NMSDC 2016 Recap.

As a communications specialist and entrepreneur, I have to stay on top of current events and trends.  This can involve a lot of reading, attending conferences and frequent networking.  One conference I definitely wasn’t going to miss this year was the National Minority Supplier Diversity Council (NMSDC) held in Chicago.  Here’s what I took away from my experience: 

They Really Want to Help Businesses Expand

The NMSDC’s common theme is that they are “committed to advancing Asian, Black, Hispanic and Native American suppliers in a globalized corporate supply chain by advancing business opportunities for certified minority business enterprises and connecting them to corporate members.  From networking opportunities to interactive workshops to fascinating keynote speakers, every aspect of the conference was designed to educate and support small businesses like mine.

In-Person Opportunities Are Priceless

While I’ve read about many of the entrepreneurs and CEO’s that would be present at the NMSDC Conference, there’s something surreal about being in the same room as some of these key influencers.  A highlight for me was having the opportunity to speak to NMSDC President, Josette Wright-Lacy.  She was able to shed some insight on their 2014-2015 Economic Impact Report and explain in depth how minority businesses are positively impacting the economy. 

A Change of Scenery Brings Fresh Ideas

Do you ever have those days when you decide to work in a different location?  This new environment tends to bring about new and exciting ideas that you wish you could implement right away.  That’s exactly what happened to me during the NMSDC Conference.  Fascinated by Chicago’s iconic skyline, I literally went up to the top of the Virgin Hotel and sat out on their rooftop lounge when ideas for my company began flowing.  It was an incredible experience that I couldn’t have had sitting in my office location in Florida. 

Endless Networking Opportunities

I often connect with my peers via phone calls, emails and social media, but there’s nothing like meeting them in person.  It brings about a different energy and dynamic that often leads to an exchange of ideas, new leads and better potential for doing business with one another.  I’m truly grateful to have been a part of this year’s NMSDC conference.  It was an unforgettable experience and I look forward to taking advantage of all the great connections that were made.