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U.S. Seeks Shows for International Buyer Program


Washington, DC – The U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) is accepting applications this Fall for trade shows to be included in the International Buyer Program (IBP) for 2010.

Approximately 40 events will be selected for the IBP list and will receive the department’s assistance in recruiting international attendees.

The assistance provided to show organizers includes worldwide promotion of selected shows to potential international buyers, end-users, representatives and distributors. Promotion is conducted by officials in the DOC’s Commercial Service offices in more than 70 countries representing the United States’ major trading partners, and also in U.S. embassies in countries where the Commercial Service does not maintain offices.

The goal of the IBP is to drum up business for small and medium-sized U.S. exporters by getting international buyers to the trade shows held in the United States where such companies exhibit. The industry sectors vary widely. Shows on the 2009 IBP list include PACK EXPOSatellite 2009World of Concrete 2009 and the International Home + Housewares Show.

Along with its marketing assistance, the IBP operates one or more International Business Center at each show where foreign visitors are welcomed and given an overview of the event. Meetings with exhibitors can also be arranged.

One requirement for the IBP program is that the applicant show have significant “stature” within its specific sector. The IBP defines the appropriate stature as being “clearly recognized by the industry it covers as a leading event for the promotion of that industry’s products and services both domestically and internationally, and as a showplace for the latest technology or services in that industry.”

The applicant show must also demonstrate that it can host large numbers of attendees who do not speak English and that the exhibitors themselves have a keen interest in meeting with international buyers.

Other caveats include no first-year shows or non-specific horizontal events. Organizers must also have procedures in place for the protection of intellectual property rights and be willing to offer incentives to foreign delegations, which the IBP suggests include reduced admission fees and special events.

The application process requires participation fees based on the length of the show. Events of five days or less require an $8,000 fee. Shows that run longer than five days or require more than one International Business Center pay a $14,000 participation fee. Shows that exceed 10 days in duration or require more than two International Business Centers must pay a negotiated fee of $19,500 or more.

Applications are due November 8. More information on the application process and requirements for the IBP list can be obtained from Blanche Ziv, the manager of the IBP.

Reach Blanche Ziv at (202) 482-4207 or

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