BLC 2017: Pre-Conference Recap

We’re excited to be here at the 2017 NSCA Business & Leadership Conference in the warm Arizona sun. Throughout the conference, we’re planning to send out daily recaps of our experience of the event, both to offer our industry partners a unique perspective on the conference, and also to provide a reliable and simple recap for those attendees (and people who could not attend) to refresh their memory on key takeaways.

We got in yesterday and decided to kick off our trip by heading over to the preconference session for new attendees. Following that initial session, we also took time to help honor this year’s Excellence in Business Award Winners.

New Attendee Orientation

This year’s New Attendee Orientation took the interesting form of a conversation between experienced guests and first-timers about what those new attendees hoped to learn from this year’s conference. It seems that this year, most of the interest centers around three key topics for integrators:

–       How to better recruit talent

–       How to minimize costs, specifically field labor costs.

–       How to build better client loyalty

Whether you’re a presenter or another conference attendee trying to plan out your approach to #blc2017, it seems like these are the hot topics you’ll want to bring up as you meet with other attendees. Our takeaway from the orientation was that there’s a huge hunger in this industry simply to be better, and that’s going to help us think about how we engage our integrator clients to deliver field services deployment technicians, with a special focus on addressing how we select our talent, how we integrate into our clients’ cost structures, and how our technicians can be brand ambassadors working to build customer loyalty for our clients.

Excellence in Business Awards

Following this session was a program to thank sponsors of the conference as well as to recognize this year’s Excellence in Business Award winners. Many of the winners engaged in practices to solve the target interests listed above, a realization that had us looking forward to learning from these capable leaders and peers.

Let’s take a quick look at each of the winners, and what seemed to earn them bragging rights for their excellent work this year:


–       Conference Technologies: By engaging a 3rd  party to determine feedback, Conference Technologies created a better process for cultivating honesty in their clients. This gave them the pulse of their clients and allowed them to quickly address and “close the loop” on issues to better promote company successes instead.

–       Mechdyne: Matt from Mechdyne wowed us with his explanation of the recruitment formula used by his company. Addressing the above issue of hiring more talented individuals, his company’s premise is rather to “Hire for culture and train for talent.” For Matt, this promotes a closer company culture, keeping employees connected and motivating each other towards learning and better supporting the interests of the company.

–       Live Technologies: Dave from Live Technologies mapped out his project management process for us using the three keywords: Define, Design, and Deliver. To break this down further,

1.    Define- What is the SOW that the project consists of?

2.    Design- What is the project plan for executing this SOW?

3.    Deliver- Implementation

–       Atrion: Paul from Atrion shared his solution to another one of the New Attendee issues addressed above, “How to build better client loyalty.” For Atrion, use of a formula to justify client fit has been very successful. They review and grade clients on twenty-seven factors, giving them a score from A to F. From there, they develop a plan to help clients power up to the next highest grade. If the client received a failing grade, they followed through with a plan to offboard. The premise here is that all client interaction with employees has an associated cost and thus a clear way to show this value becomes necessary.

While more awards ceremony than info session, this awards gathering proved to be a practical source of case studies in good business practice, and seemed to focus primarily on clients and culture, building both better for the future of each company. Overall, we learned a lot and we’re excited to be sharing it with you.

As the #blc2017 progresses, we’ll be sending out recaps just like this one every morning on Twitter using the #blc2017 hastag, on the conference app, and also via email. Signing up is quick and easy and grants you access to these recaps so you can learn right alongside us.

Register here to receive our daily recaps every morning.

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