Guest blog post by Gary Rand, Acting Director of the International Buyer Program 
If you’re a U.S. company, your chances of finding the right international business partner greatly increases at a trade show that has been selected as a venue for the International Buyer Program . You’ll not only meet more international buyers, representatives and distributors, but your products and services can be listed in the Export Interest Directory distributed to all international visitors to the show. In addition to assistance from our experienced U.S. Commercial Service staff, you will also have access to an on-site International Business Center, where your company can meet privately with prospective international buyers, sales representatives and business partners.
That’s why I am pleased to announce the 30 U.S. trade shows in 2013  to which the International Buyer Program (IBP) will bring prospective international buyers. Thanks to our rigorous competitive selection process, I am confident these 30 trade shows  will provide excellent B2B matchmaking venues for U.S. companies looking to expand their international sales to new markets, or to start exporting.
The advantage of the IBP versus other B2B matchmaking service offerings is it enables U.S. companies to meet a breadth of pre-screened prospective buyers from around the world all in one domestic venue. In fact, last year the IBP recruited nearly 13,500 prospective buyers from international markets to come to U.S. trade events to meet U.S. exporters. As a result, the IBP generated over $900 million in exports in 2011–a 10 percent increase over 2010. Over 49 percent of these successes were by U.S. firms that exported to a new market. There are still over 25 trade shows for remaining in 2012 . For those U.S. companies planning to exhibit at any of these shows, the IBP is a great way to maximize your trade show investment.
The International Buyer Program  is a joint government-industry effort designed to increase U.S. export sales by promoting international attendance at major U.S. industry exhibitions. The IBP provides practical, hands-on assistance to U.S. exhibitors interested in exporting and making contacts with prospective overseas trade partners. This assistance includes export counseling, marketing analysis, and matchmaking services. The IBP is an important part of our implementation of the Obama administration’s National Export Initiative  which aims to double the value of U.S. exports over the next five years.