Cross Border Summit 2024 + GFAVIP Membership Relaunch with Michael Michelini

Michael MicheliniBusiness, Ecommerce, Podcast0 Comments

Cross Border Summit is fast approaching, and preparations for CBS 2024 will undoubtedly involve strategic initiatives and effective communication among team members to overcome unexpected challenges. Lessons from the past summit will definitely lead to improvements, including better trade show expos and enhanced events. Additionally, GFAVIP Membership is undergoing a relaunch with GFA trainings, offering a relevant curriculum for participants, while membership provides access to exclusive benefits. Looking ahead, GFA aims for continued growth and innovation to support members’ success. Tune in to this episode of the podcast to know more.

Topics Covered in this Episode

  • Reviving Cross Border Summit in 2023 after the challenges posed by COVID

    Share an example of a particularly difficult challenge the team faced during the launch, and how they navigated through it.

  • Cross Border Summit 2024 and Improvements from CBS 2023

    In what specific areas did the team identify room for improvement based on feedback from CBS 2023?

  • Expectations for CBS 2024:

    What are the main highlights or key features attendees can look forward to at CBS 2024?

  • GFAVIP Membership Community Relaunch

    How to become a member, and what are the membership inclusions.

  • Future Plans of GFA

    What are the main objectives or goals GFA aims to achieve in the coming year?

People / Companies / Resources Mentioned in this Episode

Cross Border Summit 2024
√ Last Cross Border Summit – 2023
GFAVIP Website
√ Visit our GFA partner – Mercury – for US banking solutons for your ecommerce businesss

Episode Length 21:09

Thank you Mike for being on the show, and thank you everybody for listening in.

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Show Transcript

[00:00:00] Welcome to episode 430 of the Global Form Asia podcast. I’m your host, Yasha, and today we are going to interview the amazing, incredible none other than Mike. Stay tuned as we dive into the incredible conversation with Mike. Let’s do it. Welcome to the Global from Asia podcast, where the daunting process of running an international business is broken down into straight up actionable advice.

And now your host, Michael [00:00:30] Micheli. Are you looking for USA banking solutions for your e-commerce business? I am proud to say is supporting the podcast here of third year in a row at Global from Asia. And we’re proud to say it ’cause we use ’em ourselves for many of our own. Amazon brands and e-commerce brands and joint ventures with our US structures.

And they’re super easy to do online application, no fees, and they have great customer support. Have helped us with trouble with Amazon Seller Central over the years about some receipts and [00:01:00] statements and everything like that. So we’re so happy to say thank you, mercury, for supporting our show, being a great service and supporting other e-commerce sellers.

We’re really proud to say they’re a sponsor here and we also have a video tutorial as well as an overview and a special. A link with a little bonus for you as well for us under certain conditions. Check it slash mercury for that information. Thank you for listening, and thank you Mercury.

All right. Hello everyone. So again, here is Mike with [00:01:30] us. So today we’re gonna ask him about a lot of things that will interest you. Definitely, and mostly most of them would be the CBS. So Mike, hello. I have some few questions. Yeah, and one of them would be the preparations for the CCBs 2024. Can you elaborate on any specific strategies or initiatives that the team implemented for the launch?

Sure. Yeah. So CBS for, I think people know, but just to say the full name is Cross Border Summit. [00:02:00] This will be our sixth, sixth one. We did finish the fifth one last November. Mm-Hmm. So we did it in, the first one was in 2016 in Sheen China. Mm-Hmm. 2017 and 18 also in Sheen. 2019 was in Guang Jo. And then Covid hit as I actually many people in our lifetime, we’ll talk about Covid forever.

So of course we couldn’t really, couldn’t really do CBS for those years, but we finally got it. Mm-Hmm. Back going? Yes. Since 2019, this past [00:02:30] November 20, 23. Mm-Hmm. And we have great testimonials, videos, and photos and, and everybody really enjoyed it. I think it was one of my favorites. That was that, you know, so that was like six months ago now.

Mm-Hmm. So we’re halfway between last year and this coming year for 2024. But, you know, I keep it real. I don’t, I, I, we haven’t really started to work on it too, too much. We’ve been talking about different dates, so we’re doing a little bit [00:03:00] earlier this year in November 3rd. Oh yeah. Third, fourth, fifth. Okay.

And that is an adjustment based on a couple of different reasons. One is, we’re still kind of confirming the exact details, but it’s Amy, we, she’s worked for Amazing at home. She does, you know, entrepreneur trips and, and trainings, uh, and content. She’s amazing. She’s based in Austin. She does the Canton Fair trip in China.

Mm-Hmm mm So she [00:03:30] really liked what she saw at the last one. Some, you know, from the speakers and other attendees. And we were talking about collaborating. So she is gonna do the Canton Fair trip and then right after those that with her group or others in China want to come, can come right after the trip in China to Thailand.

So we’re, we’re kind of doing that earlier so that we’re able to bring people that are already over from the US or Europe or overseas [00:04:00] into Asia can. Stay a little bit longer. Mm-Hmm. And come down to Thailand after China. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. Well, you know, basing on the things that you’ve said to me, it really looks like it’s gonna be a busy year for you and for the cross border Summit.

And we already know how the pandemic hits us before, and that’s gonna, that’s, that was a huge challenge for you. But right now, pandemic has gone. Were there any unexpected challenges that arose during your preparation? [00:04:30] Last year was, the 2020 threes was challenging because our team had changed. You know, we, we hadn’t done the event in, what is that, four years?

So it had been four years since the last one. So the community has changed. The people, the team has spent some changes, yeah. So we were kind of like a little bit rusty, I’d say, to do the Mm-Hmm. You know, we, as we were talking before the recording, we have our procedures and we have our documentation, but still, Mm-Hmm.[00:05:00]

We didn’t have that rhythm. You know, Sally, right? Sally, you’ve been getting to know. She, she was amazing, but it was the first time she had helped with the summit. And others. So that was one. And it just also, we moved it from China to Thailand, so Right. It was a new place. We had to find a new hotel. We’re looking to use the same location, I think again this year.

Same location? Yes. Okay. Um, so now we have a bit of a rhythm. You know, the community has the memories and people, more people came from Southeast Asia this time than [00:05:30] Yes. And from China. And of course it’s just, it was, of course, there was a lot of great returnees that had come in previous years. That’s good.

But there was some new faces, both speaking and and attending. Yeah, so we’re excited. This is a new face out there too. Come visit. Hey, help us. And Yeah. Well, you know, it’s, it’s, we all know how stressful it is to being able to put up this kind of huge event. And were there any, like, [00:06:00] lessons, you know, your team or our team was able to learn from overcoming all these challenges that you plan to applying in the future?

Upcoming events? Because we, we hope that this continues every year. As of now. Yeah. We wanna keep the rhythm going. You know, there was. There was some details. We, uh, we mm-Hmm. We added an expo this time for the first time, Cross-Border Matchmaker Expo on the day before. Mm. And we partnered with a logistics company and friend Genis from Terrestrial, and that was the first time [00:06:30] ever we’d done something like that and it went.

Much better than we expected, even with rather short notice. So we want to grow the, the trade show expo so people can meet factories. But on top of that, there was, there was some hiccups. Of course, as always, uh, live events are always challenging, but Mm-hmm. It was much easier than China. Thailand is a little bit more used to, I think international travel and the Visa requirements are much easier.

You know, [00:07:00] the one thing was the screen. We had a LED screen. Actually we invested a lot, a huge screen. One of those screens that goes from the, yeah. Like, you know, really it wasn’t just a pull down ones that they give you at the hotel we had to bring in external wall mounted. Yeah. ED. It’s a very big monitor.

Yeah. So it’s from the feet to the above, your head and it’s wide. Oh, wow. But it was a. It wasn’t horrible, but it was a little bit fuzzy, I think. So maybe we have to upgrade that a little bit. I mean, it was [00:07:30] pretty a big investment, but still, and we blew the power at the hotel. Oh, it was only for five minutes, but I think it was the first day, and maybe they didn’t.

I don’t know. But luckily it didn’t happen more than once. But it was the first day, like second speaker. And I don’t know if it was beginning the end, but it was just like he started, the speaker started to speak and then there, and the whole thing went dark. You know, you probably were like in shock, like, what’s happening?

Yeah. You know, I’ve [00:08:00] gotten better in my life to deal with. Of course nobody’s perfect, but I’ve gotten Mm-Hmm. So I just kind of calmed down. And then we had an audio video team, you know, on site that was in charge of the equipment. So. That’s good. Um, there was some Thai speaking and, and louder voices for a couple minutes and then it popped back on and it stayed fine the rest of the two days of the main conference.

So that was, that was good. Yeah. That evidently you were ready for those kind of things because you were able to fix, you [00:08:30] know, those things right away. And speaking of investment, you’ve invested a lot. Next question. Improve. Improve. Can you gimme some examples of changes or enhancements that we’ve implemented or we plan, implement this year as a result of the previous CS learnings or those kind of things?

So as I, I mentioned a little bit about the expo, the trade show. We put that together with, I was say only one or [00:09:00] two, no months notice. We prepared for the last CBS for about the same, it’s usually 6, 7, 8 months of planning. So we’re starting now. Mm-Hmm. Really to work on it. As you know, we have a team call after this recording, so we’re really, you know, seven months to go from now.

Mm-Hmm. Expo we didn’t, we, it was more like an afterthought, like, Hey, we, we have this space. Mm-Hmm. We have people coming. Let’s do this expo. And it went more better than we expected. So we’re gonna, we’re gonna also have a bigger expo the day [00:09:30] before on November 3rd, the court, mm-hmm. Summit is fourth and fifth, but we’re gonna double down.

Our partners committed to return again and support on the supplier side. Right? So that will be expanded more this year. Ah. We also are, as I mentioned, some other travel groups will be coming, like Amy and others, and we’re also talking to Kaylee. She’s another event organizer. She does some amazing stuff.

Wow. She don’t wanna do an event in [00:10:00] Thailand for a while, so we’re still actually, you know, early discussing how she cooperate Yeah. Figuring things out. But she does more, more like intimate group events. Mm-Hmm. Oh, so we’re thinking to have that after the, the larger events, maybe on the fifth, sixth, seventh or eighth, she could have this add-on where there is these group experiences, like she’s done them in different parts of the world, but.

First time in Thailand, but [00:10:30] it could be some kind of like, it doesn’t have to be business, it could just be groups going somewhere together. Mm-Hmm. That are in e-commerce and trade that are networking and learning and sharing with each other. ’cause a lot of times the, a lot of times value not just from what you learn, but like who, right.

So we’re working on some more extracurricular. Last year we did a, we did a elephant sanctuary afterwards. Oh. We also did a night market afterwards. But I think people didn’t have it in their [00:11:00] agenda. Some people left earlier before we got to those, so, oh, this year we’re just gonna make, people also weren’t aware of the expo.

They, they had flights already booked. So this year I think it’s gonna be like a long week. You know, maybe people should plan for. Right. Honestly, it was almost, it was so exhausting these things for me, but it was like a week for me last time because we had speakers coming in even three days early. Wow. We even did some pre-event.

Of course, we had the after parties, we had the VIP dinners, masterminds, but we’re gonna have even more kind of extracurricular this [00:11:30] year. Wow. And we have speakers are asking us to speak more than ever. And it’s still seven months, excuse me, seven months to go. So it’s, of course, we’re, we haven’t, we have a few, we, I’m not sure if we’re ready to announce you show the speakers yet, but we have some really great people that wanna speak.

Mm-Hmm. In the industry, right. And people wanna attend. You know, people are asking us already to buy tickets and we haven’t opened the tickets to the public yet. We’re looking at. Maybe a bit after this show. April 15th. Mm-Hmm. So, so yeah. I mean, I [00:12:00] just think it’s going to be longer. Oh, of course. The core events will be the two days.

We’ll have the expo day before, we’ll have some partner events after. But you know, there’s just way more you can do this time protective. So hopefully people protect those kind of things. Yeah. There’s gonna be a lot, lot of activities. Wow. Well.

We really have a lot of things to look forward into in terms of the cross summit, this 2024 [00:12:30] best or more, more better than what we had last year. And that’s actually good. And also, I just wanna ask you some couple of questions as well, because aside from the Cross Border Summit, we also have some new things going on, like our GFA training and, and, and membership.

Can you walk us through on how to, how is the process of that GFA training? How, how, how does that work? Sure. You know, and again, I keep it real. Hmm. [00:13:00] So I’ll, I’ll keep it real. We’re, we’re, we’re readjusting our programs. You know, we’ve, the Gulf meshes existed since 2013 as a podcast and, oh, so it’s over 10 years.

Last year was 10 years, so it’s gone into 11 years. Over those years we’ve tried memberships and trainings and workshops as, as different pieces. Um Mm-Hmm. And as we said, you know, covid changed a lot. Industry and, and everything. We had a great summit last [00:13:30] year, so what we’re working on is having people like the, I think, more personal attention and personal engagement.

Mm-Hmm. So, one thing you know, as you know Wendy, some, I don’t think everybody here knows my amazing quite Wendy. She’s got some great, I think she’s also been doing really well with GFA kids. You know, you, yes. So we’re look, trying to take some of the skills we’ve learned there and, and tools. Mm-hmm. To allow the GFA [00:14:00] adults to have more training on specific topics.

Like we had last, the last show is Genis, which is of course our partner also at the Trade show. Trade show, but, mm-Hmm. People we should have actually added at the end, or even in our, in outro, we could have said, Hey, if you would like to book a call or a training or consultation with Genis about your business needs, we’re gonna have either a group session or maybe one-on-ones.

Mm-Hmm. You can book, as you know, we’re really, we got that booking [00:14:30] system already and everything’s set up. So the idea is members will get either first or or priority or discounted access or points. It’s Oh wow. It’s to be able to connect with our experts and others in the community. Mm-Hmm is one element.

So that you can engage with our community. ’cause we have a very rich and a good, you know, like diverse. Experienced community. Yeah. Group of people that are hard to find and hard to get together. Mm-Hmm. So we, you [00:15:00] know, with the idea of you helping out, you can maybe even help with connecting with the experts.

So say a member wants to do a session with one of the speakers of summits or a podcast guest or somebody they see on our, our, uh mm-Hmm. Our materials, we will help to see if we can arrange that either on a one-on-one or a group session. Definitely. So that’s the core idea. We’re gonna take some of the tech from the GFA kids and the team and the skills with that and, and build it up.

On the other [00:15:30] side, some of these experts, they, they want us to get the word out, just like the teachers and GFA kids, they, they want us to, uh, help them promote their skills and their, their, their services. So, mm-Hmm. I think you’ll be talking to them maybe with, on, you know, making some re quick little introductions of them and what they do and what their skills are, and we’ll be promoting those people into our community.

So people might not know who they are or what they do, and we can say, Hey, if you’re interested to connect [00:16:00] with Joe or Jean, you know, go, go to this website and contact, contact our community management team and Yasha and she’ll help arrange a group or one-on-one session. So we’re gonna build that up over the next, a few months leading up to the summit.

So I think the idea is hopefully we’ll be testing it. I think it’s gonna be on a test basis. Mm-Hmm. Until November mm-Hmm. But it’s actually one, and we’re really happy to have your help and Wendy’s help, but that’s kind of one of the ideas. And then at the summit, we can maybe have a little bit more [00:16:30] of a, I don’t know what the right word is.

Finished or, or fully, fully prepared package. It’s gonna be kind of in a closed beta. Ah, my, at least in my understanding. But we’re gonna be digging into that in arc. Team call. Yeah, yeah, yeah. But basically, yeah, we’re just gonna let people learn from each other and connect with each other. ’cause we have all these amazing podcast guests and members and, mm-hmm.

Experts and speakers over like 10 years in, in e-commerce and international business and trade. So we’re [00:17:00] gonna help engage them with the, the audience and the community more closely. That’s very good. That’s, I just wanna say to you that it’s very incredible that you actually ensure that this whole training curriculum stays relevant to and effective to all the participants.

And it’s, it’s, it’s really, it’s really cool to, to actually realize that you’re not, you know, doing this just you just because you wanna do it, but you are the [00:17:30] listeners and the participants are able to get something off. I was supposed to ask about you, about the if, do you have any, like, plans to expand your services or enhance or anything, but you’ve already answered those on, on BA what you’ve just said earlier, so that’s, that’s really good for, for the future, for GFAI think.

Yeah. Yeah. It’s, we’re trying to, I think we always think, what’s the core. Value that we’re mm-Hmm. We’re doing here. And you know, it’s [00:18:00] about building up relationships and even trust or Mm-Hmm. Uh, connections. Like of course we help facilitate that, those connections too. Mm-Hmm. So probably when the time is right, maybe we can.

Discuss more about, you know, what are the steps that, you know, we require for someone to become a member, or I think, you know, we’re making a poster as we speak, I think, oh, our designers had a draft and Wendy, I think they’re ready. So maybe, maybe not on the [00:18:30] recording, but maybe on our show notes and our blog post of this show.

Oh, yes, yes, yes, yes. People can speak. When the website, or you’re watching, or in the description, if you could go to the, the link, I think there’s gonna be a blog post with kind of the more clear offer of Yes. Of what we’re, what we’re offering. It’s gonna be a application only too. I think maybe you’ll be involved with reviewing it, Wendy, at I, but we also wanna make sure the people in involved are doing [00:19:00] it for the right reasons and are relevant for the.

Community that we are building. Yeah. Okay. Well people, you heard that we are expecting a lot of things coming for Cross Border Summit 2024. We have a lot of new things coming for you for GFA training and membership. And stay tuned for all of the further information as we go. And when we are ready, we’re gonna let you know it’s gonna be great.

So exciting. Yes, definitely. [00:19:30] So we’ll have all the show notes and, and links for those interested mm-hmm, to see more. Where, where is that gonna be, Isha? Well, for everyone to know, for your information, guys for you to be able to see it, you can visit us at global from asia com slash cbs four. Again, that’s global from 2 0 2 4.

Perfect. Yeah. Check it out there and get the early links and all the information. Check it out. Yes, save the [00:20:00] date. Cross-Border Summit. 2024 is coming back. 2020 threes was epic. Never got such great feedback in all of our events. Cross-Border Summit 2024. We’re planning already a year in advance. It is a full week of amazing things.

There’s pre-event, post events, workshops, trainings, elephants, sanctuaries. We have a lot of amazing things here in chamber. Thailand again, so I would love to see you there. We’ve already pre-sold some tickets to previous people. We will [00:20:30] be opening up tickets soon. Subscribe to get updates at 2024 dot cross-border

Also, check out videos and testimonials from last year as well as all of our years we did ’em in China, and this will be our sixth one. It’ll be great to meet you there and network and make some great relationships. I can’t wait. November, 2024. To get more info about running an international business, please visit our from [00:21:00]

That’s from Also, be sure to subscribe to our iTunes feed. Thanks for tuning in.

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