Every year about this time I write pretty much the same post - it's about the reasons you need to attend as many conventions as possible.
We're headed to Las Vegas and WPPI today. I haven't missed a show since my first one in 1988 and every year the show gets a little better and new friends come into my life. I have back to back meetings almost the entire time, but it's not about business so much, as it is networking, that gets me excited.
In '88 when I hit that first WPPI convention, the definition of networking was collecting business cards. In fact, it wasn't much different than all the baseball cards so many of us collected as kids. There were even a few cards we'd swap when somebody got fired from a position. At one point Tony Corbell had the biggest collection, all in alphabetical order and each page showing every position people had held - new job, new card and a new slot in the cardholder book Tony had.
Networking is now a part of everybody's life or at least their vocabulary and it's the number one reason to attend every convention you can. And for those diehards tech-weenies and educational nuts - relax, I'm not saying seeing new products or attending workshops to raise the bar on your skill set aren't important.
A good network is going to support you all year long. It's going to help you through tough times and understand how to maximize the benefits in good times. The key is who's in your network.
Here's a real easy way to think through building a solid organic network...
Now, here's the coolest thing about today's ability to have a great network. This is where social networking comes in. Everybody in your network needs to be linked to you in Twitter, Facebook and Google+. Your social network is your main stream to keep in contact all year long so, when you're headed to a show like WPPI, you're in touch with everybody you want to see, long before you get there.
There's little that beats the excitement of a great convention! See you in Vegas!
Check out "Why?" one of the most popular features on the SCU Blog. It's a very simple concept - one image, one artist and one short sound bite. Each artist shares what makes the image one of their most favorite. We're over 100 artists featured since the project started. Click on the link above and you can scroll through all of the episodes to date.