'Tis the Season...
Now don't go thinking that this a column recycled from the December issue. "The Season" I'm talking about is the one when everybody's travel schedule starts to spool up and we're all off hither and yon to attend trade shows and seminars.
And 2004 looks to be a year in which I'll be racking up some additional frequent flyer miles.
Looking at Reeves Journal's Master Calendar of events, I can see no fewer than eight trade shows and industry-related seminars that have taken place in our Western states between the first of the year and the time I'm writing this (mid-March). This includes an RPA event in Portland, a Cal/PASC symposium in Irvine, Calif., a construction contracts seminar in Long Beach, A CCA meeting in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, the PHCC/GLAA Trade Show in Pomona, The PPFA Spring Meeting in Rancho Mirage, an MCAA meeting in Scottsdale, and the PHCC West Convention in Kona, Hawaii.
By the time you read this, I will have already been to Las Vegas to check out WQA's Aquatech U.S.A. 2005 show and will be packing for a trip to Denver to attend the RPA's RadFest West. We here at Reeves will get to take a short break in our rambling before heading off again to Las Vegas and the K/BIS Show. That takes us through May. There's no telling where else we'll be later in the year. There are a couple more national events I expect we'll attend, also.
Yeah, it's a glamorous, jet-setter of a lifestyle, I'll tell you.
The point of all this, of course, is to once again call everybody's attention to the importance of trade shows, conferences and seminars, whether they're relatively local or national. I believe these events should be a part of every contractor's business tool box.
After all, the most important asset your company has is, well...your company. Trade shows give you the opportunity to make your business known to others in the trade. They also give you a couple of more important benefits that can't be overlooked:
_ They allow you the chance to work the show floor and see what's new product-wise. Seriously, when do you expect a dozen (or more) water heater manufacturers, for example, to take it upon themselves to pack up the newest units in their lines and shag them out to your shop so you can compare the products and make an intelligent buying decision?
_ Trade shows also allow you to use a clich‚d piece of nonsensical MBAspeak, to "network" with others in the trade. You know, mixing and mingling, meeting and greeting others from different parts of the country who operate businesses similar to yours.
I know, attending a trade show means three or four days out of the office and it costs money for airfare and cabs and hotels and taxi rides or rental cars and you just don't have the time and your business will fall apart if you're away that long and yadda, yadda, yadda.
All of these objections are easily debunked by one simple concept. Taking the time and spending the money for yourself and maybe a couple of senior techs to a carefully selected event or two throughout the year is investing in the growth and success of your business.
Really, ask yourself if you're in a position NOT to attend a couple of shows. I doubt there are many contractors, if any, who can say they are.