Why... be connected? I've often talked about my love of trade shows and the value of business relationships, which are the cornerstone of a successful business.
I've just returned from the Promotional Marketing Association of Northern California (PMANC) Spring Event, held in Monterey, California. My time spent there defines why I love the Regional Associations and the value of the industry connections we nurture by being involved.
Through the years, I've been privileged to meet many amazing people who have helped me along the way. Rod Brown from MadeToOrder is one of the industry good guys who has had a strong influence in my life. He's a brilliant man who serves on the PPAI Board of Directors, takes two months off in the summer to be with his family and builds houses for the needy in Mexico.
Rod invited me to join him for the MadeToOrder 10th Anniversary celebration held in conjunction with the PMANC event. I was able to experience the respect he has for his supplier partners as they were recognized in an amazing event held at one of Monterey's finest restaurants. MadeToOrder is made up of a team of partners that differs from the "traditional" distributor business model. I respect Rod's business acumen and spending time with him at this gorgeous resort in Monterey was a blessing.
I also spoke with Grethe Adams, President of Southern Plus and Diana Fey, a multi-line rep from River's End and Sweda about the benefits of participating in Regional Associations. It's through these relationships that business is developed.
Regional events are different then large-scale industry ones. The experiences I get attending these events keep me coming back. One of the reasons I enjoy them is you never really know who you might meet. I met Grethe at a Regional Event and we have done some nice business together on the distributor side of my company. Southern Plus will also be participating in FreePromoTips, the industry resource side of my company. I'll be sharing how Grethe and I worked together to resolve an end-user issue in a future Rant. Grethe has also offered to contribute to an upcoming article we are putting together on Supplier/Distributor relationships. The PMANC video with Grethe and I can be viewed here. This mutually beneficial business connection would never have been made if we weren't involved in the industry on this level.
We did other video interviews, including one with PMANC's Executive Director, MaryAnne Bobrow and my Specialty Advertising Association of California (SAAC) Executive Director, Nancy Phillips, who I work closely with. SAAC is my own Regional Association. You can see the video interview here. I also was able to chat briefly with Carol Gauger from PPAI and talked with Sandy Nichols visiting all the way from UMAPP in the Michigan area. That interview can be viewed here.
The PMANC event has been a great experience and I look forward with anticipation to the SAAC Show in Long Beach August, 7 and 8. Our committee is rocking! We have a team of out-of-the-box thinkers and great things are planned. From the industry All Star Band, to the In and Out Burger Truck, with awesome education and unique networking opportunities sandwiched in between, you won't want to miss this industry event! People from around the country are getting out of the heat to join us in cool and beautiful Long Beach. (SHAMELESS SAAC SHOW PLUG ENDS HERE)
Being a part of and serving in your Regional Association has many advantages. You get to know your supplier and distributor colleagues. Working together with three distributors to address an issue that affected us in California, we each contributed to a profitable marketing campaign that won a Gold PPAI Pyramid Award. Supplier relationships come in handy when you need to buy an extra day on a critical rush order. Quality business connections are the foundation for successful businesses.
Our industry relationships carry us through life, death and business transitions. In this video, I talk with Pete Gleason whose story shows the value of our business connections. The importance of relationships was also effectively shared in a recent Rant that featured Peter Farman from SAAGNY.
I'm passionate about this topic, because truly I would not be where I am today without my industry friendships. Being involved is rewarding and helpful to your bottom line. I encourage you to get involved with your Regional Association along with other community groups in your area. People like to do business with people they know.
Jeff Solomon, MAS is affiliated with a Top 10 distributor company. The FreePromoTips.com website and e-newsletters he publishes are packed with beneficial information and exclusive FREE offers from a few forward-thinking supplier companies. Don't miss out on what's happening! Opt in to receive their e-newsletters! LIKE their page on Facebook and follow them on twitter.