Building Relationships for Better Business By Sarah Daly An important part of most successful and well-attended conferences is an exposition floor that includes vendors from all different service lines. The goals for the typical business exhibiting at a conference are generally connecting with existing customers and developing new leads. Seldom is an exhibitor’s purpose to connect with other vendors. For Value First member liaisons, Sa rah Daly and Denis Miciletto, connecting with other vendors is a vital part of their conference exposition experience. They make connections with exhibitors who are Value First contracted vendors a part of their purpose at each event. Value First is a purchasing program that works with more than 400 contracted vendors from a wide variety of service lines and categories. Expos provide a unique opportunity to connect with several Value First contracted vendors in one setting. These connections result in improved understanding of services offered and improved business relationships. Powerful vendor relationships then translate to better served Value First participants and LeadingAge members as they seek to make informed purchasing decisions and, ultimately, save money on their purchases. The 2017 LeadingAge New York Annual Conference not only allowed Value First staff to connect with respected clients and members, it also served the third goal of relationship development with Value First contracted vendors. This year’s team reconnected with colleagues at Hillyard, Sodexo, Forbo Flooring Systems and others, and made inroads with new possible partners, again, with the purpose of making purchasing services offered to members more valuable and members more informed. This year, Value First is hosting a summer raffle for an Amazon Echo. This giveaway is organized to thank members for participating in the Value First program and to stress the importance of staying current in the world of purchasing and vendor pricing. Conference attendees could enter to win the Echo and their choices could influence the number of contest entries they received. For example, signing up to have a cost study conducted within specific categories earned an attendee one entry into the Echo raffle. Scheduling a meeting with a Value First Liaison earned an attendee three entries. Lastly, if a member was willing to share some of their current pricing or past invoices for cost study, they earned five entries into the raffle. But it’s not over, the giveaway continues beyond the conference! The Amazon Echo Summer Giveaway is accepting entries for the raffle until August 1, 2017. If a Value First member liaison holds a meeting with a member liaison or shares purchasing data for a cost study before Aug. 1, they will automatically be entered in the raffle. There is no limit on entries! For example, if a member were to participate in a cost comparison and shared invoices from three different spend categories, that member would receive 15 entries. The Annual Conference also provided a venue to roll out Value First’s Summer Giveaway! 4 Adviser a publication of LeadingAge New York | Summer 2017 The LeadingAge New York Annual Conference is always a productive venue for Value First staff liaisons to help LeadingAge New York members make educated and cost effective purchasing decisions.