Ceramics companies from Stoke-on-Trent have gained valuable insights into how to target North American export markets after exhibiting at an international trade fair.
Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire LEP invited ceramics firms from across the city to attend the recent Ceramics Expo, in Cleveland, Ohio, and three took up the invitation: Keeling and Walker, James Kent (Ceramics Materials) and Mantec Technical Ceramics.
The trip, which was organised by the LEPâ€™s Make It Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire inward investment service and supported by UK Trade and Investment and Staffordshire Chambers of Commerce, enabled the companies to demonstrate their wares to international delegates, explore export opportunities and help promote investment in North Staffordshire.
Adrian Wake, sales manager at Mantec Technical Ceramics, based in Longton, said that attending the Ceramics Expo event had helped the firm to gain vital market intelligence that will be used to strengthen the companyâ€™s export growth strategy.
He said: â€œIt was really beneficial for the company to have a presence at the Ceramics Expo as it gave us access to a space in the main exhibition hall, which we were really pleased with.
â€œIt was very useful from the point of view of improving our market knowledge. We are looking to the east and west in terms of our strategic plan for future growth, but without doubt America is going to be one of our key target markets and anything that helps us improve our market intelligence is a real advantage.
â€œGoing to the expo as part of the Make It Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire presence certainly attracted attention and people were keen to engage with us. As a result of going to Ohio we now know a lot more about where we need to be aiming, so as an initial foray into the market it was very worthwhile.â€