There are three important things to gain at this year's Water Quality Association show in Las Vegas: knowledge, a peek at new products and a position in helping shape the future of the water treatment industry. Sound pretty good?
Aside from some worn-out shoes and tired legs, there is a lot to gain from the exhibition. New technologies, capabilities and processes always are emerging, and finding the right products for your company is made easier with face-to-face contact. Take advantage of some of the "slower" hours of the show by meeting with representatives who might otherwise be extremely busy. Ask questions, watch products at work and find out what you could be offering your customers.
The educational program always is packed with information not just for you to develop and run your business but for your employees to advance their own knowledge of the industry. Professionals will present papers, case studies and technology updates and explain new regulations and how they will affect your business. New this year is the half-day business and marketing seminar on Saturday. Michael Gerber, author of The E-Myth: Why Most Small Businesses Don't Work and What to Do About It, will discuss breaking from the normal business routine to build an exciting, innovative and profitable business. Hal Becker, an expert on sales and customer service as well as the author of Can I Have 5 Minutes of Your Time? and Lip Service, will teach you what you need to know to improve customer service and increase sales.
You only get out what you put in ... that is what they say. It can be no more true than it is with the WQA committees. All year long, committee members work with WQA staff in directing regulatory and legislative issues worldwide. It is quite easy to lend your expertise to a section meeting or technical committee in helping shape the industry's future. The more voices we have, the easier we can be heard. Case in point, I would love to see each dealer attend the Retailer/Dealer Section Meeting (Tuesday, March 18, at 5 p.m.). I believe this section meeting really is what having an association is all about. This is your chance to voice your opinion on industry issues and concerns as well as bring attention to emerging issues in your area not only to WQA staff and other leaders but to your peers as well. It also is a great opportunity to be updated on industry changes that directly affect your business. (The Manufacturer/Supplier Section Meeting runs concurrently with the Retailer/Dealer meeting.)
Although there will be many temptations to overcome in Sin City, let us each make this year's show the most productive it can be for our businesses.
See you in Vegas!