Thursday, September 27, 2012

How To Network Successfully At Events and Conferences

Even the most confident person can be intimidated by a crowd. Take for example the classic 'house party' scenario - you're invited to a soiree by someone you barely know, and everyone else there is a complete stranger to you. How do you react? Do you clutch your drink and try to fade into the corner, hiding behind the cheese plant until you can make your escape - or do you throw yourself into the mix, socialising, getting to know people and taking numbers?

Now enlarge that scenario to a business event at a conference centre, but add into the mix not cheesy nibbles and a rather disappointing Chardonnay, but your company's future and hundreds of potential business contacts. So it's hardly surprising that networking at conferences and events can intimidate even the most capable social butterfly. However, there are things you can do to make your networking efforts pay dividends and allow you to mine the potential you're faced with at these important events.

1. Planning Is Everything

Don't just launch yourself into the melee and hope for the best. Before you even arrive at the venue, check the schedule. Use your time wisely - make sure you're in the right places at the right time. Look for opportunities to be in the same room as people with similar interests and you'll find it much easier to strike up a conversation.

2. Smile!

Your introduction is your metaphorical 'foot in the door'. Present yourself as someone who is easy to talk to, confident and business-like. Avoid too many jokes (especially if you're not good at them!), and have faith in what you have to offer. One of the hardest things to do is convince complete strangers that you're worth listening to. So convince yourself first, and that confidence will shine through.

3. Hashtag

Use other methods of communication, not just talking. Conferences today will inevitably have their own Twitter feed, so join in and add something worthwhile to the discussion (not just derisory comments about the buffet). And while we're talking about social media, blog about the event and then Tweet it to the delegates. Again, make sure you have something worthwhile to add to the conversation and invite comments.

4. Business Cards - Doing It 'Old School'

While bumping smartphones may be the latest way to transfer information, not everyone is as tech-savvy as an Apple Genius, so make sure you've got plenty of business cards with you.

5. Stand Out From The Crowd

You don't have to turn up in an Hawaiian shirt or wearing a silly hat, but make sure you're easily identifiable in a crowd. If you've developed an interesting piece of tech, carry it with you and demonstrate its charms to anyone curious enough to point at it and ask, "What's that, then?" By the same token, don't be afraid to talk to people in return. Recognise someone from a previous conference? Go up and introduce yourself with a cheerful, "I saw your presentation at XYZ Expo last month... "

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

How to Get the Very Most From Your Business Cards

Business cards represent a fantastic opportunity for any business man or woman or for any entrepreneur. A huge part of business as most people are aware is who you know and if you have the right connections then spreading the word on a new product or finding more work can be significantly easier. However at the same time it's also important to recognize that this doesn't make business down to luck - knowing the right people and getting them to respond to you and to want to work with you is a skill in itself and it's something that the business savvy will put a lot of time and effort into if they are going to be successful. And a fantastic tool to help you do this? The humble business card, which can turn any interaction into a potential lead or business partner. Here we will look at how to get the most out of your business cards.

Know When to Hand Them Over

Going around being trigger happy with your business cards and giving them to every single person you meet isn't going to help your business. In fact this might even damage your business as people avoid you and as you ruin your reputation in front of those people. Make sure that you only give business cards when someone shows a genuine interest in your company, or when you would otherwise be swapping numbers. Getting to that point in the conversation is again a skill in itself.

Get a Great Design

When you hand over your business card you want this to tell the recipient that you are serious about what you do and that you are smart enough and have enough foresight to have gotten them printed. Of course though your business card isn't going to say this at all if it's badly designed and if it looks ugly, so make sure you use a good company to get the card printed who will make the card in high definition and crisp colour, and that you come up with a great design or outsource the design process if you don't trust yourself.

Make Them High Quality

Meanwhile you also want to make your business cards high quality and as durable as possible. This way they will be more able to stand up to punishment meaning they're more likely to get passed around, but at the same time they will reflect better on the quality of the service or product that you provide.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

As We Gather 'Round the Table (for Business)

We'll be gathering 'round the table this month for a meal or two with family, but if you're in business you most likely will find yourself across the table from a client or business associate. Do you know your dining etiquette? What you don't know could blow the big deal, or at least be embarrassing.

OK, so you're probably not dining with royalty here. You won't often be faced with four forks (one for dinner, fish, salad and dessert), but you might find yourself wondering which cup and napkin is yours at a crowded dinner table or how to elegantly eat pasta. If your grandmother were dining with you today would she lecture you? Would grandpa flick you on the temple? If so, you might want to review these contemporary business dining tips.

Get to know everyone at your table. If there are "hosts," let them take the lead in sitting, starting the meal, toasting and guiding conversation. Depending upon the industry, culture and time allowed an appropriate level of "chit chat" or social conversation generally occurs before business is discussed.

Know basic table settings. I use the BMW method (left to right: bread, meal, water) to remind myself the order. Use utensils placed farthest away from the plate and work inward. Just for fun, get to know each type of glassware. Place your napkin on your lap as soon as your host does. When you're done eating, put your cutlery at the 10:00/4:00 to signal you have finished.

· Thoughts on food. At a business meal, it's good to consider how easy it will be to eat. It may not be the time to "try out" oysters on a half shell or ribs. If you have special dietary issues, check in with the restaurant in advance to plan your meal. Review basic manners. One common question is the proper way to eat a roll (place butter on your plate, tear off a piece of bread and butter the portion-do not butter an entire roll or slice of bread). Pace your eating speed with other diners and if discussing business, plan enough time to stay for coffee; especially if it means completing the deal.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Benefits of Solenoids in Modern Industries

The industrial revolution ushered in whole new level of industry, where society has increasingly relied on advanced machinery and technology to fuel economic growth and allow us to live at a level of comfort that is unprecedented. In order to run the advanced machinery, complex processes such as radioactivity, high pressure and temperature control are needed. Fortunately, we have machines that can perform these sorts of tasks reliably and safely. One of the mainstays in industrial processes are valves. They are used to control pressure, temperature, capacity and the flow of liquids in machinery and industrial processes. One of the most useful types are solenoid valves.

Solenoid valves make use of electricity to control the rate and flow of fluids in various types of systems and machines. Electrical energy flows into a solenoid coil which results in the creation of a magnetic field that opens a plunger to allow gas and other liquids to flow through. When the electricity is shut off, the valve closes.

Solenoids are used in many different industries and a wide array of machines and processes. They are used in linear as well as rotary applications to control fluid power motors, cylinders and other types of industrial processes. Some of the major industries that use solenoids include the dental, appliance, energy, medical and transportation industries. Linear applications include the use of solenoids in brakes, vending machines, door locks, copiers, coin changers, pumps, disc drive locks, film processors and electric typewriters. Rotary solenoid applications include circuit breakers, counters, defibrillators, machine tools, and textile machinery. Solenoid valves can be found in dishwashers and washing machines where they control the flow of water. In dentist chairs they control both water and air flow. In other words, solenoids are part of our everyday life without us even knowing it.

The use of solenoids are so beneficial in a wide variety of machines and industries because of their reliability, cost effectiveness and longevity. There are also several different types of solenoid valves to meet various specific needs of industry. Solenoid valves are either direct-acting or pilot-operated valves. They also come with two or more ports. Direct-acting solenoid valves are most often used for controlling low volume valves. This is because they contain just one electromechanical control set. Pilot-operated valves are comprised of a combination of valves, making it possible to use them in higher volume applications.