Here are some thoughts from your colleagues on the marketing value they gain from attending the annual NAPO conference:
Every time I come home from conference, I take what I've learned from sessions or from vendors and apply it immediately. What's really nice is having sessions tracks so I can attend sessions that fit exactly with what I need to learn. Last year, I tweeted live from the Conference Expo hall and engaged with folks worldwide who are interested in organizing. My clients also love it when I tell them about sessions I attended, especially if I discovered something that focuses specifically on an issue they are having.
Meeting organizers from around the country (and world) opens my eyes to the amazing ways that people take the organizing business and expand it to encompass so many aspects, in addition to so many interesting viewpoints on marketing and strategizing.
Liz Jenkins, CPO®, A Fresh Space
By letting people know that you have attended, and will be attending, Conference, it reflects a commitment to serving your clients better and to running your business better. Current clients, potential clients, networking partners, etc. can see that you are serious enough about your business and industry to invest the time and money in attending the most significant event in our industry. Whether or not they fully understand all that happens at Conference, they do know that Conferences are a place to learn more, connect more and experience more in our industry.
Jennifer Lava, Jennifer Lava
As an in-house organizer, I'll write a newsletter with any new ideas and products I discovered at the conference and how they can pertain to their work or home life. Clients like to hear about new ideas and products, and it gives me a sense of credibility with my clients since I look as if I am on top of the latest and greatest. Another aspect of conference is meeting organizers from around the world. Here in Houston, 95 languages are spoken, and most of us are from somewhere else. Knowing other organizers helps me make referrals to my clients who are dealing with aging parents and family members in other parts of the country and the world.
Janice Simon, CPO®, The Clutter Princess
The formal educational opportunities in the NAPO sessions help me market myself better at three levels. First, I gain knowledge and skills that I can put to use with my actual clients and for extended audiences when I write articles, books, and blog posts, and do presentations. Second, I better understand organizing fields in which I do not work (individuals who hoard, relocations, etc.) so that I can provide guidance and outside referrals to prospects who need services I do not provide. Positioning yourself with regard to what you do NOT do is as important for marketing as identifying clearly what services you DO provide. Third, attending educational sessions gives me the knowledge to speak to the media about organizing fields in which I don't extensively work. Members often ask wide-ranging questions, and being able to speak knowledgeably (and provide references and contacts) increases our industry's legitimacy.
As a blogger specializing in products and skills for improving paper and information management, visiting the vendor booths at Expo provides me with a wealth of information for blogging purposes for throughout the calendar year. By observing trends, discussing my colleagues’ opinions of theproducts, and talking with the vendors, I increase the expertise I'm able to share with my readers, and thus improve my ability to market myself as knowledgeable.
The networking aspect of attending conference is far more profound than rubbing elbows and breaking bread. When we attend conference, we meet colleagues we might never otherwise know due to geographic boundaries. Building these relationships give us the opportunity for intellectual exchange (at conference and afterward), mutual referrals (for clients and media interviews), pointing people in the right direction for advice on products, methods and brainstorming, and connecting with strategic partners for a wide range of projects. Marketing involves not only one-to-many, but often one-to-one. The better we are known and appreciated, the more opportunities come our way.
Attending conference is a practical, visible commitment to our profession. By sharing the mere fact of our participation (through press releases, in social media, in our blogs, etc.), we are providing an outward sign of the commitment to improving ourselves, both professionally and personally.
Julie Bestry, CPO®, Best Results Organizing
Throughout conference, I make a list of my marketing next steps from conference experiences so I can implement them when I return home.
Ellen Delap, CPO®, Professional-Organizer
As you attend or plan to attend conference, consider all the ways you can use your experiences to market your business. Make a plan. Will you use social media to share your experiences, interview vendors in the Expo about their newest products and share the video through your website or on YouTube, pin items to your Pinterest account to keep your followers interested, blog, send out a press release or newsletters? Identify yourself as an industry leader. Make your conference experience count.
Kim Oser, CPO®/GC, NAPO-WDC chapter member, NAPO Marketing Committee Chair, Need Another You, Washington, DC
If you have questions about or are interested in joining the NAPO Marketing Committee or Social Media Team, contact Kim Oser at email@example.com