By: Todd Louthain, Bay Tek Entertainment


How many times have you learned something new and said “today was worth waking up- I learned something new”?   Not a day should go by that you don’t strive for more knowledge- that’s true in life, relationships and of course, your business.  Our industry works very hard to offer education programs where there is an open sharing of information- what works, what doesn’t work, what is hot and what trends are worth watching.  But even with all of the opportunity for education I know that many attendees of major trade shows choose to not take advantage of the education sessions that are offered, this is hard for me to understand.  I may be personally biased having been a part of the Education Committee for the AAMA for many years but because of my involvement I know first-hand the importance of putting together an array of sessions covering everything from product selection to marketing to hiring.  If you are a person who adds a day to your trip and takes advantage of the programs offered, thank you and congratulations- you’re taking your business and your future seriously and I applaud that.  If you are someone who feels that your time is too valuable to spend one extra day learning about the important aspects of today’s FEC marketplace then I would simply like to ask you to re-evaluate that decision.  In addition, wouldn’t it be wise to invest in your key employees and allow them to hear from the speakers that by and large donate their time and their information to others within our great industry.  It’s truly quite amazing when you stop to think about it.  Our FEC community does an amazing job of giving away their secrets!  Why do we do it?  We do it because it only takes one poorly operated facility to spoil it for the rest.  If a customer is new to the world of FECs and they happen to take their family to a poorly run and dirty location, that person and that family are very likely to generalize and feel that all locations are going to be the same.  As an industry that survives and thrives on a family’s discretionary income we need to work together to make each other better.  It’s not about competition, it’s about teamwork, togetherness and industry pride.

Regardless of what trade shows, distributor open houses or other industry events that you plan to attend this year and in the future- please take the time to look at the lineup of education programs available.  You may be surprised at how many sessions will be relevant to you and your business.  Consider buying one more plane ticket and a couple of hotel nights and invest in your future by bringing along a team member or employee- the knowledge and information that they bring back with them will absolutely pay for itself down the road.

I encourage everyone- make this the year that you can say- “Wow, it was really worth going to that session- I learned something today”!