Governor Gary R. Herbert presented the first annual Utah Global Forum (UGF) where 450 people throughout the day enjoyed 15 rapid-fire presentations covering a variety of export topics—including export readiness, global brand management and finance risk mitigation.
In 2013, Utah exports totaled $16.1 billion, of which $7.6 billion were value-added exports. Governor Herbert challenged Utah exporters to grow that $16.1 billion by another $1.4 billion over the next five years.
“We have scarcely tapped the surface of what is possible,” said Governor Herbert in his address. “More than 95 percent of our customers live outside of the United States. Think about it—that is 7 billion potential customers, 2.4 of whom are online.”
UGF was designed to help Utah businesses reach the new goal by tapping further into the global marketplace. Business leaders gained confidence as they learned the necessary skills to reach international markets. Attendees were instructed in a group setting with a rapid-fire presentation format. Several breaks throughout the day further allowed presenters to interact with attendees on a personal basis, where attendees received individual instruction on how to start their company in exporting. A one-of-a-kind environment flourished while vital networking connections were made between business leaders, state exporting leaders and successful and influential exporters—specifically in the marketplaces of Europe, China, Mexico and the Middle East.
Exhibitors had a lively interaction with attendees, with one exhibitor noting they had over 150 people who visited their booth. Booths were placed among five of Utah’s Own Foods serving stations which allowed hungry forum attendees, booth exhibitors and forum presenters to all intermingle in an energetic, lively and productive setting.
The UGF was presented by Governor Herbert in conjunction with the Governor’s Office of Economic Development, World Trade Center Utah, the Salt Lake Chamber and a host of sponsors.