Association Meeting Checklist
Meetings are fun. Old friends, new friends, interesting presentations and often a beautiful location can be found at the meeting. But, now more than ever, there has to be an ROI.
One of my old friends and former bosses used to say, “Frank, have a great time at the meeting but be sure to come home with something that will pay for your trip.”
The following is a quick check list for your next meeting:
ü Review list for old friends attending
ü Review list for people you would like to meet
ü Phone or email messages to request meetings
Tip: Meeting somewhere during the cocktail reception isn’t as good as breakfast on Monday.
ü Request meeting times with key vendor people
ü Request meeting times with potential lines
Tip: Ask your sales force and Distributor Specialist for a short written update on sales levels, performance, and other details that can be resolved during a meeting. Another good source of talking points comes from the local vendor sales rep.
ü Arrange for dinner, leisure activity or golf meetings
ü Set up one-on-one time to get to know Association Staff
Tip: These people make it their business to know others in the industry. Establish a working relationship that allows you to later tap into their knowledge.
ü Arrange a group meeting with good friends who share common product lines or key vendors with you
During the meeting
ü Carry plenty of business cards and exchange with everyone
Tip: Make a note of when and where you met that person. (i.e. – sat next to Jack at Targeting Presentation)
ü Always wear your nametag
ü Don’t make phone calls during the coffee break
Tip: This is the perfect time for setting up meetings or meeting others.
ü Never have lunch with people from your own company
ü Keep a running list of good ideas
Before you go home
ü Sum up your list of good ideas
Tip: Some of these might be good for delegating to members of your staff or others within your organization
ü Review the contacts you made at the meeting
After the meeting
ü Select the best 3 ideas to implement
ü Send an email to new contacts that may be of value in the future
ü Request electronic copies of materials used by presenters
A few others to think about
ü Is your company in the acquisition mode?
ü Will there be people there who might refer sellers your way?
ü Are there special issues with a supplier?
ü Who else has this supplier on their line card?
ü Do you want to network with non-competitive distributors in other parts of the country?
ü Who has a line card similar to yours?
ü Who has a business similar in size to yours?
Frank Hurtte of River Heights Consulting is a 20 year veteran of Distributor and Association meetings. He served as the President of AHTD – the North American distributor trade association for the automation industry. Today he serves as a Speaker, Author and Consultant to the Business-to-Business Wholesale Channel.