Far North Queensland businesses will have a unique chance to learn the secrets of export success from their peers at TIQ’s Export Connections workshop in Cairns later this month.

The free workshop will include a presentation from local business Natural Evolution, winner of the 2019 Queensland Emerging Exporters Award, as well as brainstorming sessions where participants share their business challenges and get advice from fellow exporters.

Export Connections workshops have been running around Queensland since last October, and previous participants say they have been remarkably helpful.

Owner of functional foods company Symply Too Good To Be True Annette Sym said the Sunshine Coast workshop in December provided the perfect chance to hear current information about exporting.

‘Workshops like this are a good first step where you get to meet other businesses as well as people from TIQ, who are always ready to help,’ she said.

‘When thinking about exporting, you really need to get organisations like TIQ involved to make sure you are dealing with the right contacts internationally.

‘It’s easy to attend these workshops – all it costs is your time.’

TIQ has previously helped Symply Too Good To Be True secure grant funding and attend a food and hospitality tradeshow in Hong Kong.

Annette is not the only participant who found the workshop useful.

PS2 (Problem Shared Problem Solved) founder Dr Danielle Lester, who also attended the Brisbane workshop in November, said even young companies just beginning to think about exporting could benefit from attending.

Her virtual reality collaboration agency was still in the conceptual stage when she attended the workshop but she still found it very useful.

‘You’re in a space where everybody understands what it’s like to be in that position of just starting out,’ she said.

‘So they’re able to offer the specific level of support you need, no matter where you are in the process of developing your business.’

Dr Lester said sharing business challenges in the brainstorming sessions was particularly rewarding.

‘I’m a global person so I was able to provide plenty of global contacts for other attendees,’ she said.

‘Being able to provide that useful information, while getting such valuable feedback from other small businesses and start-ups was just fantastic.

‘I left the place absolutely buzzing by the end of it.’

The Export Connections workshops are an initiative of the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

The next free Export Connections workshop will be held in Cairns on 27 February. Keynote speaker will be Krista Watkins, Managing Director of Natural Evolution, an Atherton Tableland business that is enjoying extraordinary success with superfoods based on banana flour. The workshop, including brainstorming sessions, will be facilitated by Brian Ruddle from Impact Innovation.

For more information contact Sharyn Byrnes at sharyn.byrnes@tiq.qld.gov.au.

The Export Connection workshops are delivered by specialist innovation and technology commercialisation consultancy Impact Innovation which operates across the Asia Pacific region.