Here’s Why You Should Attend Industry Events
Industry events, why should you go?
I am Ron Ramsden, a DYB coach and a painting contractor for the last 20 years, in Massachusetts.
I received a little Benjamin Moore bear at one of the industry events a long time ago, and that is not the only reason I go.
This is a little perk of the trade, I guess you’d say.
I just came back from AST, which is “Advanced Shop Talk”.
It is an industry event similar to the commercial forum.
There is a craftsmanship forum and of course there is PDC expo, which is the 4-day event in the spring.
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I know a lot of people don’t go to these things and they say, “Why would I want to hang around with a bunch of other painting contractors?”
I want to give you some reasons why you should be at the next industry event.
As I said earlier that we recently attended Advanced Shop Talk.
It was a 2-day event including welcoming party, 2 days of classes, round table discussions, and a little fun after that.
We also had some fun at night, sponsored by Benjamin Moore and Sherwin Williams.
This is not the reason we went. It’s the things that you find, things that you learn and the networking that gets done while you are there.
I’ll tell you a little bit more and I highly encourage you to go to these events.
This one was in Minneapolis.
I have been to San Diego, Disney world and Denver.
They had events at Rhino, Vegas. They had positive horizon at Baltimore.
Those are just some of the ones off the top of my head that I have gone to.
They’re pretty cool places!
A lot of times when you are there, there is a person from that area who gives you a tour of the historic places and other areas, which is so much fun.
Why do we want to network with other painters?
I know from my local PDCA meetings, that these guys are full of knowledge.
We sat down at tables together, from companies that had 1 person to companies that had 40, the painters and the office staff.
There were guys whose gross sales were $200,000 and the others had gross sales of $4.4million or probably a little higher than that.
The guy with the $200,000 and the guy with the 40 people, they both have something to share. The guy with two people has wide eyes and the guy with 40 people is long past him, but what he sees, the guy with the 40 people no longer sees.
They actually get something out from each of them.
They were all doing the same thing but on different levels. It’s great takeaway!
Meet Your Hero:
There are some guys out there that I am in awe of…
They attend these events because they know the worth of these events and they have a great reason to be there.
Cutting Edge Technology:
This is where everything is brought up. There are guys and girls out there.
There are painting contractors who love to share what’s working for them, and that’s what kind of events these are.
They share their experiences.
It’s not in their back pocket. They don’t hide it from everybody else, they share.
You might be using a certain program and somebody introduces you to something else.
You might not be using that now but maybe this is something that you can actually look at for a future date.
You might be using an app but you don’t actually know the full extent of it.
A lot of these people are very happy to share with you their experience and then if you have time later on, you can follow up.
We have been talking a lot about culture lately, in the DYB Facebook group.
The culture was that it’s really important to recognize your team.
Whether you have a 3-person crew or 5-person crew, it’s important to recognize them.
We had one of the gentlemen share his experience about 30 plus employees.
He said that the important culture for them, is to recognize the other employees.
It’s good to hear that what’s working for a 3-person crew is still very much, if not more, important to a 40-person crew.
Open Your Eyes to New Ideas:
The new idea to me is, the tech.
Some of the things that are coming down the road, and different things that different companies are doing, it just blows me away.
We are in our tunnel sometimes and are so busy that our eyes have blinders on them.
You are not alone:
You have comradery in your wins and you have comradery in the fails, where you actually grow. If we always won, we would be happy and we would be growing, but if those fails are where we learn, and we make good decisions, we change and look at what really works well.
I know it comes out of your left pocket, not your right pocket.
Talk to your accountant and you’ll know. I have gone to all these trips.
They paid for it through the business. You can bring your spouse to most of them.
I don’t know the tax implications to that, but I have gone to some pretty cool places as I mentioned earlier, all on a business trip.
They even pay the parking and they get the coffee for you, pretty cool.
I just shared the story of that bear with you. That’s one of the zillion things that have been given to me over the years.
We walk through an expo and everybody wants to give you something different and new.
I bring all the stuff back and give them to my crew.
There is a lot of new technology they are giving.
You could try a new app or a new software program.
This is where I learned about ‘Estimate Rocket’. There is just so much to get from there.
It is actually a local networking event.
You live within a driving distance to any of these events.
All the expo people don’t want to take their stuff back. Rustoleum might come and bring 50 cases of Rustoleum product.
Those guys don’t want to take that stuff back.
If you are in an airport, you don’t want to carry that stuff back in your luggage, but if you are driving there, it is usually different to take and they are very happy for you to try it.
If you try it and you like it, you purchase more.
That is another point why you should go to an industry event.
I guess you can see these are some fun things, like drone painting.
A guy shared with me that now they are using drones to paint.
I think it is still a bit of a prototype but people are actually using it.
How is that going to come into the painting business.
I don’t know how, but it is coming.
These guys were sharp and in their 20s, who are in this cutting edge stuff. It was pretty cool.
We learned so much, as I have mentioned before, about culture.
It is being shared and it is so important. We all talk about hiring and hiring but it is also about retaining.
When you have a great culture, it is a magnet for other painters coming to you.
Change is good:
One of the guys there was talking about the change.
How he did all the stuff in his office to keep the workflow going and then it got to a certain point where he realized that it was not working.
He tore it down, built a new program and went another way.
Change is good. Always keep looking for something else.
Learning from the youngin’s:
Young guys and young girls are really talented. We all thought we had it together but they are as good as us. It is amazing and I am excited to see what is coming down the road, from software and apps to different procedures and products.
It is a loss for words at some of the ideas that are shared there.
We are all in our own little point of the world.
We are all in our own cities and towns.
Some of us are in very small towns.
We met people from Oregon, there were people from California too.
I met three guys who worked together in Canada. Shout out to those guys!
They are from everywhere, Baltimore, Boston city, Texas etc. Ideas come from all and everybody has a different look on how things should be done and they all have a different way of doing things.
It is great to sit down over a beverage or a coffee and share these ideas. It’s a lot to pack into 3 or 4 days and your head is going to explode but remember, it’s going to better the business. You are going to get a vacation out of it and you are going to come back on cloud 9. You are going to come back with so much enthusiasm.
These are the reasons why you should go to the next industry event.
Plan ahead. If it is within driving distance, well and good, otherwise buy the ticket and I can guarantee you that you are going to be so happy.
Eventually, you will be going to the next one and looking forward to the next one and next one and so on.
I am Ron Ramsden. I am a painting contractor and a DYB coach in Massachusetts.
If you would like to talk about anything in your business, please contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
You can also find me on Facebook. Send me a message and we can chat that way.
We can actually exchange phone numbers. I would be happy to give you a call or you can give me a call.
Have fun and go to the next industry event.
In fact, when you see me at the next industry event, tell me that you read this post.
Have a great day and go kill’em out there!