by McKenzie Penton, Director of Events & Business Development
To call 2020 an unprecedented year is perhaps a bit of an understatement. With worldwide shutdowns, office closures, and canceled events due to a global pandemic, everyone, and every business is doing its best to stay afloat and if they are lucky, flourish.
As the industry leader in business development, networking and events, IIUSA was of course put into a difficult situation (along with everyone else) from the onset of the pandemic in early spring of this year. Namely, how do we continue to deliver value to our membership and ensure that industry stakeholders, investors, government officials and others remained informed and up to date all while stuck at home?
The answer may now seem simple as everyone has become more comfortable with living their lives (temporarily) through a Zoom video screen. However, in early March the decision was not so clear cut. In fact, as the COVID curtain began to fall on the U.S., IIUSA was gearing up for its next event in our Global Banquet Series in Johannesburg, South Africa. As our first-ever event in Africa, we were excited to go and honored to have the support of our members and the Johannesburg Chamber of Commerce in our endeavor. With over 150 registrants and 12 sponsor organizations, we were assuredly ready to deliver a great event.
Of course, we did not go to Johannesburg in March, nor Washington, DC in May, Brussels in June or Sao Paulo in August. In fact, we canceled events in almost every major investor market around the world. However, if there is a silver lining to that fact it is that we learned (on the fly) how to create effective digital marketing and educational platforms in their place.
In late March, we proudly announced the launch of our Investor Market and Advocacy Webinars Series. To date, the investor market discussions have covered markets around the globe over the course of 12 events and featured 25 sponsors highlighting their projects and services, illuminating expert discussions from industry leaders, and well over 1000+ live participants! The Advocacy Series was equally successful as we hosted the first-ever digital address by Charles Oppenheim, Chief of the Visa Control and Reporting Division, U.S. Department of State as well as a unique presentation by Congressional staff on the state of play and path forward for EB-5.
With the success of both of those series under our belts we felt confident enough to kick things up a notch with our Virtual EB-5 Industry Forum this fall. The event will cover many of the industry’s hottest topics including redeployment, EB-5 litigation, real estate workouts, advocacy, investor market updates and much, much more. As of this writing, we have over 30 sponsor organizations, 50 speakers, 7 partner organizations and well over 450 registrants for the event. With such strong support and dynamic programming, we are certain it will be informative and successful.
Join Us for Our Slate of 2021 Virtual Events!
To learn more about the IIUSA Investor Market Webinar series and to get involved please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (202) 795-9667. Space for these virtual events is very limited and selling out fast. We encourage all interested sponsors to consult our sponsorship guide and to contact us today!