When you’re in a specific trade of work, it’s easy to assume there’s little evolution within the field. It’s rare that any given line of work is completely stagnant though. So how do you find out about new ideas, and stay up-to-date with the latest information within the industry? By attending Trade Shows. That’s not the only benefit of attending them, though – let’s chat a little about the reasons you might want to consider going to one in 2018.
Experts in the Field
At C3, we attend multiple trade shows, exhibits, and conferences throughout the year. This past week, Jeremiah and Brock were down in San Diego, attending a trade show for the Southern California ABPA section.
There were several speakers – all addressing distinctly different information within the backflow testing field. One of the more poignant changes within the cross-connection industry has been the type-II assemblies now being installed and tested. We’ve chatted about this in a past blog; testing a type-II device is pretty straight-forward; submitting those results to the water district? Not so straight-forward. That’s one of the topics discussed at the latest conference they attended. The folks that attended it have more information about how water districts in their area would prefer these results to be submitted versus the ones that didn’t attend. It also allowed for those people there to open up a conversation with the others in attendance.
You might not be able to get all the details you need about a specific topic during a 45-minute presentation. However, the benefit is that you now know who to contact when you DO have questions on this topic. (Often times speakers dole out a lot of awesome resources to get more information, which can be priceless!) Instead of carousing the internet, trying to find the answer to your oddly-specific questions, you can ask the speaker directly and get a thorough answer. Almost any speaker will allow for a few minutes of questions directly after they speak.
Meet and Greet
I’ve had multiple conversations with our customers – via our handy chat option and via telephone. In some instances, I’ve gotten to meet those customers face-to-face and I can’t tell you how valuable that is. Putting a face to a name is essential in business and the perfect place to do this is by attending trade shows! The customers we meet face-to-face even become friends – last year Jeremiah spent his birthday at the National ABPA Annual Conference down in San Antonio, and got to spend the evening over tacos and margaritas with some of our customers… who then asked the mariachi band come serenade him. There is true value in recognizing the people you interact with on a daily basis are just that: people. Not just names!
Attending Trade Shows and Conferences allows you to chat about different perspectives, or learn why a regulation is done in a certain a way. For instance, certain regulations often seem needless – but when you get to chat with an expert about why they are in effect, they might not seem so irrelevant.
Getting a different point-of-view can help your business as well as your relationships with other testers and water districts. It’s easy to consistently maintain the same perspective, especially when you’re not challenging your way of thinking. Having those important questions about your field can be just the thing to bring your backflow testing business to the next level.
If possible, when looking for a trade show to go to – aim locally. This way you’re meeting people you interact with over the phone, and you’re able to discuss regulations that may only be relevant to a your locality. And hey, if we’re lucky, maybe we’ll meet you at one in 2018!