Recently I had the incredible opportunity to attend what I will note as the most productive business conference I’ve ever been to, Centrallia in Winnipeg Manitoba. Yes of all places and probably most appropriate, we were there to do business, nothing else, PERIOD! And boy did we do business, my email is still ringing each day with contacts from Centrallia. What do they want from me? Well, contacts, contacts and more contacts. Companies from all over the world looking to develop strategic partnerships where they can have their goods distributed or manufactured in the Canadian Market. So, here’s how it goes, you register online, complete a detailed description of your company, what you do, what you’re looking for and what your expertise is. Then the automated system, matches you with another attending company from around the world, arranges a time for you to meet each other at the conference in a 30 minute Business to Business meeting. Twelve in all as the matter of fact, you get to meet 12 businesses who are looking to develop relationships as distributors, manufacturers or suppliers. Incredible and if you haven’t seen the interviews I did while attending Centrallia, go to our website (www.cambridgechamber.com) and have a look at the video. Just an amazing event, everyone found it incredibly rewarding and in most cases were overwhelmed with the value. Now that’s probably what your really interested in, the value proposition. Well, registration was $850.00 per delegate, and travel/accommodations separate of course. The registration fee also included the evening’s entertainment and all meals during the conference. This may be why some didn’t attend, too cheap to have any value? Well, the 600 business leaders from around the globe would tell you, it was priceless. I guess what worried me was, would it all end in Winnipeg? Will this happen again? How can I encourage businesses in Cambridge and the Region of Waterloo to go if there ever was another. As luck would have it, Centrallia was formed as a central North American event to encourage more participation in this type of program throughout Canada, US, Central America and South America, because in fact it is a part of Futurallia, a 20-year-old event that takes place each year with a European flavour. Futurallia wanted this expansion and I think they got it. May 2011 Futurallia is in Kansas City, the first time ever in the US. Over 800 business leaders from 40 economic regions will converge, in the smack dab middle of the United States on May 18th – 20th. My purpose of this blog is to get you off your butt, have a look at attending this, full conference registration with 3 nights accommodation and all meals is $1,550 per delegate, flight separate of course. The Cambridge Chamber of Commerce, like with Centrallia is the Region of Waterloo’s Delegation Leader. I plan on taking 40 companies from the region, and you should be one of them. We’ll have a spectacular time doing business, creating opportunity, knitting relationships that will benefit our local economy, and we need to be there. Hallink RBS Inc., from Cambridge attended Centrallia, and has already told me they will be in Kansas City, they experienced it, they benefited from it, they are even willing to share with you their stories. Give Mark Hallink or Jason Warmington a call and ask if it’s worth your time, because we know it’s worth the money. Futurallia will be offering not 12 but 16 B2B meetings with matching companies from around the world. Please give me a call, or Mark and Jason, go online yourself (www.futuralliakc2011.com) and check it out. You can’t afford not to be there next May!