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Thinking Beyond The Borders

Whether you are going to travel with the cheese people or not, it is becoming more imperative that Americans should be traveling to shows outside of the United States and preferably to some shows not so tightly focused on your specific business segment. Of course, you have to go to U.S. trade shows and conferences. You need the networking and education and, for many people, you need to exhibit and sell your wares.

In many cases, attending domestic shows is the price of admission to success in the trade. However, it is very hard to get a competitive edge at these events. After all, all your sharp competitors are always one aisle down the way in the trade show and in the next row over in the educational track.

Being everywhere your competitors are is vital. But there is a word for it: Defense.

Going places your competitors don’t go, seeing things they don’t see, learning things they don’t know — that is the way to win a competitive advantage.

Much of the success we’ve had with PRODUCE BUSINESS magazine came about after we started publishing AMERICAN FOOD AND AG EXPORTER magazine, a publication not even distributed in the United States but, instead, mailed to every other country in the world and getting advertising from American food exporters of all types — packaged foods, meat, dairy, poultry, not just produce.

It made us successful because it made us smart. All the sudden, I had to go to domestic shows outside of produce and perishables, and I had to travel overseas to greet our readers. It let me bring back into the produce industry ideas that made our products better.

It is not easy to do. We are all so busy. It is hard to keep up with the necessities. But the key to really being successful is to make the time to go that one step beyond the urgent and do the important, such as getting a competitive advantage.

Sometimes it is impossible for any individual. For example, this year one of the most important food shows in the world is being held in Paris. The SIAL show is an excellent one for Americans to attend precisely because it is so unlike anything in America. It had 136,000 visitors last go-round (the show is held every other year) and covers a large range of foods, from fruits and vegetables to cured meats, poultry, fresh meat, alcoholic beverages, non-alcoholic beverages, dairy products, grocery and more.

This year I can’t attend because it overlaps with the PMA Convention but if I wasn’t in produce, I would be in Paris that week. You can be sure, however, that our team from AMERICAN FOOD AND AG EXPORTER and DELI BUSINESS will be there.

And this is a good time to welcome to The Perishable Pundit our many readers outside of North America. From China to Russia, from New Zealand to Sweden, from Canada to Argentina, all over the world people have been discovering what the Pundit offers. Thank you so much for reading and don’t hesitate to contact us if we can be of service.

And, in relation to this story, please come and visit U.S. trade shows and conventions. We’ll be highlighting them throughout the year. They are educational, offer a shockingly broad array of products and can give you, traveling from overseas, your competitive edge.

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