After a late decision to attend Photokina in Cologne, Germany for 3 days (Fri-Sun) I finally headed off on Friday morning to catch up with my old mucker Glyn and some other great friends, Calvin, Gabor, Michael, Frank D, Erik, Danny & Jess from 3LeggedThing, the guys at ThinkTankPhoto, Helen from Snapperstuff, The Hoodman team, Kenro (Swindon based photography company) plus all the many new people I was lucky enough to meet – Mrs Hollywood, Katarina, all at Video2Brain, Hector from Globell (DXO), the guys and girls at Pictures-magazine, Uli Staiger, Olaf Geirmann, James Madelin (Orbis Ring Flash) plus everyone else I stopped to talk to. A whirlwind time but absolutely brilliant.
Glyn mentioned in his recent blog that these kinds of shows are all about the people and its exactly that for me, its about maintaining great relationships and making new connections. The important part is to follow up, stay connected and help each other wherever possible. Social media is a great way to do this but never be afraid to send personal emails. Not everything needs to live on Facebook, I’ve made many great new friends and its always nice to make the effort and get out there and meet up, have a chat and share information.
A great example was an introduction from Danny at 3LeggedThing to James who owns Orbis Ring Flash. We had a quick chat about what we were doing there and what we both did. On Sunday we (Glyn and I at the airport) bumped into James waiting for the same flight home. James was telling us about his networking at Photokina and after a good old chat we put him in touch with some mutual friends we thought would be useful for his product range, it turned out we shared some friends in the industry and James is a guy we’ll definitely catch up with again to make sure all the contacts got introduced. I love that the people I meet are happy to help, share, offer advice and in lot of cases become good friends. Being NAPPMEMBER UK has it’s perks and the best is meeting new people and making new acquaintances.
So if you are looking to get out there and be part of your community, have a think about the people who you can help rather than those who can help you. The good connections will evolve naturally and there will be mutual benefits. An introduction from a friend to one of their contacts can be worth its weight in gold. Trust, knowledge and mutual connections are some of the key ingredients to these relationships developing.
So if its any of the big photo shows, Photoshop World, product exhibitions etc – go and join in, make friends and enjoy the ride.