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Euro Trip a Solid Success

Tuesday, December 30, 2014
The trip comes in response to an increasing number of leads from European companies. Before leaving in late October, Buuck said that the trip was intended to show similar companies “why Northeast Indiana is the right choice for their business.” After visiting Germany, Switzerland and Italy, Buuck returned to the United States in early November with plenty more leads and insights gained from his trip.

In Switzerland, U.S. Ambassador Suzan LeVine hosted Buuck and the embassy assisted in organizing a successful business reception with many companies showing interest, particularly health and medical device companies. Next was Germany with a focus on manufacturing, then Italy where a number of automotive industry companies not only were interested but were interested in acting soon; possibly as soon as next year.

According to Buuck, phone calls and emails usually aren’t personal enough when you’re dealing with overseas companies. An in-person trip is a valuable way to connect and make your case, even if not everyone speaks the same language.

“Chambers of commerce are also a lot different in Europe, particularly in Germany. There’s less middle management in the companies so the chambers pick up a lot of that work for the businesses. That’s why I met with a number of chambers as well as companies; it’s important to connect with the chambers because they’re the ones who will ultimately connect you with the businesses,” Buuck said.

Buuck also said that you can’t assume the chambers or businesses will know the area you’re talking about, either. “We want them to think of Indiana, not just the Midwest. But about half of the companies hadn’t even heard of Indiana. So we listened to their needs and then led with what Indiana offered as a state. Things that mattered to them, like a stable economy and a stable tax structure. Then we focused in more and more to promote our region, Northeast Indiana. Although in America we know Warsaw, IN is a center for medical technology, several companies in that industry in Europe were oblivious.” From there, you can demonstrate and discuss what other companies are there, why they’ve chosen Indiana or that part of Indiana as home and other, more specific advantages.

Overall, Buuck says he feels it was a good trip with a number of new leads and a lot more companies now educated not just about what Northeast Indiana has to offer, but what the Hoosier state offers as a whole as well.

Dale Buuck, Vice President of Business Development
Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership