GROW! is a three-day immersive and educational event for Green Industry professionals being held from February 19 - 21, 2018 in Tampa, Florida. Led by award-winning entrepreneur, Marty Grunder, the GROW! event offers unique education with inspiring speakers. This year, there will be a behind-the-scenes tour of Ameriscape Services, a premier provider of commercial maintenance. You’ll get an in-depth look at how this successful company runs and have to chance to learn from what’s worked—and also what hasn’t worked—for them.
One thing you should know about GROW! is that it’s not your run-of-the-mill educational event. It’s a real look at what happens in the industry. Marty brings in real contractors who are willing to offer real-life experiences on real problems. You’ll have an opportunity to hear from your peers on what they’re dealing with in business, and also troubleshoot some of your own problems and concerns. Marty also brings in speakers from all over the country to offer their valuable experience and advice.
If you’re headed to GROW! this year, we want to be sure that you’ll get the most out of it that you can. That’s why we’ve rounded up our 5 of our best tips.
1. Never Eat a Meal Alone
If you’ve ever attended an industry event then you probably already know that the learning opportunities don’t stop after hours. In fact, we’ve heard from many industry veterans that some of the best networking occurs over dinner or drinks, after the event has officially ended for the day. That’s why you should never eat one of your meals alone. It’s more than just socializing, it’s an opportunity to truly connect with another business owner or manager, like yourself, and to share ideas or troubleshoot problems on a more personal level. Sometimes that’s easier to do in a smaller group setting, or even one-on-one.
Be sure to bring plenty of business cards and share your contact information with other companies. You never know when you might make a life-long business friend that will be there to support you along the way.
We have heard from many industry vets who tell us they’ve connected and stayed in touch with peers from industry events that have been “sounding boards” to them via email or over the phone. It’s someone to talk to that understands what your business is all about because they share the same struggles and concerns.
2. Arrive Early and Stay Late
In other words, don’t shortchange yourself. You’ve spent money to attend this event. Now you want to make sure that you truly get the most out of it by squeezing every bit of value out of the sessions you attend and the exchanges you share. If you show up late or you leave early, you might miss something important. Plan to be there for the entire event, getting to sessions early and staying there late.
3. Be Present
We really can’t stress this one enough. You’ve invested time and money to be at this event—now you need to really be there. We don’t just mean in the physical sense. You need to be present mentally, too. Turn off your phone. Stop checking your emails. We know that it’s hard but you must force yourself to be present while people are speaking and presentations are occurring. Don’t allow yourself to be distracted.
If you are constantly receiving business texts you can’t truly be engaged in what’s going on at the event because your mind is back at the office. Set yourself up to “be present” by leaving someone in charge and making sure that it’s clear you should only be contacted in the event of an emergency. Only then can you truly allow yourself to be immersed in what’s going on.
4. Be Open Minded
This one can be tough. One thing that we’ve found about GROW! is that it truly is a “real” event, just like Marty stresses. That means that if you present a problem you’ve been struggling with in business to the group, you are going to get real answers. And the truth is, sometimes it may not be what you want to hear.
It’s important to remember that nobody is offering advice in a malicious way. The folks that attend this event are ones that truly care about growing their business, and the industry as a whole.
They are industry peers that welcome the opportunity to connect with you and offer their best advice. Remember, they care enough to be honest with you, and you have to be open-minded to what’s being said if you want to truly grow.
5. Stay Connected
Remember how our first piece of advice was to never eat alone? Well, our last piece of advice is to stay connected with the folks that you meet. They just might prove to be valuable resources in the future of your business. As we mentioned, we have heard from many GROW! attendees who have said some of their best business relationships came from meeting peers and staying connected with them over time. But it takes some effort on your part, too.
When you get back from the event, take the opportunity to send out an email and thank someone you met for their time or their insight. A quick email here or there is a great way to stay engaged with peers and to keep the lines of communication open. When a business question comes up, you’ll have someone to bounce it off of. Of course, it goes both ways. You have advice and wisdom to offer as well and should be open to sharing it when one of your peers is in need.
Get Ready to Have Some Fun!
No matter where you’re coming in from, we bid you safe travels as you make your way to Tampa this year! By keeping some of these pieces of advice in mind, we hope that you feel prepared to get the most out of the event that you can.
We also wish you a good time, which we don’t doubt you will have. GROW! is extremely educational, but it’s also a ton of fun. Be prepared to learn a lot and to have a blast while doing it.
And be sure to say hi to the Include Software team! We’ll be there too and we look forward to seeing many familiar faces in the crowd. See the event's website for more information about the GROW! 2018 Annual Conference.
If you'd like more resources about how to GROW your revenue and your profit, check out some of our additional free resources on our website, including the one below on how to close more landscape sales!
Image Sources: GROW!