Clearview North July 2014 - Issue 152 - Page 34

INDUSTRYNEWS Get the Most out of Exhibitions Exhibition season is here again, bringing with it lots of opportunities to expand our networks and our businesses. But how many of us also take the opportunity to expand our knowledge? We often characterise exhibitions as places where people try to sell us things, and while this is true, there is often a lot more going on. Many exhibitions also include comprehensive conference programmes. Sometimes a fee is charged, but often there are free seminars and workshops that you can attend as an exhibition delegate With so much to see at exhibitions you might ask yourself why you should make time to attend conference talks and seminars. The answer is quite simple -- to expand your knowledge. Granted, some talks focus on specific products and may feel like sales pitches, but there are also many sessions which genuinely focus on sharing knowledge and starting debates about ways forward in the sector. Furthermore, the variety of talks on offer means that you can get a snapshot or taster of new and/or unfamiliar topics without committing too much time to the cause. There may also be the added advantage of gaining Continuous Professional Development (CPD) points for seminar attendance. How do I get the most out of seminars? Be selective. With so much choice it is easy to get bogged down and attend too much. This often means you don’t get anything useful out of any of the sessions as you get bored of sitting and listening. Have a good reason for each talk you attend, whether it’s to find out about something new or because you want to meet the speaker. ‘Look up speakers prior to their talks’ Do some preparation. Look up speakers prior to their talks to get an understanding of their background and perspective. Read the abstracts for talks, as a well written abstract can be a good indicator of a good talk. Leave the office behind. You will gain nothing from the talk (or the exhibition) if you are too busy worrying about what is going on in the office. Turn your mobile off for 30 minutes! Ritec chose last month’s hugely successful FIT Show to launch its latest product, the ClearShield Eco-System™ - and booked again for 2016. Sit next to someone you don’t know. Seminars give you a good excuse to make new contacts and network. Be open to hearing something new. Go into talks with an open mind. Jot down useful information, but don’t write down everything. It is tempting to try and take notes on the whole talk, but only make notes when the speaker says something particularly pertinent to you. Make a note of key questions. If a question arises during the talk, make a note. It is possible that the speaker will go on to answer your question as part of the talk, so you can just jot down the answer as it presents itself. Don’t be afraid to ask questions at the end. Link what you hear to what you know. Try to make links between what you hear and what you know. It is useful to assimilate new information and see how any good practice might be embedded into your work. Don’t be afraid to contribute, but don’t take over. Speakers often welcome views from the audience, so don’t be afraid to share yours. But avoid being combative or dominating the Q&A session. A decade of dedication! Bridlington-based fabricator Precision Trade Frames is celebrating its 10th anniversary with VEKA. Joint Partners Gary and Angela Snelson (centre) with Fabricators Stuart Dixon (left) and Kevin Dawkins (right). 34 JUL 2014 The company has been using PVC-U systems from VEKA since 2004. Gary Snelson, Partner, explains: “We like to think of ourselves as a window manufacturer with a difference. Despite expanding quickly, we’ve retained our personal touch and we like to deal with our customers directly. “Our reputation is crucially important to us and a large part of this rests on the high standard of the windows we produce. We need to be confident that the PVC-U systems we use are of the best quality and that’s why we continue to fabricate VEKA. “We’re Precision, not just by name, but by nature! Most of our work comes through recommendation or repeat business and we’re proud to be able to consistently supply the right product at the right price. We’re looking forward to celebrating the next 10 years (and more) with VEKA!” Gary and the team received a commemorative VEKA clock and a bottle of bubbly to mark the occasion. To read more, visit