The Importance of Networking at NPE2018
With so many industry representatives in one place, NPE isn’t just a place to learn— It’s also the ideal place to build, grow and maintain a professional network. A longtime attendee of NPE shares how to take advantage of the opportunity.
With so many industry representatives in one place, NPE isn’t just a place to learn— It’s also the ideal place to build, grow and maintain a professional network.
Stan Glover is the director of sales at Zeiger Industries, a Canton, Ohio-based company that manufactures hardened tool steel screws and the Mallard Z4 check ring valve for engineering-grade processing challenges and applications. He will be attending his tenth NPE show in 2018 and his eighth as an exhibitor. “We see the value of NPE because it’s a venue that provides us with access to key decision makers involved with injection molding,” he says.
In that time period, the company’s footprint at the show has grown from a 10-foot-by-10-foot booth to the 20-foot-by-20-foot booth it has planned for NPE2018. And as the company’s presence has increased at the show, so has Mr. Glover’s network. In fact, it inspired the company’s 2018 booth. “The entire display we’re doing is based on the network that I have developed over the last 25 years in the industry,” he says.
This year, the company will be running its liquid silicone rubber (LSR) plug-and-play injection unit mounted on a Milacron-FANUC Roboshot a-S55iA, along with an Elmet TOP 5000 P silicone dispensing system, an MR Mold two-cavity tool, a Yushin robot and Dow Corning’s Dowsil MS-4007 moldable optical silicone LSR to make clear lenses for automotive lighting applications. Mr. Glover says that the exhibit is supported by the latest technological advantages from the peers in his network, and that it showcases the importance of networking at trade shows, especially NPE.
For those just starting to grow a professional network, Mr. Glover recommends getting involved with local and national trade associations in the industry, including PLASTICS. He himself is chairman of the Plastics Industry Association’s equipment counsel, the US TAG chairman of ISO TC 270 and on the PLASTICS board of directors. “Take an active role in organizations and stay committed and focused on it, because once you’re seen as an expert in your area, more opportunities will afford themselves to you,” he says.
Mr. Glover stresses the importance of attending meetings and trade shows, and taking advantage of the opportunities to ask questions. “The NPE platform provides the golden opportunity to ask questions, bring information back to your employer and grow your personal network,” he says. He adds that it’s important to answer honestly when you are asked challenging questions yourself. “Integrity is everything as you develop and maintain a network,” he says.
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