Operations

B4 Business Offers Prime Time Networking Session

Jim Luff
Posted on February 8, 2017

One of the most intimidating things about attending a trade show for the first time is the uncertainty of not knowing anyone. This networking session provides a format that not only allows attendees to meet new people, but also mixes small operators with fewer than 10 vehicles with larger operators who run more than 10.

How It Works

While the format is tweaked from show to show, the premise resembles speed dating. One participant stays in the same chair while others move one seat to the right every four minutes. There are plenty of LCT staff members on hand to help you get an initial seat and remind you of where you should move to when the bell rings. Yes, I ring a bell similar to one in a boxing ring at the end of each four-minute period. It is important to keep the flow going. Although you might be having great conversations, you must keep moving when the bell rings. I will give you extra time at the end of the session if you want to take your new friendship to the next level with a private one-on-one visit. There is plenty of time for that.

Tell The Truth

Just as in speed dating, sometimes people feel the need to exaggerate or make false claims to look bigger in the eyes of their prospects. I caution you to be truthful. If you will provide service any time, day or night, it doesn’t mean you are a 24/7 operation. Being a 24/7 operation means you answer your phone 24/7 and take reservations around the clock without sounding like you were just woke from a dead sleep. If you can borrow a buddy’s 55-passenger bus, don’t say you own a bus. Farming a farm-job is a very touchy subject so make sure you disclose you have “access” to a bus rather than own it. Don’t exaggerate your fleet size. Don’t lie about the age of your vehicles. It can and will come back to haunt you. Just be as honest and forthright as you can. Be sure to share any special permits you hold or specialty vehicles you operate.

Move To The Right

The biggest snafu we have in this session is the simple concept of moving to the right when I ring the bell. If you see someone you know in the room, don’t jump up to go sit with them. For starters, it ruins the process of moving to the right and we now have an extra seat because you jumped to another row. It also makes no sense in a networking session to go speak to someone you already know. The point of the session is to mix it up and meet new people. When you reach the end of the table, you will be directed to the next row over. Once seated in the first chair, you will continue moving to the right. The concept is quite simple. If you move to the right and no one is sitting across from you, raise your hand and a staff member will immediately pair you with someone else. This happens when people don’t move to the right.

About The Sponsor

Chosen Payments will sponsor B4 Business Networking at the 2017 International LCT Show for a third time. [Full disclosure: I work for Chosen]. During the session, Chosen Payments gets in on the action of the room by having each participant get the initials of at least seven other participants in the room to enter a drawing. The company gave away two ILCT passes during LCT East, and you can expect more of the same from Chosen at ILCT 2017. Chosen Payments maintains its own affiliate website for their clients to connect with one another and firmly believes in helping the industry to affiliate with each other.

Why You Should Attend

Whether you have been in the business for two months, two years, or two decades, you can meet new people. This session helps facilitate those introductions. The session is limited to the first 100 people. The participants include many affiliate managers from the big affiliate networks such as Commonwealth, BostonCoach, Music Express, and others. These affiliate managers want face-to-face introductions with potential affiliates. This is an opportunity to earn a spot on their affiliate map and create a relationship with them.

Smooth Operations provides a broad range of information focused on new ideas and approaches in management, human resources, customer service, marketing, networking and technology. Have something to share or would like covered? You can reach LCT contributing editor and California operator Jim Luff at [email protected] 

Related Topics: How To, ILCT 2017, Jim Luff, Las Vegas, limo tradeshows, networking, smooth operations, tradeshow preparation

Jim Luff Contributing Editor
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