Small Business BC: TRADESTART

Small Business BC’s Export-Import Virtual Trade Show helps businesses expand internationally.

Small Business BC’s Export-Import Virtual Trade Show helps businesses expand internationally

Trade shows are huge business and a great way to bring together large numbers of professionals to generate ideas and initiatives. 

But could the efficiency and scope of this type of congregation be improved beyond its geographical boundaries? The people at Small Business BC’s TRADESTART think so, and they are leading the way with their Export-Import Virtual Trade Show, which takes place on April 18. “To the best of my knowledge this is the first trade show of its kind staged by a business organization in Canada,” says TRADESTART’s education services manager Laine McDonald. 

TRADESTART was launched with the intent to help small businesses gain access to the global marketplace. It recognizes that doing business internationally isn’t the same as doing business at home, and therefore helps entrepreneurs learn about the countries they intend to export to. TRADESTART also offers education on laws and regulations, different customer buying habits and effective marketing strategies. 

The Export-Import Virtual Trade Show is just that: a trade and information exhibit that takes place entirely in cyberspace. The day-long event will consist of live educational seminars and a virtual trade show with over 25 public and private organizations eager to help participants expand their businesses internationally. 

Experts will make themselves available to answer any questions via live chat and webinar. Registration is free and the topics of discussion include defining global potential, defining trade strategies, determining sales and sourcing strategies, obtaining financing, understanding regulations, as well as the legal and tax implications of trade. 

McDonald says the inspiration for the Export-Import Virtual Trade Show came from Small Business BC’s launch of business education by webinar earlier this year. “The webinars were an instant success, and when we studied the software that enables virtual tradeshows to be staged, we realized it was a great opportunity to even further support trade businesses. We think it’s an ideal way to get credible business leaders together in one place without having to deal with the logistics of travel and booking venues.” 

Of course, TRADESTART has a team of trade advisors on hand for any entrepreneur who cares to visit the Small Business BC headquarters in Vancouver, but McDonald points out that  “the virtual trade show and Skype expand our ability to offer resources and education to those who can’t access us in person. As many as 500 participants will be able to access an Export-Import trade show webinar at the same time, and we anticipate at least 1,500 people will register for the event.” 

He concludes: “As business becomes increasingly global and the benefits of exportation grow steadily, our hope is that the Export-Import Virtual Trade Show will make a big enough splash to become a regular annual event.” 

TRADESTART will be held on April 18th from 9am to 4:30pm. To learn more about TRADESTART or to register, visit or phone 1-866-926-5545.