Going Back to School/Work Success

It’s that time again! People are heading back to school and to the office after having summer vacations and much needed breaks. And although some of us are a little more hesitant about going back to these tasks, we should all be prepared for what is to come. No matter if it’s school or work, whether or not you will be remote learning or working, here are several things to help every transition in your life go smoothly.

Going Back to the Office

Even thought it isn’t exactly the same as going back to school, getting back in the swing of these at the office can take just as much preparation as school. From working from home to in-office positions, and even hybrid schedules, everyone going back to work should be prepared for their coming workload. Make sure you’re ready to head back with some quick pointers and advise.

Acknowledge Success Using Prize Ribbons

Back to school and work ribbons for awarding teachers and employees.

Using custom rosette ribbons to acknowledge success will help anyone feel special. Employees, and really anyone, will know how much you care when you put thought into a prize ribbon just for them. And, you can customize these ribbons to say just about anything!

Start by picking how detailed you want the ribbon to be by choosing streamer count and length and how big you want the rosette part. Then you can work out which colors you want for your ribbon. Once you have chosen these styles, add any text and graphics or icons you need for these fun and fabulous ribbons.

Remote Work

If you are working remotely, here are few things to make your day go better:

  • Get dressed as if you are going into the office, it will help you retain focus throughout the day.
  • Create a working station or place that isn’t just the kitchen table.
  • Keep track of work that you have accomplished to keep yourself motivated.
  • Take actual lunch breaks: get up and leave your work station just like you would at the office.

Effective Networking While Working from Home

From video apps to professional development, networking while working from home takes focus and planning.

You think that you have it all figured out, right? Then life gets in the way. Whether it’s an illness or a family matter that takes precedence over being in the office, you might be asking how you can keep your networking alive and well when you are out.

It doesn’t have to be hard to network while away from an office or other business setting. Using available tools will help you gain control over your networking. And by using these tools, your remote working experience will be better than you expect.

We live in a time where networking is one of the primary keys to making a business work. And, when you use networking properly, not only will your business flourish, but it will also make an impact in your community.

In-Office Work

If you are physically going back to an office, remind yourself that’s where you work best.

  • Dress appropriate for your office/work setting so that you maintain work standards.
  • Keep your desk clutter-free so that you can stay on task.
  • Create a work calendar that will help you stay motivated.
  • Remember to take your breaks and lunch away from your desk (this helps maintain focus throughout the day).

Taking Pride in Your Work

Name tags for teachers and employees going back to school and work can help everyone to take pride in their employment.

You own it. Your name is on it: Everything that your company does, awesome or pathetic, it has your name on it. People contribute to the success and failure of projects, companies and their colleagues. It matters. Everything that you do. That trivial piece of work for a client, your contribution to a large-scale project or a part to play in a flawless delivery, you own that success; be proud of that.

From dressing for success to taking pride in everything you do, presentation matters. And don’t stop with your pressed shirt and tie, add something that will make you stand out from everyone else: YOUR NAME. The easiest way to accomplish this is a name tag!

By wearing name tags, or other identification, newer employees and other team members in the company are more apt to recognize each other. Name badges also provide accountability for all of your employees. When wearing name tags, it requires that your employees accept responsibility, one, for their actions and two, for the way they treat your customers.

Your job should always be something you can take pride in. So, from building trust with those around you to looking the part, learn to love what you do. Invest in yourself and keep learning how to accomplish what you need to do your job well.

For Students & Teachers

These ideas will work for both online and in-class options.

  • Stock up on supplies! Whether it’s for an art project or pencils and paper for students, make sure your supply closet has everything you will need.
  • Create an organization calendar. Place this in an easy-to-spot area in your classroom so that every student can see what is expect of them.
  • Prepare for daily meetings and lectures. Make sure to jot down what you need to make your classroom successful. This should include your lecture notes and messages and homework to send home.

Using Custom Signs for Your Classroom

Get students excited about their education with classroom signs. Use them to encourage participation with motivational quotes and classroom rules. By hanging these custom signs behind your desk, you’ll have no trouble keeping students engaged throughout the school year.

Whether teaching in person or online, classroom signs will look great behind your desk, or anywhere they are easily visible. Customize each sign with text and graphics that remind your students why their education is essential. As they see these signs every day, they will stay motivated to pay attention and participate in class.

Going back to school and work is easier with award plaques for students and employees.

And remember that whether it’s for work or school, we have the award plaques, name tags and custom ribbons that you need to keep your students and employees motivated while doing their work.

Get the Most Out of Attending Conferences

No matter what you hope to achieve by attending conferences, these eight steps will help you get there.

Part of maintaining a successful business is attending conferences. They give you opportunities to build connections, learn from experts in your field and promote your brand. How much you benefit from these opportunities depends on your approach. If you prepare well, spend your time wisely and apply what you learn, you will take your company to new heights. To ensure you get the most out of your conference experiences, follow these eight steps.

Three people talking while attending conferences.

1. Know Why You Are Attending

Having a goal is fundamental to maximizing your conference experience. If you know what you want to achieve, then you will know how to prioritize your time. So, unless your boss gives you a specific reason for going to a conference, come up with one. It could be to find new clients, learn about the latest technology or form a business partnership. If you have trouble coming up with a goal, think about where your company is right now and ask yourself what would make it better. Once you have the answer to that, then setting a goal for the conference will be much easier.

2. Find Out Who You Want to Meet

Now that you have a goal, create a list of people you need to talk to at the conference. By making this list ahead of time, you increase your chances of achieving your objective. Start by researching more about the speakers and presenters. Once you figure out which ones will best help you reach your goal, make plans to talk to them sometime during the conference.

Don’t just stop with the speakers. Use social media hashtags and other technology to find out who else will be at the event.

Most conferences these days have an app that allows you to connect with fellow attendees. Download the app before the conference and take a look at who else is attending. If you find someone interesting in the app, take the time to do a bit of research on them so that when you do happen to meet up in person at the event you can breeze through the icebreaker and get right down to a meaningful discussion.

3. Plan Your Conference Agenda

Business woman writing in a notebook before attending conferences.

Use the conference itinerary to plan which sessions you will attend. Any time you spend figuring out which session to go to and how to get there is time you could have spent working toward your goal. So, plan ahead of time and map out how you will get from one session to the next. Also, find out where the closest restrooms will be so you are not wandering the halls or showing up late to a session. Becoming familiar with the venue also allows you to help your fellow attendees, which is a great way to form new relationships that could benefit your business.

4. Prepare to Collect and Distribute Contact Information

Before you show up to the conference, make sure you have a way to collect people’s contact information. If you are lucky, you will have tons of business cards by the end of the event. Make sure you keep all that contact information safe so you can use it later. Bring a folder to store business cards in or put the information onto a spreadsheet. As long as you have a system in place, you will be able to follow up with the people you met at the conference.

Make it easy for people to follow up with you by having tons of business cards on hand. The cards need to be easy to read so that people have no trouble contacting you. Also, make sure to include your social media handles as well as your phone number and email address. For some people, connecting through social media is more comfortable than a direct email or phone call. So, give people different ways to contact you so that they are more likely to follow up after the conference.

5. Wear Your Name Tag

Two custom engraved name tags to wear while attending conferences.

Even though most conferences give you a name badge to wear during the event, bring the name tag you use for work. Wearing a name tag that matches your brand helps people associate you with your products or services. And, it increases brand recognition. If your company does not use name tags, talk to your boss about having one custom made. Wear it so other people can easily read it. As you wear a name tag that has your business name, logo and job title, you will see it spark people’s interest in your company, which could lead to future growth.

6. Pay Attention During Presentations and Workshops

After several hours of listening to people speak, your mind can start to feel groggy. So, do things to help you remain alert. Stay hydrated and have snacks for whenever you start to feel your energy drop. Sit close to the front so you can easily see and hear the speaker. For note-taking, don’t just write down what the speaker says. Think about how it could help your business improve and jot down your ideas. These are just some strategies to help you stay focused on the presentations. As long as you make an effort to pay attention, you will get a lot more out of the conference than if you didn’t.

7. Follow Up After the Conference

Don’t let the connections you made go to waste. Follow up with your contacts, but gently. You don’t want to come off as overbearing or desperate for a business connection.

Whether you swapped emails, social media or business cards, use what you have to start up a professional yet friendly conversation. Make it your goal to form a connection that will last. Listen to what they have to say, and don’t be aggressive in how you approach them.

8. Take What You Learned and Make Plans

You have gathered a wealth of information. Now it is time to put it to good use. First, go over your notes, especially the ideas that came to your mind during the conference. Out of everything you wrote down, what will help your business move onto the next stage of development? You may want to apply everything you learned at the conference, but what you do first will depend on where your company is at now. So, discuss what you learned with your team members and your boss before you move forward. Once you decide the best way to proceed, begin making plans. As you apply what you learned from the conference, and follow up with the people you learned from, you will receive a higher return on your investment.

Now that you know the steps to getting the most out of a conference, apply them to every event you attend. As you come to these events prepared to learn, make connections and promote your brand, you will see your business bloom.

Social Networking Success for Any Business

It’s so much more than having a Facebook account. It isn’t even about how active your social media accounts are. It’s all about how you connect with your customers. So, what is “it?” It, referring to social media networking, has increasing benefits that all businesses can take advantage of. If you’re not taking advantage of social networking, you’re missing out on a quick, cheap and extremely effective way to connect with nearly half of the world’s population.

Now, more than ever, people are using social media to connect with brands. Are you taking advantage of social networking for your business?

While it isn’t one size fits all, or every network is suitable for every business, you should be asking the fundamental questions: who, what, where, when and why. And, maybe not in that specific order. Sometimes the why should come first. The who is also extremely important. But, most of all, you need to answer where.

social networking is a growing trend for any business

So, where do you start?

Social networking should be a strategic part of your business marketing plan. With that being said, now you need to decide on where you will feature your business. Most businesses stick with Facebook as a foundation to get their brand off the ground. However, it is essential to remember that what works for one does not work for all. Make sure that you do some research on all of the available networks before making your decision.

Facebook may be a good place to start; after all, nearly everyone is on this network; and it is the most recognizable. Check out Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn and others to see what is right for your company. While you are looking for the best fit, here are some questions you should be asking yourself.

  • How do I want to be active on social?
  • What will I be posting?
  • How often will I be posting?
  • Which network will offer the best visibility for my business?

While you may not immediately know all of these answers, keep them in mind while looking at the different social networking sites. Instagram and Pinterest are image based, so if your company can host a lot of engaging images and product pictures, these may be the right sites for you.

Also, keep in mind the type of business you own. For example, do you own a company that works mainly as B2B? When trying to network with other companies to sell your product or service, LinkedIn might be the best place to connect with your consumers. Twitter is another great B2B site as it deals in real time and offers a great place to chat and connect with customers and other businesses quickly.

Setting Social Networking Goals

Once you make these social connections, you need to use them for making your business better. Set goals to help you achieve these connections. After all, marketing on social media can bring significant success to your company, create brand advocates and even drive leads and sales.

The key ingredient for doing social media marketing well is having a strategy. Without a strategy, you might be posting on social media platforms for the sake of posting. Without understanding what your goals are, who your target audience is, and what they want, it’ll be hard to achieve results on social media. Whether you want to grow your brand through social media or to level up as a social media marketer, developing a social media marketing strategy is essential.

From ads to regular posting, social media is different for every business.

And, it doesn’t matter if your business is large or small, what works for one may, or may not, work for another. However, there are some key elements and directions your social networks can, and should, have. Here is a quick list of things to make sure you are doing on your chosen social networks.

The problem most businesses face with social media isn’t whether or not to participate, but how to take advantage of it. Social media should be used to tell your business story and set yourself apart from all of your competition. Brand storytelling is one of the most powerful ways to differentiate yourself, connect with your customers, increase brand loyalty and sell your vision.

Without a social networking strategy, you might be posting on social just for the sake of posting. And, without understanding what your goals are, who is your target audience and what they want, it is hard to achieve positive results.

“Social media provides targeting capability, as well as reach and scale, at a lower cost than almost all other marketing channels,” said Abdul Muhammad, chief digital officer and partner at rbb Communications, said in a previous Business News Daily interview. “People are on social media all day, every day – brands must go where the people are.”

Implementing a Social Networking Strategy

Now that you have decided where you want to be, and why, you need the how. A strategy is where you’re headed; a plan is how you’ll get there. You have decided where to head to; now you need a plan. How should you fill out your social media profiles? What should your tone and voice be like? What posts type (i.e., image, link, video, etc.) should you use? Here are some things to consider.

Brand Awareness

social networking is a growing trend for any business

Your brand should be recognizable. So, think about your profile image. While a logo may be where your thinking immediately takes you, try and make something a bit more catchy. Take, for instance, our unique use of our logo. Not only does it let our customers know what our business brand is, but it also tells more of a story about our products and what we can offer to our customers.

Other elements of a business page include a cover photo or video, shared images, about us sections and other storytelling tools. These are necessary for every business while socially networking. Make sure to fill out each network’s page information sections entirely so that your customers can get the whole picture.

Remember to tell the truth. Don’t fudge or exaggerate any of your business details. If a potential client thinks that you offer a service because of your social profile, then make sure they can get that service. The same thing goes for your product. You will end up with upset customers and declining sales if you are not truthful while setting up your new social profile.

Customer Engagement

As a business, you need to figure out how you want your customers to start engaging on your social network. This will vary depending on which network you choose. So, make sure to learn all of the features your chosen social network offers. This way, you won’t be shocked when your customers start trying to communicate with you.

For example, Facebook has Messenger, which features an easy way to chat with customers and other clients who message you. LinkedIn also has a similar feature. But, when it comes to Snapchat, that changes due to the way they work with stories and other posting methods.

But, most importantly, you need to be responding to your customers. Make sure they know and understand that you are on a social site for them, not for you. Sure, it helps meet sales goals and gets your brand out into the world. But, without proper communication, you won’t retain customers or make any new connections.

Building a Business Community

From Facebook Groups to Twitter chats, tracking your social engagement is a must. There are so many tools to help you navigate using any social media network. Before choosing one, make sure to do your research. They are all similar but remember that each one has different features. While we don’t recommend one above another, we do recommend that you check them out to see what will work best for you and your business.

You can’t determine the success of your social media marketing strategies without tracking data. Finding out what works for you may be trial and error at first, but there are so many tools to help you figure it all out. Use hashtags to keep engagement up. Try different styles of images on Instagram to increase your user participation.

But, no matter what, don’t give up. Follow the analytics of each social network you use so that you can retain information on your business community. You need to know who your customers are in order to give them what they want. Make sure they understand that you know them. Set up a way to give your customers the best customer service they will ever have on any social network. Once you do this, you’re guaranteed success in social networking.

But, no matter what you do, remember that social networking is unique to your business. So, get networking on what works for you.

How To Connect with Your Customers

Every great business person knows that the best way to keep their company around is to connect and engage with their customers. People buy from other people, they request services based on experiences and they look for companies that they can trust.

You learn a lot of information and how to connect with your customer by merely listening to them.

“I think it’s important for brands, especially brands [that] are really consumer-centric, to stay connected. Customers tell you so much from their behavior and how they shop with you.”
Jessica Alba, founder and CEO of The Honest Company

What is Relationship Marketing and How to Use it to Connect With Your Customers - Neil Patel

The first and most popular way to connect with customers is social media.

Using LinkedIn, Twitter and every platform in between, it seems that everyone is on social media. Even businesses have joined in on the social parties. Facebook groups, Snapchat filters and Instagram nametags are all ways to connect online with your customers. Each platform provides methods for both consumers and businesses to interact and grow together. 

Social media outlets are where the masses are, so you, as a business, should be there too. Utilize this tool and take advantage of everything they have to offer. Try sharing fun and silly tidbits about your products. Or send individual messages quickly to your customers. No matter what, use everything provided by your chosen platforms to improve your connection with your customers.

BUT BE CAREFUL. Not all platforms are suitable for every business. It has been said that everyone is on Facebook, but that doesn’t mean your business will thrive by using it. Consider all of the pros and cons of using social media before setting up accounts everywhere. Remember that there isn’t an easy or direct formula to matching your business to the right social platform. That is something that you, as a business owner, will need to figure out.

Social media is a great tool to use when connecting with your customers, but only if you use it properly. Make sure to do your research and that you have time to spend on each chosen platform. Think before you post, and make sure you are listening to your audience. Tools such as social media only work when used properly.

Focus on the customer’s experience with your company.

We see our customers as invited guests to a party, and we are the hosts. It’s our job every day to make every important aspect of the customer experience a little bit better.
Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon

Customers want to buy from a business that treats them well. So, don’t use a one-size-fits-all approach. Make sure you are listening to every customer. Treat them as the individual they are; don’t lump your customers into a bundle just because they are all interested in your product or service. They aren’t looking for a bundled experience; they are looking to be given an individualized experience.

You can make your customers happy by focusing on their experience with your company. Don’t put all of your focus on only the product or service they are buying. Connecting with your customers on an emotional and personal level is important. If you do, they will be more likely to recommend your products or services to their family and friends.

It is crucial to make an effort to connect with each customer.

Get to know your customers on a personal level. And, make your service or product as relevant to them as possible. Everyone likes to feel as if they are important enough to remember. So, make them feel that way with as much personalization as you can. Use a customer’s name during their shopping experience. Remember little details and tidbits they have shared during prior visits. This way, you can make an effort to connect each time they come back.

“It’s not enough to know just the demographics of your customers. Age and location data doesn’t tell you what you really need to know. Instead, you need to know your customers on a personal level so that you know what they want, why they buy, and why they don’t buy. Otherwise, you have only a superficial understanding of your customers.”
Neil Patel – 7 Brilliant Ways to Connect with Your Customers on a Personal Level

Show your connection with your customers through appreciation.

We understand that connecting on a personal level with your customers can be difficult, but it is also necessary to stay in business. You need to humanize every experience that your customer has with your business. In other words, be relatable. And be grateful. Showing your customers that you care they are buying from you will keep them coming back. The message is in the details, or something like that.

connect with your customers through handwritten notes

Sending handwritten notes, making a phone call or sending a private email are all great ways to connect with your customer. But, put some thought into your actions before performing them. After a purchase or rendering of service, thank your customer by sending them a thought out, well-worded letter. Don’t rush these notes as they will mean a great deal to every recipient. And, they could mean continued business for you. 

This also works for phone calls and emails. Make sure you think about what you want to say before hitting that send or dial button. Proofread everything you write before you send it. And, most importantly, make sure you personalize it. Don’t get in the habit of sending out so many of these messages or phone calls that they become autonomous. Always remember that you are addressing an individual, and they should be treated as such.

Provide unmatched customer service to keep them coming back.

Let’s try an experiment. Find the customer service number from any of your favorite companies and call them. What happened? Let’s assume you got through to someone, eventually, but you were still treated as a number in a cue. Or worse, you got stuck at a call center with someone reading from a script that didn’t answer your question. How did that make you feel? We know that no one wants that experience. 

Take us for a better example. Here at Coller Industries, when you call or choose our online chat feature, you will always be connected to a live person, and quickly. Every one of our customer service representatives has been trained to treat you as an individual. And, you will feel that way, guaranteed! Your order is processed like it’s the only one, and it’s handled with care and accuracy. We wish you had this kind of experience everywhere else. But, at least you know that with us, you’ll always get what you want and be treated with respect. 

One of the most powerful tools any company has is how they treat their customers during the business process. Providing the best possible customer service experience should be your number one priority. From responding quickly to customer requests to making sure you have a live person on the other end of the phone line, good customer service is how you retain your clientele. 

How will you implement these standards into how you treat your customers?

Here’s some advice, go that extra mile. By making sure that your customer service team responds to your customers personally, you solidify your business connections. Acknowledging questions and concerns from your customers will reestablish the trust you have already built. It will also help strengthen the relationship and connection with your customers and anyone they know. This, in turn, will bring in more clientele and business. So, the bottom line should always be to leave the customer grateful and satisfied.

Don’t underestimate the power of your customers.

Make sure you are asking your customers questions and continually searching for feedback. Finding out after a transaction happens that something went wrong doesn’t help anyone, especially your customer. Connect with them by asking for feedback before, during and after all transactions. But don’t become a burden. There are people who feel that businesses can be too personal and are afraid of what you might do with their information. So, make sure that when you ask questions, you are also being considerate.

Now that you have answers and feedback, make sure you are responding appropriately. If you receive positive reviews, give positive affirmation back. Tell your customers how happy you are that they are happy. Give your customers thanks for being there for your business. If you get a negative review, take it seriously. Respond politely and work with your customers to correct things.

77% of consumers will read an online review before purchasing. Now consider the flip side. In most cases, negative reviews are the fastest way to derail a new purchase. A Zendesk study showed that 90% of positive reviews impact purchases and 86% of negative ones do also. Another study showed that even a single negative review has the power to destroy 70% of purchases.”
Neil Patel – 7 Brilliant Ways to Connect with Your Customers on a Personal Level

No matter the type of review you get, making sure that you respond is vital. Building trust establishes your personal connections with your customers. And, these connections are the only way to stay in business. Customer retention and development rely heavily on these reviews. So, make sure to keep on top of them. And if you can’t, delegate someone who can.

What is your preferred way to connect with customers?

With so many ways to connect with customers, your success depends on the method you choose. Before making any final decisions of where you are more likely to connect with your customer, do your research. Don’t join Facebook just because everyone else has. Determine how your customers want to communicate, and then put those methods into action. Build that trust, and the connections will flow naturally.

Harnessing the Power of Personalization

In order to harness the power of personalization, you must understand the relationship between a company and an individual.

Yes, many who read this are most likely representative of a corporation or business. And, yes, many will look at this information from a marketing standpoint. After all, personalization is a powerful marketing strategy that is easy to incorporate in daily business. But, the trick is to remember that the power of personalization applies to everyone in everyday life, especially the little guy.

Personalization should also be on a business level. This includes a company’s brand. Your logo communicates not only your company but also your brand and overall commitment to your clients and customers. And, creating consistency by adding your logo to everything you personalize (from name tags to corporate gifts), lets people know you’re proud of what you stand for.

By defining your brand upfront, you help establish your company as an industry leader and key influencer. So, making sure that your logo balances your brand at the top of your industry can be quite the process. Many businesses use networking as a key factor in their marketing plan. It helps to develop a strong feeling of trust between those involved (consumers and colleagues) and plays a big part in raising the profile of a company.

First, let’s look at the advantages of personalized marketing.

Marketing is a business promoting and selling their products or services. This promotion also includes market research and advertising. And, what better way to advertise than with personalization. Whether that’s your branding or remembering the little guy, you need to focus on what best suits your company goals and your customer’s needs and happiness.

standing out in a crowd and remembering the power of personalization

Remembering that little guy is often a struggle inside a business model. But, it is one of the most essential tasks any CEO or higher-up can accomplish. After all, it’s those little guys who make your business grow from day to day. So, marketing to them is necessary to stay afloat in today’s business world.

Your key to keeping clients and customers happy is simple, yet powerful: PERSONALIZATION. With the rise of the digital world and all the technologies that come with it, your marketing must evolve to match. And, the best way to grow is to harness the power of personalization. Find and understand your customers’ individual needs and desires. Once you harness that, personalization will start to flow naturally.

It’s all about knowing who your customer is.

There is a growing intolerance on the part of customers to have fragmented experiences when doing business. And, there is a price to pay for doing so. Research with the CMO Council found nearly half of North American and European consumers will abandon a brand and take their money elsewhere if they repeatedly encounter “a poor, impersonal or frustrating customer experience across channels of engagement.”

Personalization means all the difference in business goals and customer retention. Companies must modify all of their interactions individually to ensure a personalized customer experience. And, if done correctly, there is an undeniable power of personalization that becomes an incredible tool for marketers. Entrepreneur also says, “The first task of effective marketing is to get noticed and stand out from the clamor of competing advertisers.”

So, it is your duty as a business to get your customer’s attention and then keep it. Most companies thrive with this vantage point only because of the power of personalization. Whether it’s an emailed marketing message or a salesperson personally reaching out to a client, personalization is critical in all communications.

Remember this: people will always buy from people, not companies. And, most importantly, people who they trust. Sending handwritten notes or small, personalized gifts is a little extra touch that shows we pay attention to our customers. The beautiful thing about this is that it’s never just an advertising ploy. You really do have to get to know your clients to know about their special events, and that’s when personalized marketing becomes a genuine relationship.

Make it about your customer.

the power of personalization shown on two mugs with one featuring an individual's name

Let’s take into consideration what the effect of someone’s name imprinted on a gift or award does for them. Dale Carnegie famously said, “Remember that a man’s name is to him the sweetest and most important sound in any language.” With that in mind, remember that someone will more frequently drink from a mug with their name on it than one with only a logo or brand. By adding an individual’s name to a gift (even if it also features a corporate logo), it adds personal value and meaning.

Personalization is a popular trend that enhances the customer experience. It starts with knowing the customer, or maybe a better way to say it is remembering the customer. Virtually all (96%) marketers agree that personalization advances customer relationships. Eighty-eight percent say they’ve realized a measurable lift in business results from their personalization campaigns. The power of personalization improves visitor engagement and the customer experience, which leads to more sales.

Making a connection is important at the customer level. Each consumer will see personalization as your way of including them in an essential business circle. Personalization essentially means interacting with your customers and meeting their needs. And, when you use the power of personalization to include everyone in this process, any business will flourish.

Identifying and meeting your customers’ needs.

When handled well, personalization will always strengthen a customer’s experience and, in turn, increase your sales. From offering related products in an online shopping experience to remembering a customer’s name, personalization comes in all forms. So, show your customers that you know and understand their needs and that you have their values in mind when doing business.

From name tags for employees to something a bit more personalized (like a mug) for your customer, everything with a name on it is essential for any business. And don’t forget that this personalization drives instincts, urges and repeat purchases. The more you know about your clientele, the better you can mold their experience.

So, sound off with your customers in mind. After all, meeting your customer’s needs adequately and proficiently is what personalization is all about. Add their names to your products, or simply use their names while doing business with them. Open your doors with a greeting saying, “Welcome, David!” Or, try engaging your online customers with email blasts that are tailored specifically to them. But always start by acknowledging the recipient by name!

The Power of Personalization

an oval name tag showing the power of personalization

Consider this: would you want to hear your name as you walk into your business or a simple, “Hey, you?” The answer is that everyone wants to hear or see their name. Admit it, we all walk into that souvenir shop while we are on vacation and spot the carousel display with the keyrings. We instinctively walk over and peruse the names. And, when we find our name, we’re excited! It doesn’t mean we’re going to purchase the keyring or other souvenirs, but we love to see our name emblazoned on something.

So, how do you think your customers feel when you use their name? Today, personalization is more important than ever as consumers have access to content from a plethora of channels. Among this overload of information, personalized content manages to attract consumers’ interest. While all other information hits them in the face and still gets ignored, personalized content talks directly to them.

Don’t ever think that the power of personalization lies in your marketing schemes. It is not, after all is said and done, about you, the business owner. It is always about your customer and their needs. Now, that isn’t to say that your brand isn’t important; it is. But, remember that little guy? He’s what is keeping your business alive. See him, acknowledge him and most importantly let him know he is wanted.

But, remember that personalization goes both ways. Treat your employees the same way you would treat your customers. Make them feel just as special with using their name in meetings, during conferences or simply in daily greetings. Your personalization of your employees will translate into business models and deals and thus reflects onto you as an owner. And that’s the best kind of advertisement. See, there is power in personalization!

Lastly, consider the effects personalization has on people.

There are always challenges associated with personalization because there is no magic formula that will make it right. At best, there are educated guesses about what your consumers want. If consumers feel a brand is being too pushy, they are more likely to unfollow it. Always try to keep yourself in the shoes of the customers and try to think from their perspective. Personalization helps consumers discover new things and often leads to unplanned purchases. When executed correctly, personalization can have a great impact on your bottom line.

You can’t deny that the customer knows in the end that it is all about them. So, play to that knowledge. Whether it’s your employees wearing name tags and promoting your brand, or a personalized gift wrapped in special ribbons, remembering your clientele individually is the name of the game. At the end of the day, that little guy is the most important person in the room.

So, keep them entertained with your business. Let them know how much they matter. And, it’s simple: just use their names! The power of personalization is truly all about the customer helping you stay in business.

12 Ways to Say Yes to Your Conference

Attending a professional conference provides an unmatched opportunity for attendees to build networks, strengthen work ethic and get new ideas for the workplace. They also give employees a way to get out of the office and stir things up to retain employee morale. These face-to-face events continue to make lasting and sizable contributions to any work environment.

follow these easy steps to host the best conference anyone has ever attended

From choosing the perfect venue and catering the right menu to finding the best speakers, no matter your needs for hosting your best conference ever, look no further than right in the mirror. Yes, you can plan and carry out the most successful conference anyone has ever attended. And, here are some easy-to-follow steps to get you started.

1. Objectives and Goals

The first thing to do when you want to hold a conference is to figure out the why. Finding your conference objective and setting your intended goals is possibly the most important thing. Why hold this type of event without an objective? You would just be wasting your time and resources.

So, define that objective. It can be anything from informing your attendees about the latest tech gadget or help colleagues learn about the best way to write an interoffice email. But, no matter your objective, you must reach that by defining short and long term goals. Not only should your conference have goals but remember that your attendees will also have their goals as well as expectations of what the event should be like.

Most people, when asked, state that the goal of attending this type of event is to gain knowledge or increase skills. So, make sure that your goals will help others attain theirs. If you hold classes about only one subject, you will leave people thinking they could have gained better knowledge somewhere else.

One of the best ways to find a conference objective is to ask those around you what they need. If that is a bit too overwhelming, look around you and your workplace. Find something that only you can offer and take it from there. And, remember that it doesn’t need to start big. Take a small thing and find it a greater purpose.

2. Conference Presentation

Three words: remember your audience. Now is the time to take into consideration who will be attending your conference. Once you have your audience defined, work on your presentation to them. From choosing the perfect venue to planning for speakers, your attendees are the ones who will get the most out of your event. Make sure to plan accordingly.

And, make sure that your objective is easy to follow and concise. You need something that everyone can get on board with, no matter what they think they will get out of your event. It is often said that presentation is everything. That is especially true when it comes to planning your conference and developing your object.

Make your goal presentable. It needs to be as quick as an elevator pitch, but also easily expandable. This isn’t just about one speech or presentation. It’s about a whole event, and you want to make sure that your attendees understand that as quickly as clearly as you can.

speakers are a key element at any conference

3. Speakers and Subjects

Your event line up should be enticing to those attending. Find speakers who will be engaging and exciting for those in attendance. While some of your presenter topics may be a bit bland, find someone who will make it enjoyable.

There are opportunities everywhere to find speakers for any event. Look inside your company, or ask friends and family if they know someone willing to present on a topic that they might find intriguing. But, no matter where you find your speakers, remember to get them on board with your conference objective. There is no point in having someone talk about fish if your conference is about digital literacy.

Also, remember perspective. From you to your speaker to the attendee, everyone will view the presentation a bit differently, and that’s okay. Just make sure that your message is clear and precise, which brings us to your next step.

4. Setting Your Conference Agenda

Most conferences post their agenda ahead of time. Whether you use an online format or mail out a brochure, make sure you advertise your event. And, many planners now have interactive mobile applications to help you schedule speaker times and other pieces of your event. But that is just the beginning.

Take it a step further, and make sure that all attendees have access to a schedule so that they can plan out for their best experience. Everyone should know beforehand what they should expect from your event. This ties into getting your objective and goals set before scheduling your conference.

5. Open Every Door

Make sure the opportunity to take full advantage of everything there is to offer is open for everyone. Use your agenda and time to create an immersive and interactive experience for all attendees. While not everyone will be pleased continuously with your conference, make sure that you adhere to the majority rules concept.

If you need to, take a poll on what people expect from your objective and work from there. But, no matter what you do, keep the door open for everyone. Sometimes this is as easy as finding a venue with an open floor plan. Other times, it can be a bit more challenging to get people moving around and communicating with each other. So, enter step six.

6. Providing the Whole Experience

Your conference needs to be about the whole experience, not just speakers or significant events. To keep everyone engaged and interacting, remember your audience and remember your objective. A conference is more than just someone standing on a stage yammering on about a single topic. It’s a collective mind with the intent on learning everything they can about everything you have to offer.

So, even if you are holding a conference about those previously mentioned fish, remember that the ocean is full of different types of fish. Yes, weird analogy, but here’s the point: keep the conversations going. There more people are engaged, the better your conference will be for everyone involved. And, part of that involvement is offering the ability to grow and learn.

have multiple speakers or events during a conference for the best involvement

7. Interactive Conference Events

What is a conference without a bit of networking? Help your attendees keep on learning even when they aren’t in classes or at a speaking event. Allow them to take a break and chat with new found friends and colleagues. While these interactive events don’t have to be very big or creative, make time for them, they are extremely important.

And, during these down times when you don’t have someone speaking or presenting, provide other learning opportunities such as mentor programs. Make them casual to keep people open and growing. These small group activities offer incredible chances for people to meet, mingle and often find answers they won’t find anywhere else.

8. Professional Identification

Yes, we said it, you need name tags! Helping your attendees make lasting connections is what your conference is really about. Make this an easy process by providing event credentials. From badge holders for schedules to speaker name tags, using identification will help everyone involved.

Personal identification is key to any event whether it’s a conference, seminar or trade show. As an event host or planner, you want your attendees to enjoy networking at your event. And, when they do, they are more likely to return next year. Use quality name badges to put people at ease and make your conference or seminar a success.

9. Networking and Socializing

Now that you have the proper name tags, give opportunities for everyone in attendance to network and socialize. Use apps, business cards and these new name badges to help attendees remember each other (and you) after the conference is over.

Provide opportunities throughout the whole conference for attendees to give out their information to others. If you are making printed schedules for everyone to use with badge holders, include a QR code for easy sharing. But no matter how information is shared, provide as many opportunities as possible for everyone to mingle.

Networking is a supportive system of sharing information and services among individuals and groups having a common interest. Knowing someone’s name makes people more comfortable socializing with that person. With each attendee sporting a name badge, people will have a positive networking experience at your event.

And, whether you are wearing a name tag for an event or work every day, chances are you don’t realize the impact which you are making. In social settings, name tags can level the playing field. They are also free advertising for your company. And, they inspire people to be more approachable.

10. Make the Little Things Count

From setting the event energy to controlling the mood at your conference, sometimes it’s all about the little things. With that said, being organized is an important thing to do. That organization needs to include smaller event details. So, don’t forget about those little details. And they are what makes up 11 and 12.

11. Dress to Impress

There are so many details in this, make sure that you check all the boxes. Think about your venue, your attendees, your objective and your speakers/presenters when considering a dress code. Make sure that everyone will be comfortable and still able to maintain your desired professionalism.

Spend some time addressing your dress code before your conference happens. Make sure that everyone coming understands what you want to see. Too many event planners overlook this simple detail, and attendees show up wondering if they are over or underdressed. Add these details to daily schedules that you send out before your event happens.

12. Be Considerate

Remember that others have a routine and help them stick to it. Help your attendees be comfortable while making the shift from their daily work life to attending your conference. Don’t plan events too early or too late. Make sure when providing food and catering that multiple options are available, so no one goes hungry.

Whether it’s providing time for breaks or making healthier choices for catered meals, make your conference flow better by keeping your audience in mind. It is, after all about those coming to your event. Make their experience memorable so that they want to attend another fabulous conference put on by their favorite event planner: YOU!

The Learning Center: A Better Way to Blog

The Learning Center is full of articles about learning how to host the best event ever, networking with colleagues and so much more.

Engraved, plastic sign describing 
Coller Industries Incorporated's event planning and informational blog The Learning Center

Whether you’re planning the best conference anyone will ever attend or hosting a simple dinner party, The Learning Center is here to make sure you are using these tools in the best possible ways. Search content by categories like meetings and conferences, or hop from one subject to another at your leisure. Each informative article is there to help you succeed. As you delve into these different aspects of building your corporate identity, you will see positive changes in your business outcomes, company culture and marketing strategies.

From Meeting Planning to Event Hosting, This is the Place to Find Ideas

Spice up your creativity and find innovative ways to use personal identification. From ribbons at a meeting to name plates for directions at a conference, don’t limit yourself when using these fantastic tools. Improve everyone’s impression with name tags and award plaques. Come find out how to use these personalized tools to help your event be everything it should be. So, if you like personal identification as much as we do, take a look around, we guarantee you will find something useful.

It is so much more than personal identification!

Coller Industries Incorporated's event planning and informational blog The Learning Center

No matter what industry you work in or the size of your company, The Learning Center (by Coller Industries Incorporated) was created for you. We have articles on a wide variety of topics from planning the perfect event to networking to build strong relationships. Most importantly, by putting thought and purpose into everything you do, and using the ideas in this blog, it will teach you how to achieve your company goals. It will also show you how to utilize the tools that you already have to improve your business practice.

Coller Industries Incorporated broadens the blogosphere with a new long-form content platform and renames two product and idea based blogs.

Coller Industries Incorporated's personal identification blog Influencing Identity

Influencing Identity is here to help you figure out how to use name tags and identification products. From name tags for your business to badge holders for your next conference, we have it all. Find out how to use all your identification products at work, while networking and at any event you are planning. Use our how-to articles to get your ideas flowing for working with all of your personal identification.

Coller Industries Incorporated's personalized ribbons blog Ribbon Impressions

Ribbon Impressions provides information about everything from ribbon roll ideas for your wedding to badge ribbons for a conference. And don’t forget about rosette ribbons for your award needs, such as fair or festival prizes. Find all your ribbon needs in one place and learn how to best use them at events and for your corporate gifting. Discover inspiration for using personalized ribbons and find useful how-to articles.

Community Networking & Donating Yourself

Donating time, money or product is necessary to keep in tandem with your community networking.

community networking and focusing on company branding through donations

A community is a group of people with common interests and unique, shared values.

A general definition of community typically appears as a group of people with diverse characteristics who are linked by social ties, share common perspectives and engage in joint action in geographical locations or settings.

Networking is the bringing together of like minds for a like purpose.

Having a supportive system of sharing and exchanging information and services among individuals, groups or institutions that have a mutual interest better defines networking. Specifically, it is the cultivation of productive relationships for employment or business. It is fundamental to note that networking is also an active development of these current business relationships.

Donations help those around us to feel like they belong and bring to aid to those in need.

Commonly used as a gift for charity, humanitarian aid or to benefit a cause, donations can benefit not only the receiver but also the giver. These donations may take various forms, including money, alms, services or goods such as clothing, toys, food or transportation services.

But, what do those three things have in common?

Let’s turn to the relationship you find when you look at Coller Industries Incorporated and the Granite Education Foundation (GEF). For nearly 10 years, the relationship between these two companies has been a stable feature in many lives. From recognizing outstanding teachers and other educators to winning over the hearts of students in the Salt Lake Valley, Coller Industries’ reach into the Granite School District is felt by many. And not only felt, but appreciated in a plethora of ways.

Yes, this relationship is primarily built on product and monetary donations. However, it is also formed on trust and fellowship. From name tags for school events to money for shoes and coats for students in the school district, everything Coller Industries gives to the Granite Education Foundation builds into a network of creating community understanding. This understanding reaches far beyond what even we could initially see.

Creating Community Understanding

Understanding the community concept teaches that no matter the setting, there are things which must be done to keep it healthy. These insights are supported and managed by people feeling that they belong somewhere. And this comes with accepting each other and the diversity of those around you. This community understanding makes us responsible for those around us. In turn, this community responsibility not only aids those in need, but it assists everyone influenced by any actions in that community.

Donations are one way that makes us more responsible in our community. And, building trust in our community is not only a requirement but also the best way to maintain any community. This is why we, as a company, are always looking to help out in our neighborhood and surrounding areas. And what better way than in our local schools. The Granite Education Foundation manages the school district where our office is located. Its reach, however, is so much farther. And, by partnering and networking with the GEF, we can extend our reach as well.

Here’s to Thank Yous

Every year the GEF sends Coller Industries tokens of the student’s appreciation for our donations. These wonderful expressions of thankfulness have touched all of us here at Coller Industries. And, in turn, we want them to reach out into our community so that everyone can see the benefits of community networking.

valentines from our community of students in the Granite Education Foundation

 

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Granite Education Foundation and students from across the district wanted to express a heartfelt thanks for all you do. Enclosed you will find hand-made Valentine’s Day cards our students created with YOU in mind. Thank you for being a part of our last 30 years, and we look forward to spending many more with you.

Yours truly,

The Granite Education Foundation Team

 

Seeing these simple expressions of gratitude helps us to understand what these continued donations provide for our community. And, they also help us to know where we can make more of an impact. Although our brand reaches out in our community and networks with other companies, it is crucial that we focus on the humanity of these donations.

This expression of gratitude gives us the opportunity to learn from other businesses and continue to grow and maintain our networking experiences. And, through this networking in our community, we can show how to sustain a positive business culture of quality and understanding. Networking is vital to this development. We are continually working with our customers to retain and develop working relationships through other donations means as well.

Bringing Community into Networking

By reaching into our community and taking part in networking opportunities for organizations like the GEF, we can see how much our brand resonates in others. We also find how our brand reflects in our community.

One of the most important benefits of networking that people tend to overlook is that it allows you to help other people. Granted, our motives in the professional world are rarely altruistic, but helping someone else with their career goals can be truly rewarding.

By finding and networking within your community, you can become a trendsetter and an industry leader. And, isn’t that what every business desires? To take a lead and direct their community should be every entrepreneur’s dream and goal. So, by donating time, money or product to your community, you are not only giving someone a hand up in life, but you also help your brand. While this may seem a little selfish at first, these donations help sustain the growth and reach of your community. So, don’t take these business relationships for granted. Use them to support yourself while helping others.

Improving your reputation and finding support are also benefits of networking.

If you are successful at networking, you might get a reputation for being a person people will want to talk to and get to know. A good reputation leads to support. You may have valuable information, ideas, and resources those in your network may need. Establishing your desire to assist a colleague increases your credibility. The important thing to remember about networking is the growth you will experience by putting yourself “out there” and taking steps to improving yourself and your organization.

By donating to the Granite Education Foundation and helping them with their needs, we benefit the lives of countless children. In turn, this helps each student’s family retain their position in their neighborhood. And that’s only the beginning of the chain. By paying our efforts forward, and nourishing our networking relationships, we are cultivating our community. We also set higher standards for those around us.

And this is how businesses thrive. So, by donating in your community, your networking experiences flourish, and your business grows. Commit to your business quality and brand all while helping those around you by this simple method: donations.

Networking & Getting Your Brand Noticed

First things first, what is networking?

Networking is key to your branding strategyNetworking is a supportive system of sharing and exchanging information and services among individuals, groups or institutions that have a mutual interest. Specifically, it is the cultivation of productive relationships for employment or business. It is fundamental to note that networking is also an active development of these current business relationships.

Think for a moment. What does good networking look like? How do people act while networking? What are their attitudes? Most people would agree that a good networker is sincere, friendly and outgoing, supportive and a good listener. It isn’t just about staying in touch. It goes beyond that. A good networker is someone you want to trust and be friends with.

A business network is a type of social network which is developed to help business people connect with other managers and entrepreneurs to further each other’s business interests by forming mutually beneficial business relationships. Several prominent business networking organizations create models of networking events that, when followed, allow the business person to build new business relationships and generate business opportunities at the same time. A professional network service is an implementation of information technology in support of business networking. Chambers of Commerce and other business-oriented groups may also organize networking activities.

So, how do you apply yourself to the networking mantra?

Here’s the scenario: “You have just arrived at your weekly, cookie-cutter networking event, and after walking up to the registration table, you proceed to search across a sea of identical plastic name badges with tiny print for the one with your name and company printed on it. You’ll affix this name tag to your shirt at the least awkward angle you can finagle, and proceed into a crowded room of people all arching their necks to scope out the people worth chatting to while trying not stare at someone’s chest for too long. And most likely many have chosen to position the name tags to be hidden in the folds of jackets or flipped around entirely making them impossible to read. Good luck with that one.”

And, whether you are wearing a name tag for an event or work every day, chances are you don’t realize the impact which you are making. In social settings, name tags can level the playing field. They are also free advertising for your company. And, they inspire people to be more approachable.

using name tags for networking and branding should include your name and titleWe’re here to offer a perfect solution with a particular product line which facilitates networking and promotes making those meaningful connections. For many people, the idea of wearing a name tag evokes the stale idea of the epic “Hello, my name is…” variety you might find at an awkward mixer or high school reunion. But a name tag is a valuable tool and, when used in fresh and creative ways, it can be a useful tool in helping people interact with each other.

But, more importantly, we are here to offer support and trusted services to help you in your networking efforts.

Many businesses use networking as a key factor in their marketing plan. It contributes to developing a strong feeling of trust between those involved and plays a big part in raising the profile and brand of a company. Suppliers and businesses tend to source business and suppliers through their existing relationships. These relationships tend to be open, random and supportive, while those relying on hierarchical, traditionally managed approaches are closed, selective and controlling.

Networking in 3 Easy Steps

Step One: Always wear your name tag. It’s the key to great networking.

A name tag reminds you to be open and honest. You can’t hide behind it. And, it gets you to network, to put yourself out there, and to make new friends. It gives you the opportunity to brand yourself, your image, and your company, with honesty and trustworthiness.

Laser Engraved Plastic name tags are perfect for branding with your logo for networkingYour name tag is your best friend for several reasons. A person’s name is the first thing that most people forget upon the first meeting. Without the aid of a name tag, people are less likely to approach if they don’t know or have forgotten your name.

Consider all of the commitment you have access to when wearing a name tag. Networking isn’t easy, but when you are willing to put yourself out there, others around you are apt to feel more at ease and will connect better and more frequently.

Step Two: The most important thing is to get your brand noticed.

Networking only works when you use your name tags correctly with logos, titles and names. Your name tag reflects who you are and humanizes you to others. Most people tend to judge on first impressions, especially when everyone in the room is a stranger. But, if you have a way to make yourself stand out, your brand will become recognizable. And, it helps to make others more at ease around you.

If name tags are provided at an event, use them. Don’t be a name tag snob. They are there to make greeting others easier. They reduce possible awkward moments and help you remember names gracefully.

Step Three: Talk to others and, as always, wear your name tag.

It will help you be fearless. Wearing a name tag in a room full of strangers is an invite for people to talk to you, and for you to talk to people. You don’t need someone to introduce you, so be fearless and take networking into your hands.

And remember that networking only works when you use your name tags correctly with logos, titles and names.


Business Networking

“It isn’t what you know, it’s who you know,” is an ideal we all strive to make work for our companies. Business networking is the low-cost, effective way of utilizing this expression. LinkedIn is an excellent example of this. It is a great marketing method for developing business relationships to gather sales and contacts.

The definition of network in itself reminds us that it consists of connecting lines, like a railway or canal system, which run in different directions. Especially when it comes to a business network, these lines are crucial, and without them, this system no longer exists. These lines, commonly referred to as a relationship or communication, are the most important thing to maintain a network. If you don’t have a good set of contacts, a network will fail. And a good network is created, and networking succeeds, by the application of hard work.

Networking with Name Tags

networking with name tagsLanyards, name tags, reusable badges and even signs are useful tools for any conference or convention.

And the corporate event name tag is one detail that has been overlooked too much. For years people have been dealing with this awkward situation over and over again at event after event. As such, setting the stage is just as important as attending a conference or networking event. However, there are many roadblocks along the way.

Still not convinced? Here are some creative ways to use any name tag or reusable badge to help eliminate this awkwardness.

Try omitting titles and company names. Use this as an effort to associate people more with what they love to do, or excel at, than what they do for a living. Focus on the individual.

Move beyond the work domain. Try using reusable badges with a catchphrase or other conversation starter to get people to mingle.

Incorporate a theme. It doesn’t matter what the theme is, just as long as it is geared toward getting people flowing through the masses and making those necessary connections.


Daily Networking Tips:

Remember your business cards. Start carrying business cards with you everywhere. Keep some in your wallet or purse, your car and in your pocket. Take your cards to the gym, the grocery store and even to parties. You never know who you will meet or be able to talk with. And, if you don’t have your business cards with you, an opportunity may be missed.

Join new groups. From book clubs to civic organizations, networking opportunities are everywhere. So, find a new group in your area, or stretch yourself into new areas. But, no matter what, get yourself out there. Make sure to join groups that will benefit from what you have to offer. Don’t just participate in a group because you think it sounds fun. Join somewhere that gives you back what you can give in return.

Give and get back. Networking is a two-way street. When most people network, they expect something in exchange for their contact information. Sometimes it’s as simple as an information exchange. Other times, they expect time or goods in return. And most often, they expect their business to grow. Make sure to follow up with new contacts and keep sharing information with them, and you’ll see that your effort is returned.

Be friendly and approachable. Pretend you are hosting the event. Make people feel welcome. Find out what brought them there, and see if there’s any way you can help them. Introduce them to others, make business suggestions or give them a referral. Not only will you probably make a friend, but putting others at ease eliminates self-consciousness. A side benefit: What goes around comes around. If you make an effort to help others, you’ll soon find people helping you.

Event and Convention Networking:

Set a goal. Whenever attending a meeting, convention or another event, set a goal for yourself to meet new people. With this goal in mind, greet people you have never seen before. Make it a habit to be open and welcoming to everyone. Not only will people start recognizing you, but your contact list will grow, and networking will become easier for you.

Other goals that you can set for your events include: keeping up on industry trends, connecting with peers, and looking for new business opportunities. Focus on these goals throughout the entire conference, and you’ll see your network start to grow.

Put yourself out there. Don’t sit by those you know. Find someone sitting alone and introduce yourself. Make sure you extend yourself to those around you, no matter their station or occupation. The chances are that if you’re at the same event, you’re looking for some of the same information.

If you are attending a multiple day event, sit with someone new every day. Or switch it up after breaks. Get to know as many people as you can. Be that person who exchanges information, and you’ll see that your approachability will expand. And from that, your business will flourish.

Be a leader. Don’t just attend your next conference. Get out there and get involved. Become a board member or join a committee. Volunteer your time and talents at your next event. Not only will this get you noticed by the event planners and hosts, but it will also provide those around you with the opportunity to see you lead.

Being a leader is a step to doing better business. Those who can lead stand out to others, and through this your business will not only flourish, but it will grow. Your network will expand. This also gives you a reason to reach out to others. It gets you involved and provides others a way to also get involved.

Networking isn’t always easy.

You have to extend yourself and be a leader. You may make a few mistakes as you get started, but that shouldn’t deter you. Just keep trying, and you’ll find it easier and easier to reach out and grow your contacts. And don’t forget, it’s important to remind yourself that without your contacts, your business wouldn’t be what it is now. But most importantly, remember that your contact has given you a gift. It’s the gift of communication and networking. This gift is truly the gift that keeps on giving.