What if you could get a group of bright business minds to focus on solving your most pressing export problem – for free?

Well you can, at TIQ’s Export Connections workshops, which include short, sharp brainstorming sessions that ensure every participant goes home with new ideas for tackling their current business challenge.

‘Super high-value’ is how one participant described the recent Toowoomba Export Connections workshop.

Katharina von Heusinger, co-owner of The Golden Bone Bakery pet-treat business, said the two-hour workshop was a great chance to get new insights on her own challenges and help other businesspeople.

‘You stand in a group and everybody identifies a business problem they’d like help with, and then you each have 2 minutes to come up with a strategy for that problem,’ she said.

‘Everyone really invests their time, knowledge, expertise and tips into you – it’s super high-value.

‘The quality time you spend with other exporters and the value you get out of it, it’s really worthwhile.’

The Golden Bone Bakery is based at Ipswich and sells pet treats around Australia and in Asian markets.

Also at the workshop was Andrew Waddell, Sales and Marketing Manager for Toowoomba nut grower and processor, Stahmann Farms Enterprises.

A long-established exporter, Stahmann sells pecans and macadamias to North America and South East Asia, with Andrew spending many weeks each year outside Australia on business.

Even as an experienced exporter, he said he found real value in the Export Connections workshop.

‘The collaboration session was really good, it’s a great concept,’ he said

‘You’re in a circle of 9 or 10 people who are all focusing on a particular problem, and I was able to get some new perspectives from other people.

‘I also put a phone number on a post-it note for someone else so they’ve now gone home with a direct contact who can help them.

‘I go to 8 or 10 conferences and events a year and this was one of the best – it was good fun.’

Each Export Connections workshop also includes an expert presentation on an export topic, with the Toowoomba workshop on 18 October focusing on exporting to the growing Indonesian market. It attracted 29 participants, with an earlier Townsville workshop on 15 October attracting 28 people.

Providing training to help Queensland SMEs become export-ready is a priority under the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

The next free Export Connections workshop will be held in Brisbane on 14 November. It will include another business collaboration session and a presentation by iVolve CEO Kim Parascos, winner of the Tom Burns Award for Women in International Business at this year’s Premier of Queensland’s Export Awards.

Register for the Brisbane Export Connections workshop now.