Viva Las Vegas: The WBENC National Conference

8.17.2011 »
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There’s something inherently exciting about attending a Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) Conference with over 3,000 women-owned business leaders, more than 300 exhibitors, and dozens of workshops. And it didn’t hurt that the conference just happened to be in Las Vegas. I was ready to go!

Like all businesses, Sanger & Eby is continually looking for new opportunities to grow and develop. The company has long been a certified WBE, but we rarely, if ever, use that as our calling card. But when a major client told us about this highly-regarded conference, we decided to check it out.

Viva Las Vegas!

Enter the world of glitz and glamour, desert air and slot machines. I had never been to the “Entertainment Capital” before, so I caught myself several times feeling like a small child in a huge toy store. But I slapped myself back to reality and got back to business.

At the conference we were greeted by an enthusiastic group of women and men who loved their businesses, were interested in yours, and were all looking for ways to grow their companies. We were in good company.

Through seminars and meetings, we gathered new ideas and success stories on risk management, strategic alliances, purchasing trends, and marketing. We were inspired by various speakers, including World Series of Poker winner Annie Duke, Zappo’s CEO Tony Hsieh, and News Correspondent Soledad O’Brien. And throughout the conference we felt the sense of commitment that major corporations have about using WBEs.

In the world of sales, networking has become an essential ingredient of the process. Picking up the phone and cold calling to find the right person at any major corporation who might be interested in hearing your spiel enters you into a maze in which you might constantly hit dead ends. Here, we could sit next to someone, walk up to them at a booth, or meet them in a buffet line and strike up a conversation. It was worth the trip.

The end result is that I have become a WBENC devotee, ready to carry the banner for the cause. But more importantly, I have a greater appreciation for all small business owners working energetically, enthusiastically and passionately to grow their businesses. I am in good company indeed.

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