Heard of the Defense Experts Coffee Club? I have now, and I thought I'd share it with you.
Federal vendors in diverse industries take turns hosting this regular gathering in Dayton, San Antonio, Washington DC and Tampa. Fabian Plath of NES Associates was our host this month. Want to know what it's all about?
In all, nearly 300 members and over 200 organizations take part: a vendor community that offers a broad and deep range of services, and represent small to Fortune 500 Companies.
Think of it as a monthly federal busines intelligence potluck. During my first visit this morning, I heard large and small businesses share tips, get answers, and make partnership connections in person and via teleconference.
Today, members talked about how to address LPTA challenges, noted key conferences coming up (including AFCEA ACES in late October and the National Veterans Small Business Conference in mid-December), considered what needs to happen to dismantle the hurdles faced by Mid-Tier firms, identified commands that are actively seeking more HUBZone vendors, and reached out for partners for upcoming bids. The more you share, and the more you strengthen the group, the more everyone succeeds.
Here's the key to taking part in a group like this: Bring something to share. Don't just come to lurk and suck down everybody else's contributions.
In my case, I brought news of a conference, and my query on hot topics brought some new insight into the effects of LPTA on the contracting work force. The most exciting thing was to make two introductions between a DECC member and absent friends to explore business together. That's one of the things I love most about what I do: connecting people who need to meet each other. In this case, none of these folks is a client. I simply want them to succeed, and I can no sooner fail to do that than to stop breathing.
I really enjoyed my visit -- and I'll be back. Thanks to Richard Goudie of Optech for inviting me!
I thought I was pretty well informed about the key groups that get together to support each other in federal contracting, so I was delighted to learn about a new one (and, this month, hosted so close to my office, too). Just goes to show you: There's always a new place to get to know people! Find out more online at Defense Experts Coffee Club. See you next month!
What's your favorite industry network, and why?