U.S. government offers cheap, easy intro to European sports markets/trade shows

In a program that isn't utilized as well as it could or should be, the U.S. Department of Commerce offers an opportunity to sporting goods companies to exhibit their literature and perhaps a product sample in a booth the department runs at various international trade shows.
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In a program that isn't utilized as well as it could or should be, the U.S. Department of Commerce offers an opportunity to sporting goods companies of all types to exhibit their literature and perhaps a product sample in a booth the department runs at various international trade shows, including the upcoming summer ispo show in Germany.

"We want them to export," department liaison Amanda Ayvaz told SNEWS®. "We want them to see what the market is like. This is a good way for companies to do this."

Setting up shop near the booths of other associations and shows, the DOC will display brochures and product, if it's small enough, in a space that Ayvaz says is well-visited, particularly by reps, distributors and media looking for something new and different either to write about or pick up as a product line to sell.

"If the product is new and innovative, it will do well," she said.

The U.S. company must only ship the literature and sample to the local consulate and pay $600 to support the effort. Ayvaz picks up the shipments and takes them to the show to display in the booth.

"It's a very good value for a company just starting out," Ayvaz said.

Interestingly the DOC has offered this service for years, as well as free consultation with its sporting goods specialists in various consulates, but it isn't utilized as much as she thinks it could be.

In addition, Bernd Kietz, the sporting goods specialist in the consulate in Germany, attends other shows such as FIBO (the fitness and wellness show in early May in Germany) and also brings German companies to U.S. shows such as the Outdoor Retailer trade shows and The Super Show.

The summer ispo show, for which the DOC is now recruiting, runs July 3-5 in Munich, Germany. Normally a booth can accommodate about five to seven companies. To find out more, email Ayvaz at Amanda.ayvaz@mail.doc.gov or call 202-482-0338.

To find more information, click here or go to http://www.ita.doc.gov/td/ocg/. There, click on "View Pictures" in the middle of the page, then on "Sporting Goods," to see booth pictures from shows in Germany, Brazil and Japan. To access the government's trade information center go to http://ita.doc.gov/td/.

For more on the ispo trade show, go to www.ispo.com. Ispo has on its own been making extra effort to attract international retail and rep attendees. For example, ispo management has implemented road shows in areas such as former Eastern bloc countries, France, Italy and Japan, and has hired ispo representatives to help recruit attendees. The representatives are now in France, Italy, Scandinavia, with others to come in Spain and Japan. Ispo's U.S. representative Dieter Tremp primarily acts as a liaison with the manufacturers and the market in general.

SNEWS® View: Markets outside of North American borders can be the next step in growth and a huge opportunity for small companies – but the logistics can be a nightmare to figure out. There are companies now offering paid consultation for entry into foreign markets, but why put out a bunch of money you don't have to? At least at first. The toe-dabbling can be inexpensive, and initial consultation can be free through the federal government's programs. It's your tax dollars at work. Take advantage of them!

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