David Moody, UK Trade and Investment, International Trade Adviser – Creative and Media
Nineteen meetings, two receptions, two US cities, three buses, one rocket – another routine week at UKTI
I’ve just been looking at the feedback from the leaders of the 14 agencies who attended last week’s UKTI / IPA USA West Coast Interactive Mission. It looks as if everyone found the experience greatly inspiring and they were uniformly impressed with the quality and range of the meetings. We all came home exhausted but inspired with ideas - which was the main goal.
UK Trade and Investment’s role on a market visit such as this is to develop the brief with our partner – in this case the IPA - plan the agenda and secure the meetings with leaders of the most exciting businesses in that market. I don’t think that anyone would knock the relevance of the 19 businesses we visited – including Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, Pinterest, Fullscreen, Maker Studios, Snapchat, Fox Studios and Virgin Galactic to name just some. Their total market value is easily over $400B and we met with some of the most senior leaders and even founders.
It would be almost impossible for a commercial organisation to get such meetings arranged. It’s a huge benefit to be able to call the businesses and say ‘…I’m (name) the British Vice Consul calling from the British Embassy / Consulate / High Commission. I’m working on a trade mission and would you be open to participating?’ The overseas businesses come to trust that we deliver quality businesses to them. So we reach people and build relationships with businesses that I’m sure any commercial business would find hard to match.
Our goal is commercial – we get the British-based companies we work with to engage with these overseas businesses and build relationships, discuss their issues, identify opportunities and then to do deals with them. But securing new business in the advertising sector isn’t like winning an order for nuts and bolts or a new gadget. So this mission is about providing an opportunity to commence a dialogue and to re-frame the way that we might think about how to do business with these dynamic West Coast tech giants. I’ll be tracking the results with interest.
This US advertising sector mission was just one of hundreds organised by – or supported by – UKTI every year. These range across countries from Angola to Singapore and across sectors from advertising, to fashion, to food and drink to infrastructure and engineering. If a mission is relevant to you, you’re welcome to apply to join. Costs vary but are not generally high and often have a degree of government subsidy.
If there’s not a mission that fits your goals, UKTI offers services to support individual businesses. This too is delivered by our teams based in over 100 markets globally and our partners the International UK Business Network. UKTI people are not diplomats but locally recruited experts with successful commercial backgrounds. So for example we have people with expertise in advertising, marketing and technology in many markets. They can provide you with support from providing research, to fixing meetings with prospects, to helping you deliver a launch event at the Embassy or any suitable location.
If you are thinking about expanding your business into new markets it’s always worth talking to a UKTI Trade Adviser in the UK. Your taxes pay for a range of support including export events in the UK, export training, advice about opening an office in new markets, access to a network of contacts in over 100 countries, help with e-commerce and international communications and even international business leads.
To find an adviser local to you visit http://www.uktiofficefinder.ukti.gov.ukor for general information about UKTI export services visit the website.
For advertising and marketing sector enquiries in the London region you can contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org
Last updated 18/11/2015