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The U.S. Commercial Service in Chicago, Peoria and Rockford organizes and supports conferences, seminars, and events to educate our clients and promote international trade. Our goal is to help local U.S. exporters sell globally. A sampling of our events includes:

  • Executive briefings in our office with one of our visiting Commercial Service Officers from around the world.
  • Educational export seminars and online webinars.
  • Matchmaking and export counseling services at international trade shows overseas and the U.S.

By organizing trade missions and educational seminars; providing matching or export counseling services at trade shows; and recruiting buyer delegations to U.S. trade shows, the U.S. Government helps U.S. exporters expand global sales at trade events.

Export News

Metro Chicago Exports (MCE) 2017 Grant Program Now Open!
Metro Chicago Exports is accepting applications for the 2017 Grant Program, presented by JP Morgan Chase & Co. Online grant applications will be accepted through May 26, 2017.  Exporters located in Cook, DuPage, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry and Will counties and the City of Chicago with less than 500 employees are encouraged to apply. The 2017 Grant Program will award up to $5,000 to small and medium-sized companies to implement an export plan. The grant will reimburse 50% of eligible expenses related to the plan.  More information about eligibility and application process can be found at  For questions, contact Lisa Reijula at

Local Events

May 5, 2017:  Business Opportunities in Poland – Rosemont
Executive Roundtable sponsored by the International Trade Association of Greater Chicago with the Polish American Chamber of Commerce and the U.S. Commercial Service Chicago.  Presentation by the Honorable Paul W. Jones, United States Ambassador to the Republic of Poland.  11:45 a.m. – 2:00 p.m., Carlucci Rosemont, 6111 North River Road, Rosemont, IL.  Members of sponsoring organizations - $50; Non-members – $75.  For information & registration, please see:, or e-mail:


May 20-23, 2017:  National Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show (NRA) – McCormick Place, Chicago
The four-day National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show is the Western Hemisphere's largest food service and hospitality industry event. Founded in 1919, the annual NRA Show forum typically brings together approximately 2,000 exhibiting organizations and 60,000 attendees from all 50 states and over 100 countries at McCormick Place in Chicago. The NRA show has been approved to be part of the U.S. Department of Commerce “International Buyer Program”, and as such, the U.S. Commercial Service will be recruiting buyer delegations from the following countries: Argentina, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Italy, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, Philippines, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Trinidad & Tobago, & Uruguay.

To register your interest, please check our website For more information contact


April 24, 2017: Export Logistics:  Know Your Options – Free Webinar
Organized by the U.S. Commercial Service, Connecticut District Export Council, and UPS, will explain the role of a Freight Forwarder, the value they add to your supply chain, and strategies for selecting the right one. 9:00 – 10:00 a.m. CDT. No charge; advance registration required. For information & registration, please see:


April 25, 2017: Government Procurement in CAFTA-DR - Webinar
Organized by the U.S. Department of Commerce Office of Digital Initiatives, in collaboration with the U.S. Commercial Service office in Seattle Webinar, will discuss CAFTA-DR, including the: technical details needed to register and submit your bid; latest upcoming tenders and how to receive alerts; legal framework for government tenders in each market. 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. CDT. Fee: $35. For information & registration, please see:

April 25, 2017 @ noon CST:  International Education Best Practices & Travel Risk Management – Webinar
Does your institution have a Travel Risk Management program? Not sure? Join us to find out how to ensure that your institution has you covered!
This webinar will feature:

  • Presentation from experts at Talus Group LLC, who will review best practices when travelling internationally and provide the outline for a robust travel risk management program.

Peer case - institution sharing their best practices and how they developed a program after a triggering incident.

  • Recommended Resources

Cost: $35.  Registration: Click here to register .  For details, please contact:


May 2, 2017 @10:00 CST:  Opportunities in the UK Education Technology Market – Webinar
Organized by the U.S. Commercial Service Education Team, this informational webinar will help education technology companies

  • Gain insight into the fast growing UK education technology sector
  • Identify UK opportunities ed tech business
  • Learn about tools, resources, and events that can help your expansion efforts

Featured speakers will include:

  • Michael Forshaw, Founder & Managing Director, Innovate My School
  • George Burgess, Co-Founder, EdTech Exchange
  • William Prieto-Parra, International Manager, British Educational Suppliers Association (BESA)

Cost: $30.00.  Please register online at   For questions, contact


May 2, 2017 @ noon CST:  Calculating ROI for your International Education Programs - Webinar

Learn about an online tool to assist international educators in tracking and analyzing return on investment (ROI) metrics.  The ROI model looks at the investments of staff time and budget for student recruitment, and the corresponding returns.  It also aims to factor in more subjective, qualitative variables that play an important role in shaping returns on marketing and recruitment activities.  Learn about how you can strengthen your decision making around recruitment strategies and budgets.  Organized by the U.S. Commercial Service.   Cost: $35.  Please register at:  For questions, contact:


May 3, 2017 @ 1:00pm CDT: Overview and Opportunities in the Mexican Fintech and Banking Technology Industries – Free Webinar
Fintech is one of the fastest growing sectors in Mexico, the largest Fintech market in Latin America.  Most of the Mexican Fintech companies focus on payments and remittances, personal financial management, crowdfunding, and lending, among other segments.  In this webinar, you will learn about: Mexican financial services industry and banking technology sectors; Trends and opportunities in the Mexican Fintech sector; and Doing business in Mexico and the Mexican business culture.  The featured speaker will be Jorge Ortiz, CEO and Director, Mexican Fintech Association.  To receive access information, please register at: .  If you have questions or need assistance with registration, please contact Sylvia Montano at or  Clint Brewer at


May 31, 2017: Updates on Mexico’s Customs Regulations:  Providing Services & Using ATA Carnet for Temporary Imports – Webinar
Organized by the International Trade Administration - U.S. Commercial Service.  Learn how your company can save time and money when exporting to Mexico and avoid the most common customs mistakes made by U.S. exporters. , This webinar will address temporary entry of personnel, tools and equipment for the purpose of providing a service in Mexico, as well as how to return the tools and equipment to the U.S. without paying customs duties.  1:00 – 2:00 p.m. CDT. Fee: $25. For information & registration, please see:

Trade Missions

June 11 – 17, 2017:   Wastewater Business Development Mission to China
This trade mission, led by the U.S. Department of Commerce, is a follow-up to an April 2015 Smart Cities –Smart Growth Mission to China that was led by Secretary Pritzker. This mission will promote U.S. exports to China by supporting U.S. companies in launching or increasing their business in the marketplace products and services relating to wastewater treatment, including industrial wastewater treatment.  Key elements will include business-to-government and business-to-business meetings, market briefings, and networking events. The trade mission will stop in Beijing, Nanjing, and Guangzhou.  In each city, participants will meet with pre-screened potential partners, end users and government officials. They will also attend market briefings by U.S. Embassy officials and other industry experts, as well as networking events offering further opportunities to speak with local business and industry decision-makers. For information & an application, please see:
.  For questions, contact in the U.S. Commercial Service- Chicago Office.


June 18-20, 2017: Paint & Coatings Materials Suppliers Trade Mission to Mexico
The U.S. Department of Commerce is organizing its first trade mission for U.S. Paint and Coatings Materials Suppliers. The trade mission will take place from June 18-20, 2017 in Mexico City, Mexico and is designed to coincide with the ANAFAPYT (Mexican National Association of Manufacturers of Paints and Inks) trade show, “Latin America’s Coatings Show 2017” which will take place June 20-22. The purpose of the mission is to assist raw material and equipment suppliers to the paints and coatings industry: gain market insight; make industry contacts; solidify business strategies; advance specific projects with the goal of increasing their exports and business in Mexico; and, participate in the Latin American Coatings Show with complimentary registration or discounted exhibit fees. For more information and to apply for the trade mission please CLICK HERE. For questions, please contact or 312-353-8490.


September 25-29, 2017:  Education Fairs in Ghana & Nigeria

The U.S. Commercial Service at the Embassies in Ghana and Nigeria, in cooperation with EducationUSA, is organizing education fairs in their countries from September 25 to 29, 2017. The fairs will connect U.S. educational institutions with prospective students and potential partners.  The stops will include Embassy briefings, student fairs, one-on-one appointments with potential partners, and networking events in Accra, Lagos, and Abuja.  Representatives of accredited U.S. educational institutions, including community colleges and undergraduate programs, are encouraged to take advantage of this opportunity.  For more information and to register your interest, please go to  Contacts: and


September 28-October 4, 2017:  Education Recruitment Tour to Portugal & France
Meet students, potential partners, and attend meetings designed to help your institution penetrate the markets. The program includes embassy briefings, site visits, meetings with potential partners, student fairs, and networking events in Porto, Lisbon, Paris, Bordeaux, Rennes, and Lyon**. At each primary stop, participants will have the opportunity to sign up for individualized one-on-one appointments in advance. Cost:  $3,100 per non-profit institution.  Expenses for travel, lodging, meals, and incidentals will be the responsibility of each participant unless otherwise noted.  Register Your Interest Now! Space is Limited*  For more information, please contact: Amy. ,, or with cc to Debra.Rogers@trade.govDeadline to Apply:  July 31, 2017.


October 16-20, 2017:  Sustainable Building & Construction Trade Mission to Mexico
organized by the U.S. Commercial Service Vets Go Global team. The trade mission will introduce participating U.S. companies to commercial opportunities in Mexico’s sustainable building & construction industry. While in Guadalajara and Mexico City, participating companies will meet with local industry contacts and solidify business strategies for these markets. Additionally, we’ll introduce your business to these cities and their expanding sustainable building and construction needs, organize business development meetings, and host networking events with government leaders, potential partners, distributors, and end users.  Best prospects for this market are:               

  • Lighting
  • Plumbing Products
  • Wood Products
  • Insulation
  • Windows & Doors
  • Thermal Resistance ElementsFor more information, click here.  For specific questions, contact 

October 16-24, 2017:  Trade Winds Forum & Trade Mission to Southeast Europe
The markets of Southeast Europe are investing in infrastructure and market development. They represent an opportunity for U.S. companies to increase sales and find a strategic foothold to grow in Europe.Join Trade Winds-Southeast Europe to connect to potential partners, government decision-makers, market experts, and companies that have succeeded in the region. The conference program will take place in Bucharest, Romania, and additional business matchmaking stops will be offered in Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, & Serbia.  For more information, see 

October 30 – November 2, 2017: Renewable Energy Integration Trade Mission to Canada
Organized by the U.S. Department of Commerce, International Trade Administration, the purpose of the mission is to introduce U.S. firms to Canada’s rapidly expanding interest and projects-base towards the effective application of renewable energy and smart grid solutions into the electrical grid, and to assist U.S. companies in pursuing export opportunities while making the most appropriate and impactfulcontacts within this sector. The mission is designed for U.S. industry with a focus on utility-scale and distributed energy resources (DER), renewable energy power generators and services providers.  This mission will further support U.S. companies who are active in the Canadian market with a focus on increasing footprints and deepening business interests, especially for those companies of all sizes who are part of the industry's global supply chain. The mission is open to all U.S. firms and organizations in the renewable energy sector focused on solar, wind, and hydropower as well as the smart grid  transmission, distribution, and storage) technologies that will enable effective grid integration. For information & an application, please see:

Other Opportunities and Events

May 1-4, 2017:  Export Events at Offshore Technology Conference – Houston
The U.S. Commercial Service has organized the following programs at the Offshore Technology Conference 2017 (OTC17). Registration to meet with U.S. Embassy and Consulate oil and gas industry specialists and pre-screened U.S. Embassy lead international buyers and sales representatives from over 35 countries at OTC17 is now open!

  • International Buying Delegations
  • Showtime Regional Export Counseling Meetings
  • Business to Business Matchmaking
  • Procurement Seminars and Industry Briefings
  • OTC Sponsorship Opportunities
  • Visit us at the Center for International Trade in the NRG ARENA

Register for the above programs at . All U.S. Commercial Service programs are no cost to attend. For questions, contact Bernadette Rojas at and Crystal Mills at


May 9-11, 2017:  CS Services for U.S. Exporters at Waste Expo – New Orleans
The U.S. Commercial Service EnviroTech team has organized a plethora of customized services and events to enhance the Waste Expo exhibitors access to international opportunities, and export leads and advice at the show.  Meet with Commercial Specialists from over 12 different countries, participate in the international B2B matchmaking program, speak to international audiences, learn about trade finance, and listen to the U.S.-China Environmental Industries Forum!  For more details and registration for these programs, please contact with cc to .


May 10-12, 2017:  U.S. Pavilion at Smart Cities India – New Delhi
Exhibit in the U.S. Pavilion at 3rd Smart Cities India, a trade fair certified by the U.S. Department of Commerce, International Trade Administration.  Explore business and procurement partnership opportunities in India under the National Smart Cities Mission.  Smart Cities India 2017 will feature technologies, applications and solutions for efficient use of available assets, resources and infrastructure, to enhance the quality of urban life and provide a clean and sustainable environment. The display in the exhibition will include solutions pertaining to Smart sustainable environment, Smart urban planning, Smart connected homes and buildings, Smart IT and communications, Smart Governance, Smart Security and safety, Smart Education and skilled workforce, Smart Manufacturing to create jobs, Smart Healthcare, Disaster Management, Drinking water and waste water, Smart Energy, Smart Transport. Etc. To learn more about 3rd Smart Cities India, click here.  Companies interested in exhibiting should contact Praveen Singh ( to reserve exhibit space, or with cc to for questions. 


May 16-18, 2017:  Asian Nuclear Business Platform – Shanghai, China

The 5th Asian Nuclear Business Platform is a U.S. Department of Commerce Certified event, The U.S. Commercial Service Shanghai provide support to the U.S. business executives and utilities that attend. For questions, contact


May 17, 2017:  Doing Business with the United Nations – New York City
Please join the U.S. Commercial Service New York and the U.S. Mission to the United Nations for the 4th annual "Doing Business with the United Nations" seminar in downtown Manhattan.

This seminar will offer an introduction to the UN's $17.6 billion procurement market and feature speakers from the largest procurers (in $ volume) in the UN system including:

  • United Nations Procurement Division (UN/PD)
  • United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
  • UN International Children's Emergency Relief Fund (UNICEF)
  • UN Office for Project Services (UNOPS)

Presentations and panels will address headquarters and international field tenders, followed by a networking lunch and optional one-on-one appointments* with UN representatives. This event will be informative both for suppliers who may have already bid on UN tenders (but not yet had success) as well as for companies who need help getting started. To Register: Please Visit: Here  Registration Fee: $35.00 per person; Registration Deadline: May 6, 2017For questions and registration, please contact Susan Hettleman at 212-471-0060 or   

*One-on-one appointments are subject to application and availability.  Appointments will only be granted to companies who have registered with the UN's procurement portal United Nations Global Marketplace ( 


May 29 - June 2, 2017:  NAFSA Conference – Los Angeles
U.S. Commercial Service Education Specialists from around the world will be attending NAFSA, will staff a booth, and will be available for 1:1 meetings.  Debra Rogers from the U.S. Commercial Service office in Chicago will be present, and we are expecting colleagues from the following countries:  China – Guangzhou & Shanghai, France, Ghana, Honduras, India, Japan, Mexico, Philippines, Portugal, Russia, Thailand, & Ukraine.  We will be offering both attendees and exhibitors up to three 20-minute appointments with these international colleagues.  For more information and registrations (deadline May 9), please see:  The U.S. Commercial Service will also participate on four session panels on the following topics:  Trends and Resources for International Graduate Recruitment, Demand and Recruitment for U.S. Secondary Educational Institutions, the Next Markets to Promote Diversity, and Role of Intensive English Programs in Strategic Enrollment Management.  For more information, contact


June 6-8, 2017:  International Defense and HLS Expo 2017 – Tel Aviv
The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO), Office of Trade & Investment is inviting Illinois’ small businesses on a Trade Mission to exhibit in a No Charge exhibit space in the Illinois Pavilion at the International Defense and HLS Expo ( trade show in Tel Aviv, Israel from June 6-8, 2017. This opportunity is supported by the US SBA STEP Grant (ISTEP), which means that companies qualifying for this mission will receive the following: 

  • Free fully furnished trade show booth
  • Partial reimbursement of travel for hotel and airfare
  • Briefing material
  • Pre-show promotion
  • Assistance with travel logistics from the State of Illinois Chicago and International Offices

No charge space is limited and qualified Illinois firms will be accepted on a “First Come – First Served” basis.  Please contact Sam Ntum at for more information, with cc to Participating companies may opt to add on services provided by the U.S. Commercial Service, which may also qualify for SBA STEP funding.


June 14-16, 2017: InfoComm International – Orlando
Join the U.S. Commercial Service at InfoComm International in Orlando, FL. InfoComm is the largest, most exciting event in North America focused on the pro-AV industry, with 1,000 exhibitors, thousands of products, and 40,000 attendees from 110 countries. The InfoComm show is your once-a-year opportunity to see the latest audiovisual technology, learn the skills that will advance your career, and grow your professional network. The U.S. Commercial Service will be there to help maximize the value of your participation, by providing a variety of onsite services. For questions, please contact Rich Carpenter at, or call 312-353-7711. Remember to ask about the possibility of ISTEP funding options!


June 18-20, 2017:  SelectUSA Summit - Washington, DC.
This Summit is the premier investment event showcasing inbound investment opportunities throughout the United States.  Past Summits have been well attended, with over 1,000 business investors from 70+ international markets, and more than 600 economic development representatives from all over the United States.  The Summit provides a platform to communicate economic priorities and affirm  the U.S. as the #1 destination in the world for foreign direct investment.  The ultimate impact of this important undertaking results in more jobs in America; in fact, 2013-2016 SelectUSA Investment Summit participants have announced more than $20.6 billion in greenfield FDI into the United States.  For more information, please see .


June 19-25, 2017:  Paris Air Show – Paris
The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO), Office of Trade & Investment is inviting Illinois’ small businesses on a Trade Mission to exhibit in the Illinois Pavilion at the Paris Air Show ( trade show. This opportunity is supported by the US SBA STEP Grant (ISTEP), which means that companies qualifying for this mission will receive the following: 

  • Free fully furnished trade show booth
  • Partial reimbursement of travel for hotel and airfare
  • Briefing material
  • Pre-show promotion
  • Assistance with travel logistics from the State of Illinois Chicago and International Offices

No charge space is limited and qualified Illinois firms will be accepted on a “First Come – First Served” basis.  Please contact Iwona Bochenska at for more information, with cc to Participating companies may opt to add on services provided by the U.S. Commercial Service, which may also qualify for SBA STEP funding.


July 30-August 1, 2017: Dino Mignon International Children’s Fashion Expo & Business Conference - Montreal, Canada
Dino Mignon International Kids Fashion Expo is the first largest manufacturers of children’s clothing and accessories from around the world, including Canadian companies. The exhibition is open only to: Distributors, Wholesalers and Manufacturers, Importers and Exporters, Representatives and Agent, Baby and Kid Stores, Hypermarkets, Investors, Media, Associations and Unions.  Businesses will have the opportunity to meet their customers or their prospect customers (retailers), take orders and address recent market trends and opportunities.  For more information click here, Questions: contact Sue Bissi, email:, or phone: 514-908-3673 or Vicki Tolefree at


September 29-30, 2017:  USA College Day – London, UK
The US-UK Fulbright Commission, with support from the U.S. Commercial Service in London, will host its annual College Day in Central London. We already have over 60 pre-registered universities, so register now to make sure your university doesn’t miss out!  In its 40th year, USA College Day is the oldest and largest fair of its kind in Europe. With 2016’s event attracting over 4,500 attendees, this event is not to be missed! College Day provides a cost-effective way to reach thousands of prospective UK students at one time. The UK is the number one European sender of students to US universities, with 11,600 British students enrolled at American universities in 2015-16. In the past year we’ve seen an 8% growth in the number of UK students studying in the US—the largest year-on-year increase for over 30 years. Undergraduate study remains the driving force for this rise, with a 31% increase over the past five years. Thus, 2017 is the perfect time to recruit UK students. Can’t send a member of your admissions staff? Alumni, current students and/or faculty currently in the UK are more than welcome to represent your institution if you supply materials and training. For more information and registration, see:  Contact:


Visit our partners' event calendars for additional international trade and policy-related events:

Alliance for Illinois Manufacturing
Chicago Council on Global Affairs
Chicagoland Chamber -
International Trade Association of Greater Chicago
International Trade Club of Chicago

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  The link you have chosen will take you to a non-U.S. Government website.

  If the page does not appear in 5 seconds, please click this: outside web site is managed by the International Trade Administration and external links are covered by its website disclaimer statement.