press release -
International Housewares Association

Contact: Deborah A.Teschke
Senior Manager, Public Relations & Communications
Email Debbie Teschke

2013 HECNA Global Forum Offers Retail Activities, Educational Sessions
On International Sales Issues, Global Markets

ROSEMONT, ILL (Aug. 14, 2013) - A retail tour, buyer reception/tabletop show and duty free trade zone tour are among the activities planned for the 2013 HECNA Global Forum to be held Sept. 15-18 in Panama City, Panama. Educational sessions on key retailers, market opportunities and international business issues will round out the agenda of this annual meeting for sales professionals and housewares suppliers looking to grow their international business.

The Global Forum is sponsored by the Housewares Export Council (HECNA), a special interest group of International Housewares Association members dedicated to increasing their international business. It is open to HECNA and non-HECNA members and sessions are geared toward both novice and experienced sales managers.

The program opens on Sept. 15 with a retail tour of Panama City, with stops at key retailers including Pricesmart, Do It Center, Dorians, Casas y Casas, Riba Smith, Ceasar Arrocha, Macho Tacho and Stevens. For attendees new to HECNA or new to exporting, a “HECNA 101: International Essentials” session will provide an overview of the international marketplace, including brief discussions on market selection, export mechanics, distribution models, international pricing and INCO terms.

The educational sessions include two Executive Education programs on Export Compliance and European Union Compliance, Strategic Problem Solving sessions where attendees can discuss international topics and issues in small group settings and Key Retailer/Distributor/Market Opportunity sessions on Australia, Brazil, Colombia, France, Panama and South Africa. The Key Opportunity sessions will be led by retailers, distributors and marketers in those regions.

A buyer reception and tabletop trade show the evening of Sept. 17 will give attendees an up close opportunity to meet buyers and promote their company and products. Participating HECNA members will be able to display their products and literature on a 6-ft. table. Central American and Colombian retailers will be invited to the networking event.

Closing out the program is an optional visit to the Colon Duty Free Trade Zone (CFZ), approximately 50 miles from Panama City. In the CFZ, which is the world’s second largest free trade zone, an exporter can sell to one master distributor, duty free, and then have the products sold throughout Central America, the Caribbean and South America. While at the CFZ, attendees will get a tour of May’s Zona Libra and have the opportunity to meet with the housewares buying team. May’s is one of the largest distributors within the CFZ, offering more than 120,000 products to over 10,000 customers in 25 countries.

The Global Forum registration fee includes the educational program, tabletop trade show, continental breakfasts, lunches, receptions and dinners. The Panama City retail tour and Colon Duty Free Trade Zone visit are available for an additional charge.

For further information or to sign up for the Global Forum visit or contact Lori Szudarek, manager, international, at 847-692-0116 or email