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Pet Expo, 2008

Before opening day of your boarding operation, make sure your venture succeeds. Get your finger on the pulse of the industry. Hit the road for Pittsburgh’s 2008 Pet Expo.

Educational seminars on business management and the chance to network with like-minded business owners is sure to help any kennel expansion get off to a great start. If grooming is your mainstay and a kennel promises to be an added profit sector for your business, PCSE ’08 offers the perfect opportunity to rub elbows with the best in the boarding biz.

Several keynote speakers with a variety of backgrounds are scheduled to present on business building topics that will likely benefit your grooming operation just as much as your burgeoning kennel venture. Several networking lunches and a final cocktail hour provide the perfect opportunities to connect with a potential mentor or at least find a professional who’s been in your shoes before.

If you’re not familiar with the art of networking, take a while to plan a visit to a trade show like this one. With the right approach, a trip to an Expo could pay for itself many times over in advice and connections.

Networking 101
- Before a networking event. Try out your skills on your daily routines. Networking can be difficult if you’re naturally introverted. Find someone you’ve never met, at the grocery store or bank, for instance. Strike up a conversation out of the blue. If you can manage this with a total stranger, it will be a breeze with your peers at an expo event.

- Try attending a public speaking seminar or workshop to improve your confidence speaking with and in front of total strangers. It will make a networking event less nerve wracking.

- Before attending, make a current procure and business cards that showcase what you do best. Get comfortable handing them out and bring more than you think you need to any event. The worst networking sin is running out of business cards or information with your contact details on them.

- Practice listening. Professionals that listen well become popular with peers and successful people who feel you sincerely care about what they do and how they do it.

- Keep track of every contact you make at an out of town event. You never know when you may need to call in a favor or ask for advice on any number of topics. Even if it seems unrelated, you may be glad to have the number of a heating and cooling professional, for example, on hand when you need to trouble shoot your ventilation system.

- Keep in touch with the people you enjoyed meeting. Though you may not need their help now, later, when you’ve won their professional friendship, they’ll be there when you need them most. <HOME>

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