By Linda Anlauf and Jackie Marchisin, WPRP Wholesale Pallet Rack Products
Ever wondered what it’s like to attend a MHEDA Regional Summit? Wondered what you might get out of it or how it can help you in your business? We attended the June 2014 Networking Summit held at Liftech in East Syracuse NY, so we can give you a sneak peek into the advantages of attending.
First, the biggest bonus is networking with industry peers, suppliers and manufacturers. MHEDA provides a comfortable setting throughout the day to do this. A Continental Breakfast is served where we could meet everyone attending and catch up with those companies we usually only meet at trade shows or other industry events. During the presentations, we were seated at tables that included a mix of peers, suppliers and manufacturers to ensure a diverse group that would spark conversation. We should mention that companies from near and far attend these events. Companies from as far as Massachusetts and North Carolina joined us! And we ended the day with a special networking event which happened to be served by a mobile ice cream parlor. Networking is better when adding some fun!
So how does networking help your business? It’s important to know what’s happening in “the real world.” Networking allows you to talk to your peers and suppliers about topics like sales trends, technology trends and best practices. It also brings opportunities you may not have known existed, whether it is a sales lead or a partnership. At some events, MHEDA sets up Round Table discussions about industry topics to further promote networking! Face to face networking makes a difference.
Second, MHEDA reviews the many opportunities provided by a MHEDA Membership and offers an educational voucher towards one of their many webinars, the MHEDA annual convention or any live educational program. MHEDA’s University provides free online business training programs, live conference streaming and much more. It’s a great reminder of the resources available that we often forget.
Third, the Regional Summit brings great presenters. We learned about Online Marketing ROI from two industry experts – Brian Bluff and Eddie Bluff as well as Organizational Accountability from top leadership consultant – Brad Burton. Both presentations brought new ideas and challenged us to think about ways to better our business. Key takeaways were 1) the importance of making sure Marketing dollars are being spent in areas returning the highest customer engagement and 2) how to match personal accountability in an organization to overall business results. Our daily work doesn’t always challenge us to think outside of the box or look at the big picture. Listening to these presenters allowed us to start discussions with our office to become more successful. We were even given a hard copy of New York Times Bestseller – The Oz Principle – to help keep us focused.
Overall, the MHEDA Regional Summit is one we wouldn’t miss. For the minimal investment of time and money, we gain new contacts, rekindle old contacts, get to know about resources available to us and find out what’s new in the industry. We highly recommend attending and thank MHEDA for the opportunity!