City of Austin Performance Report 2014-15

Number of Participants Attending International Business Seminars

Measure Description
The primary goal of the Global Business Recruitment and Expansion Division (GBRE) International Program is to create jobs and increase the tax base for the City of Austin through increased global trade, accomplished in part through educational seminars for local businesses on importing and exporting. This measure tracks participation counts for the seminars.
Calculation Method
This measure is calculated from the number of participants registering for all international business seminars in a given fiscal year.
FY 2014-15 Results
FY 2013-14 was the third year that this measure has been a key indicator. A total of 1,600 participants attended one of the twelve international business seminars offered, exceeding the goal of 250.
Assessment of Results
The International Program recognizes the importance of facilitating international exposure to Austin’s small business community and has developed programming around such opportunities. For FYs 2011 – 2013, this measure only included the classes offered for international business including Introduction to Exports, Leveraging International Trade Agreements, Exporting for Creative Professionals, Doing Business in Mexico, and Managing Your International Distribution Network. A post-class survey asked class attendees, “Has this seminar helped you to expand your business into a new or additional market?” 44 respondents noted that the seminars assisted them with their international expansion. In an effort to assist more companies in pursing international opportunities, we have increased our outreach efforts.
The most recent data is more in line with data from FY 2009-10.  In 2010 there were a total of 1,017 seminar participants of which 500 participants attended the Governor’s International Business Summit. Two additional seminars took place during FY 2013-14, including the State of Texas Global Business Summit. This resulted in the increased number of attendees during FY 2013-14. FY 2014-15 is not just limited to classes; seminars have been revamped and now include networking and partner events with sister cities and partner organizations.
Next Steps
GBRE will continue to work with partners to strengthen international commerce opportunities, assess the current level of international efforts, and determine steps needed to enhance services and advance cultural interests into economic benefits for accelerating Austin’s economy.  It was found that providing only in-class educational events was not utilizing all educational tools and that other seminar events were just as beneficial. These seminar events have an international component to increase international trade and business expansion abroad and encourage international businesses to open locations in Austin. In addition, based on recent trends, GBRE will assess if the goal of 250 participants is still appropriate.
Contact Information
For more information contact David Colligan, Global Business Recruitment and Expansion Manager, at (512) 974-6381.