By Marvin Joles III

If you are familiar with my content over the years, you know I LOVE the Expos and Conferences that highlight our industry. It is where vital relationships are fostered and where the community is made. These events, and the relationships developed there, have obviously been vital for the growth of Blacktop Banter and its partnerships. They have also been essential in making moves at Wis-Coat over the years to help it grow.

It might seem kind of crazy for me to say that I actually put together a strategic schedule for the events, but I have so many commitments, that I have to. Recently, I have shared what that looks like with some of the members of the Blacktop Banter Success Group and have helped a couple of them develop strategies for getting the most out of their time there. Some of these shows are massive, with tons of exhibitors, classes, networking events and more. Last year I tracked my steps at one and put on 68 miles in 4 days….

I can’t plan out your trip for you, but I can share with you my top 3 tips for getting the most out of these events that you attend. So, continue to the next page to see what they are.

Tip 1: Review the Educational Seminar Line-up and Schedule
Check into the classes you believe will help with your weak spots in your company or areas where you really aim to improve/expand. Sometimes these will overlap or run at the same time in the agenda, which will mean you can’t get to them all no matter what so choose wisely. You can likely choose which ones you want to purchase access to “a la carte”, which is great if you have other things outside of the seminars you want to attend or are going on a budget. If you are going to attend a conference solely to soak up as much education as possible, see if there is an “All-Access” option available.

Tip 2: Make an Exhibitor “Must-See” List
Review what companies are going to be exhibiting at the event and decide which ones you specifically KNOW you need to talk to, followed by the ones you really WANT to talk to. You may think there is plenty of time to do this, but once you get on site, many opportunities or events may plop in your lap that pull you away from the show floor and time can get away. You don’t want to miss out on the opportunity to secure a vital connection that you may need once your work season starts.

Alright. Simple, but not. If you do not “Network”, which is a fancy way of saying talk to people like you and people who are in business that serve people like you, you are literally missing out on the most important thing you can take away from a Conference and Expo. The relationships you will develop can possibly turn into legit friendships, that create connections where people will go out of their way to be available to you whenever and want to see you succeed.

Yes, that happens believe it or not, in our industry nowadays. Contractors are sharing secrets to success, partnering with people who used to be seen as “Competition” and going out of their way to help their fellow Industry contractor “win”. But that won’t happen if you don’t let your guard down and share about where you are in your journey, who you are and your life in general. We all want our industry to live on and thrive, the generation that is taking the reins now understand that collaboration is vital to that happening.

All that to say, come find me at an Expo this Winter. Email me or DM me, Text me, call me…. whatever, about Expos and Shows. Let’s prepare for them together. I believe they are going to be vital to your success and happiness. I want to talk to you. I want to see you. I want you to come by our booth. I want you to meet my team. I want your family to meet my family. I want you to meet my friends, who are sponsored contractors at BB. I want to know you, I want you to win.

As always, if you have any insight or criticisms about this article or anything in it please feel free to email us at and of course, reach out to us at Blacktop Banter on any form of social media. You can listen to Blacktop Banter anywhere podcasts are available, and the Video Versions are always posted to the Blacktop Banter YouTube Channel.