Networking and Industry Associations
Other Key Information
Ask not whether you will join an association, but which ones. Successful firms in this region network intensely. Industry associations are a vital part of marketing and prospecting. Below are some common sense success strategies to help you make the most of these opportunities.
How to choose? Check them out! All of these groups provide insight on the region and excellent connections with industry leaders at meetings, briefings, workshops, conferences, and executive breakfasts. Visit their websites and see which offer the best fit with the kind of people and opportunities you want to pursue. Then, meet the members. Plan a trip that includes several different group events then, decide which ones are worth the price of membership.
Go for the content, make the connections. Associations and technology councils hold dozens of events each week, on every aspect of federal contracting. Find a few events that sound interesting, and sign up. Chances are you will be in a room with at least 40-60 other people interested in the same business topics and industries you are. The connections you will make could be invaluable. Remember that you are there to connect with people, to establish relationships, and to build networks that can make your follow-up activities more strategic and successful.
Get involved. People notice whoever is active. They will want to meet you. How to begin?
- "Join the club" and pay your dues, literally and figuratively.
- Participate actively to get value for your membership. Get on a committee. Organize an event. Offer to be on the Board. That's where you meet the people who can give you the inside scoop, the good advice, and the hot leads. What expertise can you offer as a speaker – not to promote your company but, to share your wisdom.
- Be visible by buying space at tabletop shows or association exhibitions.
- Contribute your time and energy by selecting a couple of good opportunities to be a corporate sponsor of an event or, as part of an association's annual program or conference.
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