I was lucky enough to get to travel to Nashville for a mechanical conference with a few of my coworkers. The event was not only meant for networking purposes but also for educational purposes. They held many seminars in hopes of teaching not only contractors but also manufacturers how to conduct their business.
At the conference, they held a women’s networking conference which was a let down. I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to meet with the many women behind the scenes of the very male-dominant industry. It was a let down because these women were not inclined to meet the small amount of women that have recently entered the industry. Imagine high school cliques, and the new kid not fitting in. Although that was a let down, I was still able to connect with our existing clients and many new clients. It was nice and different to do such because it wasn’t necessarily in a professional setting, therefore it was more relaxed and personal.
I learned that when people are allowed to relax and not constantly think about acting a certain way (professional in this sense), it is a lot easier to connect with them. I also learned that since many of the contractors considered this part of their vacation, they were less inclined to talk business and would rather have fun. This makes sense, however it was hard to determine where to proceed from that.
One of my most favourite seminars was by Chad Pearson – Elite Performance during chaos and critical stress. He discussed the body’s reaction to stress and chaos and how to trick your mind into focusing. It is our natural instinct to trust your gut when we are faced with stress, which means we are resorting to our fight or flight reflexes. So this was a fascinating send off, because it let me with some really great ideas on how to handle stressful moments. While also reading how people handle stress.
There was another speaker by the name of Mandy Rennehan, a Blue-Collar female CEO. She has built her construction business based on her saviness and confidence. She is able to navigate the blue-collar and white-collar world effortlessly by connecting with both sides. And she did this by the time she was 19 years old. She was fascinating to listen to! She was incredibly personable and motivational!
I would definitely attend this type of event in the future. Although not all network events and seminars were not always targeted for me, there were a few speakers and seminars that hit home.