B-to-B Publisher ThinkGlobal To Launch Virtual Marketplaces
Partners with Onstream Media; marketplaces to debut by fourth quarter 2011.
Business-to-business higher education and international trade publisher ThinkGlobal is partnering with online service provider Onstream Media with its MarketPlace365 agreement to create two new virtual marketplaces that will serve domestic companies and international buyers, as well as foreign investors. These marketplaces will allow vendors and buyers to meet virtually, share wares and insights, to network and learn more about their industries without traveling to do so.
Greg Sandler, president of ThinkGlobal, says USA Export Expo (which will serve domestic companies and those buyers outside the US) and Investment USA Expo (highlighting development opportunities in the United States) will have capabilities beyond the traditional tradeshow.
The virtual marketplace model is similar to that of a bricks-and-mortars tradeshow model, with vendors paying for booth space, as well as given the option to display banners in the virtual hallway and auditorium of the marketplaces. Links to the advertiser’s websites will be directly imbedded into the banners for simple user navigation. There will be sponsorship opportunities available to vendors as well.
Currently, there are 275,000 domestic companies exporting internationally, and 70 percent of the world’s purchasing power is outside of the U.S., according to Sandler.
“Combine those two things, you have a situation that is tailor-made for bringing buyers and sellers together under one roof,” he says.
The USA Export Expo will be extremely horizontal in its market reach, according to Sandler, with virtual booths displaying wares “from ambulances and all-terrain vehicles to vitamins and playground equipment”. The Investment USA Expo will have a similar horizontal reach, presenting various development opportunities for oversea investors to engage with.
As for attendance prices, Sandler says admission will be free for qualified attendees after they register.
Both marketplaces will feature an auditorium in which industry experts and government officials will deliver keynote speeches; there will also be a learning center where attendees can hear educational sessions presented by panels of moderators. A networking lounge will be available for attendees to “exchange business cards and connect one-on-one in real time.” A media library, a repository of collected sources that acts as a resource center for the industry, will also be available for attendee access.
All options will be available through both live streaming and on demand.
ThinkGlobal will promote these marketplaces through a variety of channels. “We’re going to be building upon our existing relationships to start. We will very selectively use other outlets, traditional email marketing and social media. Focusing on outlets we think are the most appropriate for reaching our target markets, we’ll be doing promotion at bricks and mortars trade shows as well as print advertising,” says Sandler.
USA Export Expo and Investment USA Expo are slated to go live in fourth quarter 2011.