RhinoFish - 8:28 pm on May 5, 2013 (gmt 0)
I met Mike Mackin at a Conference! :-)
I was a lone wolf type, Mackin drug me out to one, when I was a real newb. That move cut many, many years off my path, it jump started my progress, hurtling me towards success.
Those relationships built then, bring me non-stop referrals today, and the people sending them to me, don't ask for $ or reciprocity of any kind. They know if you earn someone's trust and respect over time, people are happy to refer you to others.
We're an advertising agency and we don't advertise ourselves, never have - we don't need to - conferences have built relationships that bomb us with too many referrals. We have to turn most leads away, we just don't have the capacity.
I can't imagine where I'd be today, if Mackin hadn't drug my wet lil ears out to Vegas!
Biz (not so) secret = it's the people you meet and serve, they are the key to your current and future success. I believe judging people is a skill, and the immersion of a trade show is some of the best training available anywhere. But it certainly doesn't hurt to have friends like Mackin guiding you on Who's Who at shows!
Mackin knows how grateful I am, and he knows I give back, a lot. "Invaluable" is an under statement to me. The networking at shows trumps everything else you'll do. Since you can't work in a vacuum (that sucks!), you've got to get out and meet people - where else can you reach the numbers and relevancy that shows offer? No where! Go!