First the event details;
When is it? 2018 IWCA Annual Convention and trade show – Feb 7-10, 2018.
Where is it? Embassy Suites Orlando – Lake Buena Vista South
What is it? A trade org with a Government level of connection and collaboration for the improvement and safety or the window cleaning industry.
Why should I join? Apart from the benefits outlined in their website http://www.iwca.org/ , joining an official trade association that invests back into improving the industry as opposed to one that is connected to a supply house or offers a ‘discounted club’ for profit is starkly obvious. One can help offer greater enhanced improvement to your business long term and at a Government level, the other can save you a dime on a squeegee rubber.
By investing into an official association, you are investing into your industry for the better of your business. You are helping to sustain and support an org that is not interested in profit or personal gain but an org genuinely interested in the industry. By all means join other associations – they offer fantastic business support and discounts/offers, speakers and classes. However, the IWCA must be top of your business list of choice if you are to care about the industry you work in as a whole ( if you don’t, that’s cool too).
There is nothing wrong with being associated to more than one trade show if you see value in it. Do your customers know the difference between an official org and a profit making only org? Sure they do and it speaks volumes about your business outlook.
If I were in charge of a bunch of buildings, I would want to give that bidding window cleaning business to the company that could demonstrate membership to an official, government recognised org first, above anything else together with other appropriate safety accreditations and insurance etc.! Period!
Get registered: We hope to see you at this event so register here http://www.iwca.org/page/ConventionInfo2018
5 top networking tips for this years IWCA Convention
1) Take business cards!
Take plenty of business cards because the party does not stop with this convention. Many have benefited from on going networking and new business relationships forged at the IWCA Annual event. These newly formed relationships not only far exceed the convention itself, offering opportunity in enhancing your business goals but also on a personal level offer friendships for life.
Case study: I first met Peter Artusa of A Sparkling View LCC out of Warwick, NY at an IWCA Convention 2013 back in St Pete Beach Florida… ironic the location was called Saint Pete ( if he is lucky our Queen might make him Lord Pete lol). Later Peter would go on to buy a large company called All County Window Cleaning.
From day one we hit it off; (he actually seeked out me, wanting to talk (see point 2 which Peter executed perfectly).
We shared business chats and experiences at that first event. We did our own things at the IWCA but would always find time to come together. This extended beyound the event to ‘talking business’ and having ‘friendship catch ups’ via Skype or Facebook after.
Later, I would visit Peter and his business socially and on Window Cleaning Magazine business with WCMTV projects many times. We became great friends.
I found that Peter and I learned from each other, not just cultural stuff but business stuff too. I personally have tried US style marketing in my own business back in the UK (High Shine Ltd) and I have been a business confident to Peter as he bounced his business visions off me in complete confidence. Trust is everything.
I can honestly say that Peter is like a brother to me, he would do anything for me and I would do anything for him. We support each other’s business ideas… its great to bounce off somebody like that. Recently, I discovered a US opportunity that Peter would be a great fit for and he is looking into that.
If we had not met at the IWCA, neither of us would of benefited from each other’s friendship, business chats, and love for each other’s family and culture or have the business opportunities we have today.
I thank the IWCA for my mate Peter.
Incidentally catch Peter Artusa’s class at the IWCA. Ask IWCA staff at the event where Peter’s class is at!!
And watch Peter here on YouTube:
Window Wars – https://youtu.be/MNsiqA_DmYg
Peter Artusa: After Window wars – https://youtu.be/0IkQyOVa6a4
2) The myth of attending every event
Have you ever heard tips that promote networking that tell you to attend every tradeshow and convention going? They are wrong! You need to select, fine tune, take your time, and spend time on ‘targeting’ just like you would a target market for your business.
How does this translate?
Well number one, you are already smart enough to attend the IWCA Annual Convention, but number two, how smart are you farming information from the event? Don’t be ‘that guy’ working the room! Quality trumps quantity when it comes to networking.
If you catch two deep, meaningful and engaging conversations at the IWCA as opposed to saying ‘hi’ to a 100 people, then you will cement solid contacts in those two you spent the most time with great conversation. Of course say ‘Hi’ to people, but you catch my drift, right? Take your time, ask genuine questions and offer to help. Offering solutions to another’s business issue will offer great value that will revisit you 10 fold…. and you will probably make friends for years to come!
3) First impressions do not count!
Don’t go busting a gut on this. Do first impressions matter? Not as much as you think. Great contacts are not always forged this way. Think about it, would you do a professional favour to somebody you just met? After the IWCA, continue the connection with an email or Skype, arrange to meet for dinner if possible moving past the first impression point and position yourself on working towards a professional relationship that will pay dividends.
4) It is ‘ok’ to be small!
The beauty about events such as the IWCA is that everyone believes in the IWCA and what it stands for. This undoubtedly puts attendees on an even footing from the guy starting out to the guy with the multi million-dollar company.
Take it easy on yourself; you’re not going to be the ‘expert’ networker overnight. And to be honest the successful guys at this event are just happy to help.
5) Ask a lot of questions.
We have seen it a hundred times over. The most successful people ask the most questions and show genuine interest in how the other runs their window cleaning business. Mix it up a bit with talking about things other than work, yet homing in on the work related items that reinstate with you and your business. You can never ask too many questions so go for it, you are there to learn, right?
We hope to see you at this event so register here http://www.iwca.org/page/ConventionInfo2018
2018 IWCA Annual Convention and Trade Show
February 7-10, 2018
Embassy Suites Orlando – Lake Buena Vista South