A Time for Renewal

It’s that time of year when we’re all heading off to annual association meetings, conferences or trade shows.

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It's that time of year when we're all heading off to annual association meetings, conferences or trade shows, and I like to think of those gatherings as a renewal. There's probably no better time spent then with your industry peers engaged in seminar presentations or casual conversations, and most gatherings are held in environments that promote relaxation.

The Asphalt Emulsion Manufacturers Association/Asphalt Recycling & Reclaiming Association/International Slurry Surfacing Association meeting in Bonita Springs, FL, and the National Asphalt Pavement Association meeting in San Francisco this month are both packed with informative sessions designed to educate and stimulate creative thinking on ways to stay at the top of your game. Then there's the World of Asphalt Show & Conference in Atlanta in March. Again, another industry event that provides educational value through seminar presentations and product evaluation via manufacturer exhibits.

Someone once told me that if you attend an industry event and leave with just one idea on how to improve your business, then you will have more than paid for the cost of attending the meeting.

The seminars at these industry events can easily stimulate an idea or two, and innovative equipment and other products can generally prompt a few thoughts on how to solve a problem, improve your productivity and generate more revenue for your company.

But the real value of industry meetings is often found in the informal networking opportunities that abound. Having an opportunity to interact with your industry peers from across the country, to find out how they're addressing the same challenges you face in executing successful projects and generating a profitable return on your investments and efforts. In the asphalt business, or any business for that matter, the name of the game is to survive and hopefully prosper.

I think when most people return home following an industry gathering, they're refreshed, recharged and excited about what they have learned and the people they've met. They're anxious to see how they can apply some of those new ideas and products to improve their own business operations. They're ready to take on the next project to see if the information they've gleaned from the meetings helps them execute a better quality project, a more cost-effective project, and a more profitable project.

That's the value of attending industry events. They help you stay on top of your game. They help you to inspire your associates to stay on top of their game. They help you to look for ways to continuously improve your company in order to maintain a competitive edge in the market you serve.

So, I hope to see many of you at the upcoming meetings and let me know howd Asphalt Contractor can contribute to your continuous improvement efforts.