Grow your career with industry events

This article was originally published in the October 2019 issue of Generation Next Edition

Fresh on the heels of the Executive Leadership Summit, NTEA caught up with Michael Thompson (LinkedIn profile). Here, he shares his takeaways from the event, as well as insights into professional development opportunities. Michael attends approximately 4-5 training events per year, including his fifth Executive Leadership Summit

What keeps you coming back to Executive Leadership Summit?

The Executive Leadership Summit is always very well put together. The program never disappoints with its presenters, who are able to share from their vast wealth of knowledge. The new connections I am able to make, along with existing relationships I am able to grow, make this event worth every penny. The Summit is the perfect opportunity for industry leaders to meet, unburdened with booth set-up/tear-down and blocking-off an entire week on our already crowded calendars.

What were your key takeaways from this year’s event?

  1. The economy is not slowly stopping, in spite of news reports and geopolitical unrest.
  2. Customer “service” yields average results. Creating a positive “experience” will yield a more enthusiastic customer base that can create new business through word-of-mouth, not to mention an energized team.
  3. Millennials will be the group to solve many of our pressing problems, whether we embrace this fact or not.

What tips would you give people planning to attend a professional development event for the first time?

Bring plenty of business cards. If you think you have packed too many, pack a few more! Connect with as many people as possible, especially if they are somewhat outside of your professional sphere. Follow that initial contact with an email and LinkedIn connection, and then stay in touch. You never know how you can help each other out.

Any tips for people new to the industry on attending The Work Truck Show?

The Work Truck Show is my favorite professional event of the year. I love interacting with customers in our booth, and meeting colleagues from across the industry that I do not get to see regularly. My advice to anyone new is to register early, and make sure you book your hotel room(s) soon. The Work Truck Show is already a critical event for industry veterans to see new products and meet with peers, so it is that much more important for anyone new to the industry – especially someone who is in a customer- or market-facing role. Plan your booth visitations ahead of time (using the WTS smartphone app) and wear comfortable shoes… there is a lot of walking! Above all, use Work Truck Week to meet new people and get to know this wonderfully unique industry.