Networking at STMA

As a team we look forward to attending the STMA national conference each year. It’s always an incredible opportunity to connect with other professionals in the industry, learn about the latest in sports turf and share our story with strangers who become friends.

While getting ready for this year’s event in West Palm Beach, we spent some time reflecting upon how to get the most out of the STMA conference. Networking is one of the top things that always comes to mind. Whether it’s your first year attending or your 29th, here are some networking tips that will help you build authentic relationships at STMA 2020.

  • Bring Value – Have a success story to share from a recent renovation or a new vendor recommendation? When networking with new and old connections, be sure to share your recent successes or missteps on the field for a chance to relate or bring value to someone who is experiencing something similar.
  • Business First – While everyone gets a good laugh from the guy who can barely make it to the morning sessions, we can almost guarantee he’s not getting the most out of the conference. Conferences are a great location for meeting up with friends and professionals in the industry but it’s best to be business first and fun second.
  • Fly Solo – It’s great to collaborate with your team at shows and conferences but try flying solo for some of your time at the show. By flying solo, you may be surprised at how many more connections you’re able to make. It can be intimidating for someone to approach you or introduce themselves when you’re sitting with a group of co-workers. By flying solo, you’re sending a message that you’d love to talk and meet someone new!
  • Be Approachable – While we know it’s easier to bury your face in your phone during breaks than put yourself out there, ditch the screen. When someone is able to make eye contact with you, they’re more likely to come over and start a conversation. Someone who is intently looking at their phone gives off the aura that they don’t want to be bothered. Another easy tactic, SMILE.
  • Be Authentic – Successful relationships are built upon relatability and trust. Go in with good intentions and be yourself and you’ll make fruitful connections that are long-lasting.
  • Follow Up – Don’t let the connection die. Be sure to follow up after the conference to further your relationship with someone new. Send them an answer to a question they may have had or share pictures from a project they seemed interested in. Social media savvy? Follow your new connection on social media as another way to stay in touch.

We’re gearing up for another exciting week with STMA! Be sure to stop by our booth during the conference and connect with us.