The Celtic team is at the Outdoor Retailer Show this week in Salt Lake City, UT. In our latest blog, Kurt takes a moment to reflect on one key part to attending the event.

How lucky I am that twice a year I get to attend the Outdoor Retailer Show in Salt Lake.  What’s there not to love?  We have awesome clients exhibiting, the show is a playground for an outdoor enthusiast like myself, it’s a fun show, the mountains are beautiful, did I say it’s fun?

But best of all, are all the great people I get to see.  In fact, that’s usually my number one goal – say hi to as many old friends that I possibly can, and meet many new ones along the way.   You see, I look at Outdoor Retailer as a personal investment.  When I first attended years ago, I knew absolutely no one.  Now, it’s like a reunion – I’m able to reconnect with old faces and shake hands with new ones.

Then again, isn’t this a common lesson? Whether it’s in business or our personal lives.  You see for me, I look at OR as yet another opportunity to work on my people skills, and by doing so, I get to meet great folks.  It’s a proven formula – it leads to great new client partnerships, made some new friends … not to mention mingling with people is just more fun than sitting on the sideline.   Whether it’s on your block, in your neighborhood, at work, etc., getting off the bench and making connections with people leads to a more fun life.  Couple things I do at OR every year:

·         Have a checklist of old acquaintances and current folks I simply must see – It helps keep me on track during the sometimes busy and chaotic days at OR.    It sounds robotic, but sometimes I only get a chance two times a year to see these folks.

·         Be open all the time – Most people I meet at OR are genuine and great.  So 99% of the time it’s super easy to strike up a conversation.  But, yes, there are times you bump into a grumpy ogre.  And when that happens, I simply say “What the #$*!”  and move on.  This doesn’t happen very often, but when it does, who cares.  You’ll always find a few bad apples.

·         Follow-up – Boy, isn’t this easier said than done.  “I’ll write” or “I’ll call you” … how many times have we said that in life and never followed through?  Hell, I have many times (shame on me).  I continue to learn that networking and building relationships takes time and effort.  So when I get back, I follow-up, and I continue to follow-up and stay in touch.  If I don’t, then the effort made the first time around when meeting these folks is all for naught.

·         Have fun – Let’s face it, this is a fun show.  And when I’m having fun it becomes infectious in everything else I do.  I meet people easier, become more productive when helping my clients at the show, and selfishly, simply enjoy my time away from home much better.  This is a fun show, so when in Rome …

Hope to see and meet some of you at OR – I promise not to be an Ogre!