Own Your ABI Conference Experience

June 9, 2017 | A Culture of Corporate Giving Kathy Anderson | Vice President, Member Development and Programs, Iowa Association of Business and Industry, kanderson@iowaabi.org

The 2017 Taking Care of Business Conference is gathering 500 to 600 Iowa business leaders from across the state together for three days, June 6-8, in Dubuque. With so many attendees in a variety of industries, ages, and positions within their company, the Taking Care of Business Conference will offer opportunities for personal growth, professional growth and certainly business growth.

Own that growth by taking three important steps to get the most out of this opportunity.

Check out the conference attendee list, which can be accessed via the ABI website, www.iowaabi.org. There will be many on that list you already know. Reach out to them.

Some of them have changed positions or companies or are now charged with spearheading new efforts for their organization. Grab an old friend and connect while exploring Dubuque.

Make a list of five to 10 people you’d like to meet this year. If you couldn’t identify them in a crowd, ask another ABI member, ABI staff member or a Conference Committee member for an introduction. Be aware that each attendee has a variety of roles within ABI and may have board, committee or programming responsibilities. Don’t take it personally if you happen to catch someone at a moment when they aren’t able to talk. Commit to follow up at a later time.

Introduce yourself. Reach out to the Leadership Iowa class and other firsttime conference attendees. Take the first step and the extra effort to meet those outside of your “inner circle” within ABI. Be open and generous as you make new contacts. Introduce them to others. The young professionals and new attendees you see at the conference are future leaders in our state and within their companies. Be accessible and helpful to the extent you are able. Remember those who helped you along the way in your career success? Be one of those for the next generation of Iowa leaders.

Attend the programming. And expect the unexpected. You’ll connect. Have a plan, but then be ready to ditch the plan and take advantage of the opportunities to develop new relationships. Some of those connections will become lifelong friendships.

After the conference, three things will be important.

  • Follow up with new connections and old friends. Help each of them as you can. Keep your network incredibly valuable for years to come.
  • Complete your conference evaluation. ABI keeps the Taking Care of Business Conference educational and meaningful to attendees through constant feedback.
  • Mark your calendar for Coralville, June 5-7, 2018. We can’t wait to reconnect with you then!