Lessons Learned: The Benefits of Attending Industry Events and Joining Associations
Over the last 15 years, I’ve had the privilege of being able to attend a variety of industry events and join various associations across Canada and in the US. Some of these groups hold monthly meetings while others meet less frequently but at the end of the day, I am always able to walk away learning something new. Some of the groups that I am fortunate to be a part of include:
- The Fleet Safety Council (fleetsafetycouncil.com)
- The Truck Training Schools Association of Ontario (ttsao.com)
- The Private Motor Truck Council of Canada (pmtc.ca)
- Trucking Human Resources Sector Council Atlantic (thrsc.com)
- The Ontario Trucking Association (ontruck.org)
- The Toronto Transportation Club (torontotransportationclub.com)
These groups have provided me with many opportunities to build new relationships with like-minded individuals that all share a passion for improving our industry. At the same time, it has allowed me to build my personal and professional network while continuously learning about upcoming regulatory changes, meeting different industry service providers and learn about different ways to handle situations.
Some of my experiences include:
- The chance to share knowledge – Like many people, I have a habit of doing things a certain way because ‘that’s the way we’ve always done it’. By attending different events and associations, you can listen to how other companies and individuals are handling similar situations. More times than not you’ll find that you are not alone if you have a question. One thing about the commercial transportation industry is that it is made up of a community of individuals that are always willing to share and learn from each other.
- The opportunity to build connections & friendships – It’s true that many of the events and associations I have attended include a lot of the same people or companies, but there is always someone new in the group. Over the years this has allowed me to develop many great relationships and build on those connections. When the time comes that I’m stuck on a question, or I’m looking for a person to handle a situation, I know that I have a large network of industry professionals to reach out to. More importantly, many of these connections have developed into personal friendships as well.
- One of the biggest benefits I’ve obtained from being part of these associations is increased confidence. As someone that did not grow up in the commercial transportation industry and never drove a truck, I had a steep learning curve when I first started. Through a lot of hard work, some great mentors, and shared knowledge I was able to grow both personally and professionally. This allowed me to increase my confidence and have the pleasure of being part of this great industry.
As a final thought, while the commercial transportation is a massive industry it is also a very small community that I am proud to be a part of. I hope to see you all at an association meeting or event soon.