Convention Preview:
New Ways to Network
by Susan Avery, CAE

he 66th Annual IAPD Convention and connecX is right around the corner. We can’t wait to see you at the JW Marriott in Tampa, FL, USA on September 12-15. If you haven’t been to the convention in the past few years, we hope that you take advantage of all the ways that you can connect with current and potential business partners. This is the one time of year that the leaders throughout the performance plastics industry will be in one place, and they are there to meet and connect. IAPD is pleased to offer some new and different ways to connect this year.

If you arrive on Monday, September 12, head to the lobby bar for a no-host happy hour. It’s the unofficial meeting spot for IAPD members looking for other IAPD members. Say hello to people you might not have seen for a few years, enjoy the surroundings and make plans for dinner at one of the many restaurants within walking distance.

Susan Avery
Giving back is a great way to connect with others, and you can do that at the Riverwalk Cleanup on Tuesday, September 13. IAPD’s Women in Plastics group is partnering with Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful as a part of their Trash Free Waters Program for this important service project. The program is designed to create more sustainable communities by focusing volunteer efforts on activities that impact individuals in need, lead to aesthetic community improvements and provide a positive environmental impact.

Sports fans will want to connect at the optional tour of Raymond James Stadium. During this tour, you’ll get to experience the home of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the University of South Florida Bulls. This private tour will offer behind-the-scenes access including the playing field, locker room, club lounge, suites and aboard the world-famous pirate ship.

Of course, we encourage you all to connect with others who have the same interests as you by attending one of the many committee meetings scheduled for Tuesday. Volunteering is a great way to expand your professional network while also working toward a common goal. Plus, you can grow professionally and hone your leadership skills while participating on a committee.

Tuesday will wrap up with the welcome reception, at the outdoor Sunset Terrace where you’ll be able to reconnect with others while enjoying refreshments and the amazing view. A full day of valuable programming is lined up for Wednesday, along with opportunities for high-level strategic meetings at the private supplier meeting rooms.

QR Code
Connect at connecX
We are excited to launch a whole new way to network on the afternoon of Thursday, September 15. We hope that, as you register for the convention, you are also taking advantage of the appointment-setting software that will allow you to request meetings with people during connecX, from noon to 4:00 p.m. These appointments are the best way for you to make sure that you see the people you want to see, even if you don’t have a meeting with them in a private meeting room earlier in the week.

To help you navigate the process, IAPD has created a video tutorial. Just sacn the QR code to see it. If you’re reading the premium digital version, clicking on the QR code will take you to the video. Of course, you are welcome to call the IAPD headquarters office if you have any questions.

Since both parties must agree to the meeting, it’s best to get your requests in early. Exhibitors can invite attendees and non-exhibiting attendees can invite exhibitors. You can set the amount of time for these meetings when you send the invitations. Your meetings will be held at the exhibitor’s booth, in a semi-private curtained area behind their primary exhibits.

This appointment-setting system was implemented with the following people in mind:

  • Distributors who do not engage in the meetings in the private meeting rooms.
  • Distributors who are looking for secondary or tertiary suppliers just in case there is a disruption with their primary supplier.
  • Manufacturers who do not engage in the private meeting rooms.
  • Manufacturers who are looking to expand their distribution contacts.
  • Anyone who wants to make sure that they get to meet with a certain person or company and doesn’t want to leave that meeting up to chance.

I encourage you all to take advantage of the appointment-setting software at connecX, as well as all the other exciting ways for you to create and expand your business relationships while you are at the IAPD Convention in September. We look forward to seeing you there!