Recently, DIR attended the 14th annual SADBOC "Small and Disadvantaged Business Opportunity Council" Procurement Fair in Brooklyn Center, MN. (Trivia! Former MN Governor was the Mayor of Brooklyn Park, MN not Brooklyn Center, MN.) SADBOC was sponsored by the Federal Executive Board’s Small and Disadvantaged Business Opportunity Council, in cooperation with MN-PTAC (Minnesota Procurement Technical Assistance Center) and the U.S. Small Business Administration. Some thoughts on following-up are below.
After making notes on business cards (please don't have a business card that is either too dark to write on, too full of pictures and/or words to write on, or too glossy to write on) at the show, organizing cards for follow-up is a good 'first step' back in the office.
- Who needs a personal email?
- Who needs a follow-up phone call?
- Who wanted information 'snail mailed' to them?
- Any opinion on professional organizations that would be useful for me to check into?
- Any thoughts on another trade show to attend?
- If your organization can't use our services right now, do you have a recommendation of a peer who could?
DIR also looks at the brochures we gather as general information to share with the world (i.e. this Blog). Below, we note like-minded organizations with a brief recap. Do your audience a favor and provide up-to-date links as well as acronym definitions.
While at SADBOC, DIR met new and reintroduced ourselves to established like-minded organizations. For diverse suppliers, these organizations act as advocates. Get involved!
- Association of Women Contractors (AWC): Established in 1995, AWC provides a unified voice for women business owners in the construction industry.
- MN American Indian Chamber of Commerce: MAICC works to expand the economic opportunities for American Indians in Minnesota and promotes the entrance of American Indian Entrepreneurs in Minnesota’s competitive business community (among other things).
- National Association of Minority Contractors-Upper Midwest: NAMC-UM was est. in 1969 to address the needs and concerns of minority contractors.
- Metropolitan Economic Development Association: MEDA provides development assistance to businesses owned and managed by entrepreneurs of color.
- The Metropolitan Council now has an Underutilized Business Program that provides an ongoing effort to help underutilized businesses in MN have opportunities to participate in Council procurement and locally funded construction projects.
DIR's follow-up with these groups is straightforward and supportive:
- Do you have DIR resources in your offices? If not, may I drop them off for you to share with your constituents?
- How can we continue to help each other keep suppliers and corporations aware of resources?
Sure, in some ways we, as advocacy organizations, compete for the same information, but more often than not, our resources are complimentary. We all serve diverse businesses and we all want to see greater economic success evolve.
Enjoy re- and new introductions at trade shows, but don't forget to continue the efforts while you're "off your feet" back in the office. If you have a favorite 'follow-up,' please share it in the comments section. Thanks!
P.S. To see DIR's photos of SADBOC 2013, check out our Facebook photo album!