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The Art of Export Marketing of Cultural Products and Services

January 16, 201016 January 2010

Culture and international trade

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Intended as a guide for artists and cultural workers in developing and managing international marketing of cultural goods and services, this site gathers resources, tips and pitfalls in reaching international buyers and audiences. The guide was initially developed in 2002 and updated in 2009.

The guide outlines steps required to become export-ready, including selecting a target market, researching export markets and issues, developing an export plan and a marketing strategy, ensuring appropriate financing, negotiating contracts and agreements, managing projects, and cultivating relationships.

The guide provides tips and pitfalls for the cultural sector as a whole and for specific disciplines. Among the tips:

  • Know about and consult with experts who are there to help.
  • “Plan on spending 10 to 15% of your budget on marketing and promotion. Apply the same aesthetic to your marketing as you do to your art.”
  • Do not charge the GST to international clients.
  • “Know about the ATA Carnet – an international, unified customs document….”
  • Be aware of regulatory and logistical issues.
  • Analyze risk factors for your export activities.

The guide also provides a list of festivals and tradeshows by discipline in Canada and abroad.

A companion document (available in the “Workshops” section) provides an annotated list of key Canadian export resources, including:

  • CanadExport, a newsletter that offers “news and advice on trade, export and investment opportunities”;
  • Business Women in International Trade, which provides “support networks and multiple resources geared to help Canadian business women prepare and succeed in the competitive export marketplace”;
  • Export financing, such as BDC (Business Development Bank of Canada) and Export Development Canada;
  • Market entry assistance;
  • Regional development agencies; and
  • Provincial business and export organizations.

Also provided is information about resources more specifically related to the cultural sector, such as:

  • Canadian Cultural Representatives abroad;
  • The CHRC’s own skills development guide (Competency Chart and Profile for Export Marketing of Cultural Products and Services); and
  • Intellectual property and copyright protection.

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