I regularly attend trade shows, professional development sessions and networking opportunities that are provided by one of my industry associations. There I am, in a group of people who all (at its most basic) do what I do and we’re sharing ideas, tips, and resources.
People ask me if I’m worried that I’m giving my business away to the competition by participating in such events. I say, “Heck, no.”
First of all, it’s not as if I give away all my knowledge and trade secrets. I share those tidbits that I think will be helpful to whomever I’m speaking with. And, yes, I do keep in mind where there business is in relation to mine.
Secondly, I know how much I was able to grow as a professional in the marketing arena because others with more experience took the time to help me out. Now, after 13.5 years, it’s time for me to give back.
So, I participate in trade events; I engage in conversations with my “competition”; I even teach classes geared for my “competition” at my trade associations’ conventions.
There’s enough business to go around. I know my clients are loyal to me – if they’re not, that’s no one’s fault but my own, so my competition should be taking them.
Are you ready to grow as a professional by participating more actively (or at all) with your trade association?