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.