Why Networking Will Be Your Key to Success at QME 2018
As we embark on day two of the Queensland Mining Expo (QME) in Mackay this week, we’re putting a fair amount of thought into networking. Rarely does so much expertise – and so much potential for collaboration – converge on a single location. The event also comes at a dramatic moment for Australian mining. For the first time in memory, signs of a new upcycle have not been greeted with a flurry of new ventures and capex projects. The recent past looms large, and the need for systemic change is clear.
To name a few examples: There is critical discussion about smart sensors, automated vehicles, smart blasting, drones, and environmental monitoring. There are new perspectives on safety, mental health, and the optimisation of human resources. The challenges we face as an industry are big, but the innovations currently being explored are bigger.
Given these factors, what can we do to maximise the value of this event for our colleagues, and for ourselves? QME 2018 is a standout opportunity to push the industry forward, but results aren’t going to happen automatically. A good approach to networking is critical.
Books written about professional networking – why we need it, and how to be good at it – could fill a wing of your local library. And yet, most of us can think of a highly skilled networker who has never read one of those books. Certain people have a knack for networking. Their list of contacts is always growing. Their efforts bring meaningful returns in the form of advice, support, and business collaborations.
Others have to work a little harder to find success in this area. Even when the opportunities are right in front of us – as they will be during QME – we don’t know how to make the most of them. We might even resign to being physically present, soaking up information, and having a conversation here and there with a familiar colleague.
That would be a mistake – especially at such an important moment in the history of Australian mining. People and knowledge are the industry’s most important resources, and when we attend QME without a focused approach to networking, we may as well have identified a concentrated deposit of valuable ore and done nothing to mine it.
Julia Palmer, Chief Executive of the Sydney-based networking firm Relatus, is no stranger to helping professionals cultivate valuable business relationships.
“We’re in an era of rapid change.” She says. “Competition is fierce, consumer expectations are higher than ever, and technology is evolving all the time. The changing face of business means that networks, and the personal connections they enable, are more important than ever.”
Ms Palmer gives four simple reasons why proactive networking at QME is so important to mining professionals today:
First, you can get better quality leads and referrals. Anyone who has tried to market a business online understands how hard it is to cut through the noise. Building face-to-face networks allows you to develop all-important personal connections – so that if someone is looking for what you have to offer, your name will be at top of the list, even if you’re not top of the Google results.
Second, you can tap into expertise you wouldn’t otherwise find. “Business networking can bring you into contact with people who might not be your ideal client, but who can help you grow your business in other ways.” Ms Palmer says.
Third, you can build your profile in the mining industry. Engaging other professionals in person allows you to differentiate your brand and give it a real personality. The better your reputation and the higher your profile, the more opportunities are likely to come your way.
Finally, networking at events like QME is a rare chance to meet industry leaders face-to-face. “This is a great way to find out about new products and services,” Ms. Palmer says, “and walk away with new ideas to consider or implement.”
Davey Bickford Enaex is attending QME to learn and collaborate as much we can. We encourage our colleagues in the mining industry to find us, talk with us, share ideas, and lay the groundwork for a stronger future.
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This article originally appeared on www.daveybickfordenaex.com