Saskatchewan Trade & Export Partnership (STEP) will be hosting its first “live event” on the newly launched SaskTrade Showcase January 25 to 28. The virtual platform promotes products and services offered by STEP members, provides online networking opportunities for registrants, facilitates direct meetings between suppliers and buyers in real-time, and provides ongoing information and promotion of Saskatchewan’s world-class export capabilities.
“Much of our economic prosperity in Saskatchewan comes from trade,” Trade and Export Development Minister Jeremy Harrison said. “With travel and gathering restrictions in place during the global COVID-19 pandemic, this innovative Showcase will assist Saskatchewan exporters in exploring new ways to conduct international business, including virtually connecting buyers abroad with our exporters here at home.”
The interactive platform has both the look and feel of an actual trade show and is designed to draw international buyers year-round and during specific live events. The SaskTrade Showcase is organized by key sectors into exhibit halls focusing on Food and Agriculture, Agricultural Technology and Equipment, Energy and Mining, Information Technology Solutions, and Manufacturing and Professional Services. The showcase will also stream approximately 20 webinars that will promote Saskatchewan strengths including exporter innovations.
For the first live event, over 650 domestic and international buyers from 77 countries have registered and will be connected with nearly 250 Saskatchewan exporters who have developed virtual booths in one of the five exhibit halls. Rob Muench, Communications and Marketing Specialist with Schulte Industries said that his company appreciates the importance of developing alternatives to get products in front of potential customers.
“We have poured extra resources into online and social media marketing to accomplish this,” Muench said. “We look forward to another unique opportunity by participating in the SaskTrade Showcase.”
STEP President and CEO Chris Dekker noted that while most exporters eagerly anticipate a return to international travel, the focus on virtual promotion will be transformational.
“Within days of the international lock-down, STEP reallocated resources to focus on web-based opportunities,” Dekker said. “To date, Saskatchewan exporters have participated in 59 virtual trade missions, seven virtual trade shows, and four virtual trade conferences. The SaskTrade Showcase will be another valuable resource for Saskatchewan companies to achieve export success.”