So you’re sitting at your desk, having that first cup of coffee before you head to the job site and you’re looking through your snail mail and email. Scattered amongst the bid requests, responses to questions from contractors and customers, etc. are reminders of the season.
Tis the season of trade shows. That time of year when contractors, electricians, plumbers, and others involved in the construction and trade industry get together to share ideas, sell each other stuff and network for new work. You typically ignore those invites – you’re too busy working to take three days to head to Albuquerque for a convention on the newest wiring techniques. However, you might want to reconsider that stance. There are benefits to going to trade shows and we’ve provided some of them below.
Networking Is Good
Getting together with fellow electricians and construction workers might seem more like a leisure activity than work, especially when you’re doing it in cool places like Vegas and Chicago. However, networking is an important part of your business. First, it allows you to get together with other people who understand what you’re going through with the day-to-day grind of working as an electrician. There’s power in that, so don’t toss the concept completely.
Networking is also a great way to learn how others complete similar jobs. You might come away with a new way of doing things, or you may provide your innovative alternative to someone else. Finally, believe it or not, there is nothing wrong with a little leisure time. You work hard, take the three days, hang out with your electrician friends and let your master and journeyman electricians run the show for a week.
Find Out What’s New
Trade shows are where new technologies are rolled out. If you like to stay on the cutting edge of electrician and construction technology and tools, then you need to get to at least one trade show a year. Find out which shows your favorite vendors are going to attend and make it to that trade show. Even though you read magazines, follow blogs or track vendors on social media, there will still be big reveals at trade shows. So, if you want to be one of the first in-the-know, you need to be there to see it live.
Buy Stuff and Get New Work
Most trade shows also have vendors who are selling goods and tools. If you are looking for new tools, you can go to trade shows, order new tools and have them shipped to your office, sometimes at a substantially reduced price. Or you can gather information about tools and supplies you are interested in and get back to the vendor later. As for new work, if you take jobs around the country, this is a great way to find out about the biggest and best projects that are seeking bids. You never know, a trade show in Pittsburgh might lead to you working on a skyscraper in Phoenix. It could happen.
The bottom line, go to trade shows. They aren’t a waste of time. You aren’t slacking off. You’re learning and growing your business. Have you attended trade shows in the past? Why or Why not?