By Victoria Martinez

Business owners, entrepreneurs, college students and people with a general interest in international trade are encouraged to attend the Global E-Commerce Summit from 9 a.m.-2:30 p.m. May 11 at the Santa Ynez Valley Marriott Hotel in Buellton.

Admission is free, but advance reservations are required.

The event, organized by Santa Barbara City College’s Scheinfeld Center for Entrepreneurship, will have industry experts readily available to help attendees learn about trade issues, international business, and global e-commerce readiness.

The summit is being sponsored by the U.S. Department of Commerce, Commercial Services, the District Export Council of Southern California, Centers for International Trade Development, the EconAlliance, and Solvang, Buellton and Santa Ynez Chambers of Commerce.

Topics such as e-commerce statistics and best practices, international property rights, sales platforms, local partnerships, and basic logistics will be discussed by attorneys, business executives and experts, and government officials throughout the day. Richard Swanson, director of Pacific South region network of the Office of Domestic Operations for the U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service, will be the keynote speakers.

“I’m looking forward to getting the information out to the community” said event organizer Megan Cullen of Solvang.            

Something unique about the summit will be the “Meet The Experts” component, allowing attendees to sign up for brief individualized meetings with experts from the U.S. Department of Commerce, the District Export Council of Southern California, and others involved in e-commerce.         

“The Department of Commerce and the District Export Council are the best-kept secrets for businesses to get into global trade,” Cullen said.            

Cullen added that many businesses in the tourism industry throughout the valley would benefit from the summit, since tourism itself is an export.

The E-Commerce Global Summit is a free event, though RSVP is required. A box lunch will be provided. To reserve a seat, visit . Sign-up sheets for “Meet The Experts” will be available when checking in or in advance of the event by emailing