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ERA's Environmental Compliance Management Blog

EHS Professional Development & Networking: Not Just Small Talk

Posted by Anamaria Sporea

Networking Pic A.jpg.pngFrom workshops that focus on time efficiency to speeches given by prestigious experts, EH&S conferences represent a wide variety of different opportunities for professionals. Therefore, workers in the EH&S sector need to be discriminating when selecting which conferences to attend. 

While availability and price are important factors, networking is an important aspect to consider when prioritizing your professional development hours. Networking at industry events brings numerous overlooked benefits and potential prospects for the attendees.

Networking is often dismissed as socializing, but a well-organized conference uses networking to gather like-minded people together to discuss and exchange knowledge. It also serves as means to meet people outside your usual associates to introduce you to new ideas and innovations. In the future, these new acquaintances will become useful in terms of business, advice, assistance, and collaboration. Indeed, networking can give you a new perspective about the industry and be the trigger for innovative new approaches

Let’s break down exactly why networking is important when attending EH&S conferences and why you should actively seek out professional conferences that make user group meetings and industry networking in their agendas. Don’t hesitate to leave add your comment as to why you benefit from network at industry conferences.

Stretch your Horizons with User Groups

At EH&S conferences, a great deal of people meet individuals with similar interests, concerns or goals. After networking, some of them often decide to create user groups that gathers those contacts to discuss ideas. User groups assemble a set of people together with similar goals and challenges with the goal of developing new and collaborative solutions to real-world EHS challenges. For example, the automotive industry has groups like the Suppliers Partnership for the Environment, which brings together top performers in the industry to discuss sustainability challenges, share new best practices that they’ve developed, and benchmark their success as a whole. User groups are an important type of networking, widely done at EH&S conferences.

“When I go to EHS industry conferences, some of the most productive hours are coming from networking and user groups,” affirms Alex Chamberlain, EH&S communications officer at ERA Environmental Management Solutions. “When it’s outcome-focused, networking is one of the driving forces behind industry-wide initiatives and sustainability successes. It’s often overlooked, but vital to some of the industry’s biggest successes to date.”

Moreover, user groups provide a space for similar people to speak about their different business strategies and methods. This is where innovation and new ideas are born; through discussion with professionals outside of your business who have tried different approaches and faced similar but different challenges.

When selecting conferences for your own professional development, seek out ones that specifically allot time for user group meetings with the intent of developing collaborative solutions. This is far more effective than traditional networking social events and you will see a quantifiable return on your investment.

Conferences are also the perfect place to network because they centralize a collection of EH&S role-holders with whom budding partnerships and deals await. By networking with new people, you are not only increasing the exposure of your company among potential clients but you are also building connections within that person’s own network. For instance, if an individual, on whom you made an impression, has an associate with a specific need that is fulfilled by your business, you will likely have gained a new contact.

After forming contact, keeping in touch with the people you meet at these events will benefit you greatly for the years to come. In fact, these opportunities evoke the possible growth in business and in developing further professional affiliations.

Going to conferences where you can connect with all types of professionals in your industry can also expand your range of experiences. Remember, each new encounter is another experience in your pocket that you can use for future reference. Similarly, diving right into a conversation with people in relevant situations can prove itself advantageous when you come across a piece of valuable information.

Benchmarking Together

EHS Benchmarking and collaboration.jpg

Networking in the EH&S industry is not just about meeting experts and like-minded people, it is also about benchmarking your achievements with others in your industry as a way of collaborating with your peers. Talking with people face-to-face is the best way to assess your position in the ever-growing EH&S industry.

 

Through networking, individuals can compare business processes and performances as a way to flourish in the industry. Benchmark assessments allow businesses to develop plans to make improvements and to adapt practices. The main objectives of benchmarking at networking event are to determine how other corporations achieve their high performances levels and implement their findings afterwards in the company.

Benchmarking aims to increase performance; certain enterprises use benchmarking to set new industry standards to create change within the community. Companies also gather together to develop new innovations through their comparison of work methods. For example, some of the biggest progresses made in the automotive sector were achieved by setting goals together and then, sharing mistakes, results and practices. 

The EH&S community is filled with passionate and intelligent individuals, therefore discussing and sharing with them can be a real opportunity to grow and gain understanding in a sector of manufacturing where technology changes are inevitable.

A Field of Opportunities

Conferences offer a number of interesting activities and ways to enrich yourself as a professional in addition to benefiting your company. Networking is one of them. Through networking, the expansion of contacts, personal growth and professional collaboration is all possible.

Likewise, we would like to cordially point out our forthcoming conference. The ERA Ingenuity at Work conference is an ideal place for EH&S managers, risk management professionals or any employees that hold EH&S roles to network. Occurring in Philadelphia, PA from September 18 to 20, 2017, the conference aims to cover crucial themes such as risk aversion, sustainability, cost reduction and includes beneficial information about ERA’s software.

ERA Ingenuity at Work is an informative, collaborative, and innovative conference, carefully crafted by the minds of EH&S specialists to fulfill consumer need. Masters in different subjects are invited to the conference as keynote speakers such as Alyson Genovese, GRI representative, and John Bradburn, global waste reduction manager from General Motors.

These three days represent chances to network with many attendees and form user groups to discuss ERA’s software, a tool that collectively reunites many of the conference’s guests.

Register today for ERA Ingenuity at Work

Let us know about your thoughts on networking at conferences in the comments section.

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Topics: EHS Conference, ERA Ingenuity at Work