Enterprise Florida announced the first-ever Florida International Trade Expo, a virtual showcase and matchmaker of leading Florida export products and services.
Taking place over three days from March 16th to March 18th, 2021, Florida is the first U.S. state to organize such a virtual trade event.
This global online platform will connect Florida small and medium-sized companies directly with a targeted worldwide business audience of foreign companies interested in their products and services. Registration will open Monday, October 19th, 2020, for Florida companies to secure their spot at the show.
“Enterprise Florida’s international trade and development team is the best in the nation, and this is another historic first for our team,” said Enterprise Florida President and CEO Jamal Sowell, who also serves as Florida’s commerce secretary. “Earlier this year we announced the new virtual trade show and business matchmaking grant programs. Launching the Florida International Trade Expo is the next step in making sure the state’s small businesses continue to recover and grow.”
While national and global trade organizations have transitioned to virtual trade shows since the pandemic began, no U.S. state has held an exclusive event highlighting its small businesses and industry assets.
Enterprise Florida is targeting 100 Florida exhibitors and 5,000 total attendees from around the world over the course of the three-day event. Visitors will include pre-screened and registered visitors/buyers, exhibitors and media. Partners supporting the event will include the U.S. Commercial Service, EFI’s international offices and several trade and industry associations.
The Expo will use the latest in virtual, thematic event technology, including multiple exhibition halls based on industry; a networking lounge; and matchmaking. Industries will include aviation and aerospace, life sciences, information technology, financial and professional services, and manufacturing, with several more to be announced in the coming weeks.
Enterprise Florida will recruit Florida exhibitors through the end of the year and launch a matchmaking system to facilitate virtual meetings between exhibitors and international visitors. The show will also feature multiple live and taped webinars.
In the months leading up to the show, Enterprise Florida will host webinars to provide in-depth training for exhibitors to maximize their participation and effectively host their booth.
The virtual event will be open from 9:00 AM-6:00 PM ET each of the three days. The cost for exhibitors is $1,060 which includes booth space and matchmaking services. Enterprise Florida will be offering reimbursable trade show grants to qualified companies to cover the entire registration fee. The show will be free to registered visitors.
International trade is one of the state’s most important sectors. With commodity exports of $56 billion in 2019, Florida was the seventh-largest export state in the U.S. last year. An additional $43 billion in exports of services worldwide ranked the state fourth in the U.S. One in five U.S. exporters is located in the state, and 96 percent of Florida exporters are small or medium-sized enterprises with 500 or fewer employees.