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Why attending industry functions and networking are important to your business

Why attending industry functions and networking are important to your business

I’ll admit it, I don’t attend as many networking opportunities or industry events as I should, and it probably inhibits the growth of our business. Networking and business events are excellent opportunities to mingle, make new connections, and discover new trends while you share ideas with colleagues and new acquaintances.

Recently my partner/wife and I attended Negographics

What’s rekindled my commitment to attending more events and functions related to my industry and business in general is the experience I had at Neographics this year. We’ve attended the event regularly for many years and often donate design services to create the event’s promotional materials – but this year we simply went to enjoy ourselves. It was a night out socializing with lots of people I haven’t seen in a while.

Finding solutions to problems

One of the benefits of attending industry events is you can often find solutions to your problems quickly. If you read my former blog post “Our recent challenge of printing packaging globally that included hot foil stamping” you’ll know we had been struggling with coordinately foil stamping unique foil colors with vendors around the world. Well while at Neographics I reconnected with Lou Vassallo, now of Riegel Communications Group, and discussed the problems with him. He’d owned Rembrandt Stamping for decades until selling it recently – so there was probably no one more qualified to ask in a room of printing professionals. He was able to provide some excellent advice and point me in the right direction for future foil stamping challenges. Had I not crossed paths with him at Neographics I probably wouldn’t have thought to call him to tap his brain… but as I sipped my cocktail, there he was – a foil stamping expert just when I needed him.

Keeping up-to-date on upcoming trends and technologies

Interestingly enough, as I stood talking to Lou, a fellow with an illuminated shirt walked by and as I pointed it out to Elaine, Lou called him over and introduced him. He’s Lou’s guy that brings newer, unique technology products to market, and his shirt was a precursor to something that’ll be launching soon. A “skunk works” type project that blends digital, printing, and marketing… and had I not been at Neo, talking with Lou, I wouldn’t be in the know. So now I have a technology guy too… I’m just going to borrow Lou’s.

Reconnecting with colleagues

Later, while accepting our Franklin Award and mingling, Elaine and I crossed paths with John Rosenthal of Digital Color Graphics. We’d served on the Neographics committee with him previously but hadn’t seen him in a while. We quickly caught up and he mentioned he thought we’d be a good fit for one of his clients who needed design work – and would we mind if he referred us. Another opportunity that would have been missed had we not attended this event. Simply by networking and mingling with new acquaintances and colleagues and friends, you’ll rise to the top of their minds – and opportunities can materialize.

We made several new connections

During the course of the evening we met and talked with lots of folks and exchanged business cards with most of them. And the next day, hopefully they did the same thing I did – they visited our website like I went to theirs. Sure there was no immediate opportunity, but I did meet some potentially useful connections – only time will tell. But if we hadn’t gone to Neographics absolutely no opportunity would exist.

More events are in our future

From brunches and teas to barbecues and award events we’re definitely planning on becoming more involved again. Admittedly, after starting our family, we dropped out of attending many events. But we’re planning on going to more moving forward. The benefits of going to events are almost always positive. Plus there’s usually good food and drinks and good times with friends too. So why wouldn’t you attend as many as possible? If you don’t go you’re 100% missing out on opportunities. By going, your evening will be filled with possibilities. So hopefully, I’ll see you at the next business or industry event – talk to you then.

May 15, 2015
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