Face to face? Online? All of the Above

I’m on the road meeting customers.  This time it’s a trip through North Idaho and down the western side of Montana.  It's a collection of very committed, focused and creative professionals and companies.  Customers are building everything from semi-conductor assembly machines to rescue equipment to medical instruments to custom rifles.   Meeting them means anything from a visitor parking space and security badges to a "man I should have brought the truck" and "hey, nice guard dog" experience.

Meeting customers where they work; it's always been one of the best parts of the job.

 I'm writing this online social post about the benefits of meeting professionals face to face.  While there may seem to be a dichotomy here it's actually my point.  You see, my last seminar with a very well paid, very knowledgeable marketing consultant and my incredibly impressive young and sharp business development team tells me developing this online relationship is important. They have convinced me it's an incredibly powerful part of our relationship with our ecosystem of customers, partners and community.  

 It occurs to me, as I experience the teams, meeting rooms and reception desks of our customers, that this online relationship certainly is important, but it is not a replacement.  A replacement for what?  That's the question. 

 Here's the answer (think of this as a Carnac the Magnificent moment).   The next time you have your team in a web meeting, watch the level of engagement and attention.  Measure its value.  Now do the same the next time they are all in the same room.   The difference is the answer to the question.   

What I do know is this:  you need an all of the above approach for the most coherent and efficient relationship (that's engineering speak isn't it?).  Getting people to meet, to discuss, to engage, in person, still is a powerfully effective means of sharing ideas.

 And that's the raison d'etre for TECH DAY 2016.  In Boise, ID on 6/2/16 and Spokane on 6/9/16, we’re sponsoring the 7th annual conference dedicated to regional engineering and manufacturing.  It's an opportunity for hundreds of regional manufacturing professionals to come together and learn, share and become more integrated with the region’s manufacturing sector.

 Over the past few conferences, attendees have been asking for more content, more presenters and a broader experience.   So TECH DAY 2016 is the beginning of a 3-year effort. 

Our 3-year goals for TECH DAY are:

2016 - Demonstrate TECH DAY can successfully expand to include a larger part of this region's manufacturing ecosystem.   

2017 - Successfully expand TECH DAY to a multi-day, self-standing regional conference offering education, private companies and government groups an unparalleled integrated experience. 

2018 - TECH DAY is now a self-standing entity expanding its mission as it addresses an ever-expanding ecosystem.

 So, stay tuned.  Next article, we'll review the upcoming TECH DAY 2016 conference.  For more information: .