Last month WUSATA rolled out our updated website in conjunction with our program renaming campaign. The Branded Program is now called FundMatch and the Generic Program is renamed as Global Connect. We responded to your requests for improvement on the previous website platform, and we worked to facilitate updates that accommodated your wishes for a more streamlined experience. A big thank you to the WUSATA member states for your patience and feedback as we further integrate website updates and strive to enhance our user-friendly access.
We hope everyone is succeeding at online information retrieval and discovering all of the new project management tools. Continue to send us your feedback as we work on providing you with additional reports and more company account information in the coming months.
An additional change is the renaming of evaluations to “surveys.” The Initial Activity Evaluation and the Six-Month Activity Evaluation are now called the Initial Survey and Concluding Survey respectively. WUSATA staff have already clarified survey questions for easier data collection and retrieval in the future. These results are currently in the process of being migrated in to the new system, and will be available in time for end-of-year UES planning.
WUSATA's enhanced website registration system performed perfectly on September 17, 2015 when all 37 of the WUSATA Pavilion booths completely sold out in a record time of less than four minutes. In fact, the corner booths sold out in just over 40 seconds! We are excited that not only can the registration system handle high traffic for event registrations, but also provide real-time accurate information.
Global Positioning Services (GPS): The GPS program has been streamlined according to states’ requests at last year’s winter meeting. The program now includes a one-page handout with state logos that can also be uploaded to state websites. If your state has in-country representatives who can offer some of their services to companies within their state at a reduced rate, let our Global Connect staff know! We will add this language to the flyer for your state. Associations will be able to utilize the GPS program as well.
Test companies have been selected and contacted for participation. Once the resulting data has been gathered and refinements, if any, have been completed, WUSATA will launch the program. There is a possibility that other agency funding programs can be used, but companies would have to check with individual state project managers who are administering the programs.
State Contributions: A review of eligible State Contribution hours was discussed. Hourly work done on international shows that include conference calls and strategic planning meetings can be recorded on State Contribution forms. Time can also be counted for FundMatch seminars, or whenever discussions with companies involve WUSATA’s exporting programs. A portal will soon be available on WUSATA’s website that will make time recording easily accessible. Time spent by country work groups on scheduled conference calls and the time spent by SMOs/PMs twice yearly in strategic planning meetings will continue to be recorded by WUSATA staff.
2016 WUSATA Advance Funds Available (WUSATA Policy): WUSATA is pleased to announce that the Board of Directors have once again approved the advanced use of WUSATA reserve funds for first and second quarter activities. As we look forward to 2016, total budgets for these activities equal approximately $375,000. Therefore, the 2015 advanced funds amount of $250,000 is still in effect. To utilize these funds, please contact Sandy or Sheila with your request as soon as possible. Please include a scope of work, Contract Quick Sheet, and recruitment draft with your request.
As we approach the last quarter of 2015, preparations are beginning for the upcoming calendar year. Key issues and deadlines will be announced soon, and WUSATA encourages Project Managers to consider the following important topics:
2016 Country Work Groups Coming Soon: Now is a great time to start thinking about which Market Work Groups you will be joining in 2016. We are beginning preparations for the Winter Meeting, and the 2015 CPR conference calls. The market conference calls are also a great time to set up the dates for the 2016 Activity Calendar. You can expect an email in November from WUSATA requesting your work group break-out sessions for the Winter Meeting as well as your 2016 work groups.
Begin Early - Write 2015 Country Progress Reports Now: On October 26, 2015 the WUSATA Global Connect staff will distribute instructions for progress reports and January 4, 2016 is the deadline for 2015 Country Progress Reports (CPR). Project Managers might consider writing CPRs now for all of the closed activities while the information is fresh in your mind. The Global Connect team is always available to answer questions about formatting. In addition, completing the write-up now means less work at the end of the year during the busy holiday season.
Welcome New WUSATA Team Member – Jennifer Devine: Originally from Massachusetts, Jennifer moved to Washington State in 2004 and has spent the past 10 years as a project coordinator for construction and real estate in the wireless telecommunications industry. That experience helped her adjust to her role with WUSATA as a Global Connect coordinator. Jennifer is assisting the team as they expand WUSATA’s trade leads system, and she is stepping up to the lead role for the Legacy Trade Shows.
Best Wishes to Diane McAllister: It is with warm wishes that we announce the retirement of Diane McAllister. Diane’s departure marks the end of an era for WUSATA. She was the first person to cast a huge smile when seeing a fellow colleague or a welcomed visitor. She organized many WUSATA and WASDA board meetings and kept things flowing from WUSATA to the outside world. Diane joins her husband in retirement and they both have big plans to pursue those yet-to-be-played golf courses around the Pacific Northwest!
A New Chapter Begins: With Diane’s departure, WUSATA’s Becky Rein (previously a Global Connect Coordinator) is taking over the position as Executive Administrator to WUSATA. After more than eight years with WUSATA, Becky looks forward to all that is involved in her new position.
New Website Tools
Updated Report Building: In case you haven’t had a chance to try it out, the next time you visit your “My Managed Events” section on the WUSATA website, please look in the upper right-hand corner of your screen, and you’ll see a button for the handy EXCEL Export tool. Within the worksheets are lists showing company contact information, attendee names, a separate waitlist, and a tab for company products.
More Specific Product HS Codes
Company Products: During the migration of information to the updated website, company HS Codes did not transfer because the old system was set up on only four digits and we expanded the new system to include six-digit HS Codes. Therefore, please help us out and whenever you’re talking with companies, remind them to update their online accounts with more detailed six-digit product codes. As more companies get the message, the system will begin populating your activity lists with the company products as well.