The 2019 Supply Nation Connect event kicked off on the 8th of May and it was great to hear that this years event was the 10th annual gathering of the event. The Connect Event, and the Supply Nation ecosystem is growing from strength to strength with even more Indigenous businesses being registered and certified and even more member enterprises and government departments. This years connect event also had record numbers of attendees walk through the door. (If you don’t know what the connect event is, check it out here: https://supplynationconnect.com.au/.
With the growth in the numbers of people, businesses and government departments walking through the door at this years Supply Nation Connect Event it is important to understanding how to get the most value out of attending the event. How do you get a good return on your time and money spent away from the office and delivering products and services for your customers?
This is my third year at the event, that also being the third year that Ngakkan Nyaagu (NGNY) has had presence at the event and each year I can say that our return on investment has grown gradually each year that we attend. Each year we forge new relationships and solidify and deepen already existing relationships.
Supply Nation event attendees are also encouraged to download the official event app, which is a great idea because it enables you to see the attendee list and even communicate directly through the app with other attendees.
Here are some tips to getting a good return on investment:
- Network: get your name out there and the name of your business out there. Let people know who you are and what you do. I know that this does not come natural to everyone, I can attest to that, but if you want your business to be seen and heard then you have to get yourself out there. Trust me, it gets easier every year.
- Set targets for yourself in terms of how many people you want to talk to, how many business cards you want to exchange and how many people you will send follow up emails to
- Attend each of the knowledge forum sessions with an open mind, a note pad (physical or digital) and take notes and get gems of information from presenters. Every year I walk into a knowledge forum workshop thinking that I know a lot, and every time I walk away with a raft of notes on things I could be doing better or should be considering.
- Introduce yourself to the speakers at the end of each event and tell them what you learnt from the event. Create a dialogue that goes beyond the room, send a LinkedIn request, follow their business on Facebook. Do whatever it takes to grow your network and audience for your business.
- Download the event app and use it proactively
- Most of all enjoy yourself on the journey to discover, network, learn and hear and see some really amazing Indigenous owned and operated businesses.
After the event it is important that you follow up with all business prospects, even if they are not immediate opportunities, follow-up and build the relationships and continue to grow your audience.
After all is said and done, measure whether you achieved the desired return on investment that you were seeking. Keep in mind here, and I stress this point, project opportunities are not won overnight, so be patient and take your business prospects on a journey that helps them understand that you are able to service their requirements and assist in solving one of their problems/help them achieve a goal or target.
We look forward to seeing you in coming years at the Supply Nation Connect Event. And please do feel free to leave comments or ask questions about the Supply Nation Connect event.