their responses to the questions and demands identified during the meetings.
In addition, a few weeks after the meetings have been held, the organizer may continue to follow-up on exporters in order to become aware of the final results and any aspects that can be improved, and detect any process errors that could avoid the wasting of future resources.