Andrew Raynor Dover NH
Cindy Harrington is a business development manager for the NH Division of Economic Development.
New Hampshire Economic Development was able to tout its open for business sign last month to manufacturers and business owners from around the world at two trade shows – MD&M East in New York City, targeting medical device and manufacturing interests, and the SelectUSA Investment Summit in Washington, DC, focusing on foreign direct investment.
Joined by colleagues Michael Bergeron, senior business development manager, at MD&M and Tina Kasim, program manager at our Office of International Commerce, at SelectUSA, I met with scores of people at both trade shows keen on hearing our message about the state’s business friendly climate, educated workforce, robust industry sectors and quality of life. A great opportunity to not only answer their questions, but to ask some of our own, encourage a visit and follow-up with information they need, such as available real estate.
Trade shows are a dynamic, if not efficient, way, to meet and have conversations with business leaders who are considering business expansion or relocation. Often, conversations plant the seeds for long term relationships for future growth opportunities. Followup is the key to our work at these events, keeping in touch with contacts so that when they are ready to further explore options, they will consider New Hampshire.
At MD&M, where we also met with attendees at simultaneous trade shows at the Javits Center for plastics, packaging and design manufacturing, some of the people with whom we spoke were focused on seeking manufacturers, suppliers and services contacts to develop relationships. Some were pleasantly surprised to see New Hampshire represented at the event and asked about our industry sectors.
At the SelectUSA show, we spoke with international investors and business owners exploring oportunities within the US, including locations for distribution and warehousing and investing in established companies, especially in the fields of bio-med and medical device manufacturing with an established workforce. We also met with foreign officials and consultants representing companies seeking to establish relationships with businesses in the US for distribution, investment and partnering.
Our message at these trade shows is New Hampshire’s business friendly climate. When we tell people we have no sales, personal income, estate, use, internet, capital gains or professional service taxes, they are surprised and intrigued – what we don’t have is definitely a conversation starter.
For others, it is our booth that draws them over to talk with us. Featuring a stunning lakeside image, it prompts people to take a time out from the busy show. They stare at the lake and share with us memories of going to camp here in the summer, family vacations and even business trips.
When decision makers can’t come to New Hampshire, trade shows are a great way to bring New Hampshire to them.