By Tom Engblom, Community Association Banc
A Conference is the act of conversing or consulting on a serious matter within one’s industry and networking with those in attendance.
From a vendor’s perspective, this is our "Superbowl, World Series, Stanley Cup:” The opportunity to play our biggest game of the year! It provides a passage for potential clients to visit our exhibits and learn of products and services available throughout the fiscal year. Each vendor is playing a skilled position based on their preferred sport. Their position on the field may vary from quarterback to linebacker, finesse punter, pitcher, catcher, outfielder, relief pitcher, center, wing or goalie. Depending on our sport, a vendor may represent a myriad of services ranging from banking, carpet cleaning, insurance, landscaping, painting, legal or numerous other services available.
Furthermore, the Conference permits exhibitors to thread the needle (pass) between two defenders for the touchdown to win the game, score the winning run in the 9th inning, or score that overtime goal in the final seconds to win the playoff game. The aforementioned analogy provides the "slightly possible” to occur, no different than the slim possibility the vendor will have the opportunity to complete a Request for Proposal (RFP) for the association or manager by meeting quickly (at the booth) in the huddle, between innings or periods.
Moreover, exhibiting at the Conference is comparable to creating the game plan for the next opponent on the team’s schedule, learning their capabilities. A vendor will disseminate their warranties, their work ethic, and the statistic of success rate accomplished during their last game (contract) in a matter of seconds when you’re visiting the trade show booth. The opportunity is so slim, quick and first-impression-oriented that companies can be sent to the minor leagues if their success rate is not at the professional level at any sport.
Successful teams play in unison, knowing their teammate’s characteristics or movements based on their skills and trusting their teammate’s instincts, as do vendors. A client seeking our services should feel comfortable with our efforts during the contract duration — regardless of the value of the contract — trusting or receiving recommendations from the expert on the next play (phase) to pursue.
The Community Associations Institute is comparable to coaching the team (association): offering practical tools, timely information, and proven resources that will improve each position on the field (board member or manager). Regardless of your position on the team, additional coaching is available with educational events or the latest trends provided in the industry to complete that perfect season.
Service providers soliciting at the Conference will appreciate your questions or comments about their services and the opportunity to provide services. As always, every player in any sport wants to hear those famous words from their coach (Manager or Association) "Put me in coach, I’m Ready!”