Centrallia 2016

A global business to business forum

By Tania Moffat

Centrallia is a fast-paced business matchmaking program.

Centrallia is a fast-paced business matchmaking program.

Companies wishing to expand their business, develop new partnerships or extend into new global markets can make connections with like-minded businesses at Centrallia. This event will bring more than 700 Canadian and international businesses from more than 30 countries together along with other World Trade Centres, chambers of commerce, trade and investment agencies.

The fourth Centrallia event, to be held May 25 to 27, is hosted by the World Trade Centre of Winnipeg in the newly renovated RBC Convention Centre. Why Winnipeg?

Besides being centrally located, Winnipeg is well connected to the rest of the world by air, rail, road and sea. Our province’s diverse and growing economy is primed to serve as a gateway to North America.

Business matchmaking

Registered companies will receive pre-event support to develop their company profile and prepare for the tradeshow. Coaching, matchmaking support and proactive recruitment based on each company’s requests to meet others are used to develop a customized meeting schedule with up to 14 like-minded businesses. Countless other networking activities occur over the two and a half day event which is similar to an intense speed dating event for businesses. Local, national and international connections are prearranged guaranteeing quality meetings with decision makers, not cold calls.

Companies can maximize their time doing business as they are provided with on-site support and access to resources such as translation and interpretation services, international trade experts and service providers throughout the event. Highlighted topics

World-class keynote speakers and international trade experts are present to educate attendees and share their expertise on business in the Arctic or the Americas. Participants can choose between a full day breakout session discussion on either topic.

The session on the Arctic will highlight business opportunities that focus on serving the needs of northern communities and improving economic conditions such as energy, communications, waste management, transportation and logistics, food security, new technologies and housing.

Companies test their international competitiveness at no risk.

Companies test their international competitiveness at no risk.

Winnipeg has some of the world’s leading experts in Arctic research and cold weather technologies. This, along with our central location, vast northern territories and only inland Arctic port at Churchill, leaves our city primed to lead the way in providing solutions to overcome the tremendous needs and opportunities of the northern and Arctic communities around the world.

Experts will provide context and discuss various topics including research, investment in the North, a review of high North business case studies, the perspectives of Northerners, market perspectives in the Arctic region, a macro-economic overview and discussion of new business opportunities for Arctic communities.

The Americas will be the focus of a simultaneously running conference. Experts from these trade blocs will provide information on why integration efforts are beneficial for businesses looking to grow a presence in the Americas. Companies currently operating within these trade environments will speak and share their advice on opportunities available for businesses exploring or growing in these trade groups, resources and networks available to increase business in these regions, how to use partnerships as a market entry strategy and sample business cases that will outline supply chain integration within these blocs.

An overview of the most important trade and economic blocs in the Americas will be discussed: NAFTA (Canada, U.S.), Mercosur (Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay and Venezuela) and the Pacific Alliance (Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru). Winnipeg, situated at the geographic centre of North America, is an ideal location for growing trade and a great access point for international business wanting to tap into this market.

Face-to-Face

Participants will then spend the next two days meeting with decision makers from other businesses through face-to-face customized meetings, networking breakfasts, lunches and, of course, attending the gala dinner.

The afterglow

After the event the World Trade Centre Winnipeg’s trade development team will follow up with all companies offering personalized support to transform contacts and leads into business deals.

“I found a potential reseller and a potential customer in Algeria. I met with people I could never meet otherwise, no matter how much I travelled or spent, since the forum makes meetings so open and easy,” says Tom Tessier from Solara Remote Data Delivery Inc. who attended in 2012.

Centrallia is ideal for growing businesses that are looking to expand into new markets, companies that want to further their export business, importers or distributors seeking new products or suppliers, investors, trade and investment experts, or trade and investment promotion agencies wishing to highlight their regions to new businesses.

Register, connect with like-minded companies and grow your business at Centrallia this year. For more information visit centrallia.com