IIUSA Hosts 13 Events in 7 Countries in 2022 on Behalf of Its Members
Every Stop Brought Success, Lessons Learned, & Opportunities to Build
While it feels like the IIUSA EB-5 Event Passport Series is a long-standing part of the IIUSA event and business development platform, it was just this year that the association launched this new initiative. As Covid restrictions eased and with a reauthorized EB-5 Program imminent, IIUSA saw the need for the industry to have regular events in leading markets around the globe. Likewise, we identified the importance of expanding our educational programming and member marketing initiatives into new and emerging markets.
IIUSA was successful across the board. We reached our goals with events in long-standing markets like India and the UAE as well as with the first EB-5 events in new markets such as South Africa, Nigeria, Colombia, and Mexico.
The first year of the Passport Series was by all accounts a resounding success for both the association and its members. Every event was a positive step toward expanding the association’s footprint and educating an ever-broadening audience. Additionally, every event shed light on how we can improve and build on our accomplishments in 2023.
These global events were no small undertaking for the association or the participating members. In fact, 13 events in one year are the most ever hosted by a single organization in the EB-5 space. Even in well-established markets such as India, the association expanded its reach into new cities with our first-ever events in Hyderabad and Bengaluru.
Our expansion into new markets helps assure a much larger representation of prospective investors and international stakeholders are well-educated about EB-5 and its new protocols and safeguards under the EB-5 Reform and Integrity Act of 2022 (RIA).
However, the association’s work is just getting started and we are prepared to lead the industry’s educational, marketing, and business development efforts in the well-established global markets and the emerging ones. IIUSA efforts will enhance members’ business opportunities, increase EB-5 awareness and understanding, and most importantly inform stakeholders.
While members would love to have walked away from each event with new investors, that is not realistic and is not our only goal. In newer markets we explored this past year, the goal was simply to educate prospective investors and their representatives. That is not a quick or easy process, but we are confident we established a solid foundation for these new investors and our members.
We are grateful for IIUSA’s members’ support during the first year of the EB-5 Event Passport Series and we look forward to building on its success.
Lessons Learned in 2022
Not every event will result in an immediate return on investment. However, those groups that supported our events in new markets established themselves as industry thought leaders and worked with the association to educate new markets. Those efforts will pay dividends in the years to come for those members and the broader EB-5 industry.
Opening new markets is hard work. New cultures, languages, and business practices are some of the many challenges IIUSA and its member participants encountered this past year. While challenging, IIUSA needs to continue to be proactive about expanding its reach and these events are doing just that.
Our panel presentations can be more engaging. In 2023 we will fine tune our approach to the panel conversations, work to facilitate more attendee Q&A, and streamline the events overall.
The right partner in each city is critical to our success. We had partners this past year that went above and beyond their obligations that we couldn’t stop ourselves from beginning to plan events with them for the years ahead. We had others who over promised and under delivered. The responsibility of successful events ultimately lies with IIUSA not the organizations we contract with to provide on the ground support. Therefore, we need to identify the types of groups who will provide the most impactful support including chambers of commerce, business development associations, and investment immigration marketing professionals. Likewise, we need to work with as many qualified partners for each event as possible to mitigate any potential negative outcomes of one partner’s shortcomings.
There cannot be too many cooks in the kitchen. The success of these events is determined by the quality of its partners. While IIUSA can, and has, grown its international partnership base organically over the years, some of the most fruitful partnerships are from our members’ networks. We do not expect members to do the work for these events, but they do maintain vast networks around the globe. These networks, if leveraged properly, will enhance IIUSA’s events and the industry. With that in mind, we welcomed members expertise during our event planning processes in 2022 and continue to do so for the global events in the upcoming years. We do not expect members to divulge their trade secrets or forfeit their competitive advantage; however, if you have an idea for an event partner, detailed insights into the market dynamics, or even warnings for who not to work with, we are all ears!
There are potentially massive markets that have yet to be fully explored. Nigeria, Colombia, Brazil, and other stops proved to be some of the most influential events the association hosted. Our stop in Abuja, Nigeria may have been our most successful event with dynamic programming and an engaged audience of prospective investors. While many of the new markets we explored are still in their infancy, the promise that each hold is palpable. Likewise, IIUSA knows there are many more potential markets to explore and looks forward to working with our members and partners to further expand our efforts in places like Malaysia, the Philippines, Latin America, Sub-Sharan Africa and elsewhere.
Awareness of EB-5 is limited in many markets and our explanations need to be simple. IIUSA’s and its members’ expertise and ability to discuss details of the immigration process and investment due diligence is invaluable, but we realize now that each market has a different level of understanding of EB-5 or investment migration as a whole. Some are ready for in-depth discussions on processing trends and project structures while others need to know what EB-5 is before they can even get started. Accordingly, the association will be tailoring it programming for each market in the year ahead. The differences among the markets further speak to the important role IIUSA, its members, and these events are playing. With well-educated markets, our members will succeed long term.
Bigger Isn’t always better. It is not the quantity of the attendees, but the quality. IIUSA maintains continued and concerted efforts to ensure we work with partners who can secure the right event participants. While a ballroom full of people is impressive, just a few vetted and interested investors can carry the day. IIUSA will continue to work with our partners to ensure that guests are vetted and only those individuals who are truly interested attend.
IIUSA is the only event organization working to ensure industry stakeholders are well-educated while simultaneously working to expand into new markets. If we had a nickel for every EB-5 event hosted at the St. Regis in Mumbai or the Park Hyatt in Ho Chi Minh City (by IIUSA included) we could retire rich! Key markets play an important role in the industry’s event and business development calendars, but it is equally important to continue the industry’s expansion beyond what is “easy.” Opening new countries, exploring less visited cities, and expanding the association’s global partnerships is not easy, but it is necessary to continue the growth and the success of the EB-5 ecosystem.
These events were and can continue to be a key part of EB-5 industry education, business development, and expansion. It was a long year for IIUSA’s staff working to get these events and new international partnerships off the ground. It was also a busy year of travel for our event participants. However, even with some false starts and certainly areas for improvement, the events proved themselves to be a valuable endeavor. IIUSA further solidified its role as the industry leader in education and outreach. Our members are the backbone of the association, and we are grateful to work with so many great groups. We look forward to building on this success in 2023.
From all of us at IIUSA, thank you to our partners who helped expand our network, our sponsors who contributed their expertise to the events, and our event attendees who made the discussions engaging. If we didn’t see you at an event in 2022, we hope to see you in what promises to be a busy 2023.
If you have feedback on 2022’s events or our plans for 2023, please do not hesitate to reach out.
Director of Events & Business Development
Invest in the USA (IIUSA)
Where Was IIUSA in 2022
It is important to note that for all of the successes of this year’s Passport Series events we have not yet been able to host events in some of the industry’s largest markets – namely China, Vietnam, South Korea, or Taiwan. We look forward to doing so in 2023. In 2022 we staked a claim in:
Sao Paulo, Brazil
Mexico City, Mexico x 2
New Delhi, India
Abu Dhabi, UAE
Cape Town, South Africa
IIUSA plans to host 16 events next year. We now have strong platforms and partnerships around the world which we will continue to improve upon. Thus, we are confident in our ability to deliver impactful events in key markets. You can learn more about sponsorship opportunities here and email email@example.com to discuss further.
We hope you will consider joining us for an important year ahead:
Looking Ahead to 2023
Q1: Latin America
Bogota, Colombia | February 28
Medellin, Colombia | March 2
Buenos Aires, Argentina | March 7
Sao Paulo, Brazil | March 9
Q2: East/South Asia
Seoul, South Korea | April 3
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam | April 6
Hong Kong, Hong Kong | April 12
Taipei., Taiwan | April 14
Chennai, India | September 7
Bengaluru, India | September 9
Hyderabad, India | September 12
Surat, India | September 14