The Power of Participation……

Astra Board at Trade Mission

(Left to Right) Suchi Gupta, Caroline Gladding, Diane McClelland, Consul-General Cassie Doyle, Suzanne Lackman, Marcella Mandeville, Mary Anderson, Arlene Inch, Sandra James and Olsa Martini.

Participating in events is the key way to cement relationships. Whether you are connecting with people for the first time or touching base with people you already know, there is no replacement for face-to-face meetings. On March 1st, 2012, Astra and WEConnect Canada joined forces to hold their first in-person trade mission with Canada. Pictured above are delegates from the Astra Board, the Consulate of Canada-San Francisco & Palo Alto, CA &  WEConnect Canada who participated in the Trade Mission. Download the program.

Astra WBENC WBE, Pam Young, Pam Young Company, attended the event & wrote “It’s been a week since the event, and I am still so glad that I had this opportunity to meet other people who are working just like me building their businesses in meaningful and rewarding ways. I find it amazing, at least on most days, that I have the privilege of owning a business, and this in itself keeps me inspired and motivated to find ways to grow and to keep the business strong. It has been very difficult in the past two years to accomplish this, but I have to say that meeting so many women that are staying focused on their core values, believing in their services and or products, well it really was what I needed to keep moving forward. And interestingly enough, while initially I wasn’t sure that there would be new business opportunities, it is turning out that I definitely have some potential prospects to develop, with people that seem excited about working with me! That is exciting! So thank you for encouraging me to attend, and also for all your hard work in putting together a great event…….” 

Join Astra on March 29th for a 30 minute Webinar & find out more about the Power of Participation.

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Preparing for Matchmaker Meetings

Matchmaker meetings are the opportunity to sit down face-to-face with a company or agencies representative and pitch your company. Meetings times can vary depending on the format of the event. Typically plan to spend 3  to 10 minutes introducing yourself and your compare. Here are some key points to remember:

Be prepared. Follow instructions & respect the format of the event. Be on time.

Be prepared. Respect the organization’s process. Fill out  the online databases. (Hint: Search the company’s website for suppliers/ how to do business.)

Be prepared. Reach out to other WBEs who have contracts with the company. (Track awards, articles, and success stories.)

Be prepared. Find out who in the company buys your products & services. (Who is your ideal buyer?)

Be prepared. Practice your elevator speech. Be confident. Differentiate your self. (Smile.)

Be prepared. Provide a capabilities statement as a leave behind. Confirm next steps. Start to build a relationship. (When will I see you again?)

Resources for matchmaker prep:

1. August 2011 Astra Matchmaker Prep Webinar – Slidedeck

2. 2011 WBENC Conference Preparation Series