Going W.I.L.D to Network

WILDThis past Friday I had the privilege of attending the 2010 Women in Leadership Development Conference in Erie. While this was my first year to attend, it was the third annual event for the Gannon Small Business Development Center. I could, and just may, write several posts about this wonderful event, but I don’t want to miss the chance to share what a great opportunity this (as with any expo or trade show) provided for me to grow my network. A very nice group of ladies from the Titusville Chamber, lead by director Christa Batton, welcomed me to attend with them. Thank you Christa and friends!

The  conference included an expo featuring nearly 200 businesses, with booths displaying their products and services. It would have been nearly impossible to visit with each exhibitor but I did my best to speak with many.  Each was offering a door prize in exchange for contact information.  Thank goodness I went with a good supply of business cards! I was especially pleased that my recently redesigned cards would likely stand out among all those plain white slips of paper. Not because I hoped to win a prize (but thanks to the Manufacturers & Business Association for the new book!), but rather, the possibility that even one business might now recognize the Venango Chamber the next time they hear of it.

And, I picked up the business cards or brochures of each of the booths I visited.  A quick email or note seems very appropriate to show my gratitude for a great day of food, fun and motivational business speakers. How much did I grow my network in one day?  It’s hard to say, but I’m willing to bet I’ll be learning the answer for months to come.

Take-away: You can grow your network by exhibiting at or attending the Venango Works Trade Show, Friday, April 23rd at the Cranberry  Mall. Get your business cards ready!

And be sure to save the date. WILD 2011, March 25th at the Bayfront Convention Center.