Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Networking in Minneapolis

Posted by John McHale

I just returned from my first visit to the Avionics Maintenance Conference in Minneapolis. I covered it for our Avionics Intelligence web site and to recruit potential speakers for our Avionics Europe and Avionics USA conferences.

It's unlike any conference that I've been to before in terms of its networking element. Most of the first day was made up of awards and discussions on standards but at night it takes on a different form.

From 6pm to 11pm each night about 20 different companies set up hospitality suites with different themes to attract airlines and vendors to come in and do business, make deals, discuss technology, or just talk about their latest vacations.

Each suite had its own set of food, drinks, and entertainment -- from electronic dart boards to pool tables to Wii video games to live music. Some had a New Orleans theme, a baseball theme and one was set up as an airport lounge.

All in all it's a fun way to get people out of their comfort zone to meet others in the industry and build relationships.

You don't see many events like this anymore. It's quite refreshing.

The folks at ARINC, who put it on understand that success in any business is about relationships. The same is true for journalism.

I was there only one night, but am looking forward to going back next year when the show is in Phoenix and maybe win at Wii Bowling for once.

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