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My 2014 Conference Experience

By Barry Miller

Recently I attended the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) national conference in Las Vegas. Last year our companies (The Closing Agent, Inc. and Barry Miller, Law) became certification from NGLCC. First of all the certification process is not difficult at all to complete. Our local staff can assist you with the application.

At the conference, I was absolutely amazed at the number of high profile national and Fortune 500 companies that were in attendance. Each of these companies ( and some quasi government companies, i.e. Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae and FDIC) have set up diversity divisions in their organization that want to do business with LGBT certified businesses.

There are two aspects of the conference to benefit your business. First the conference was jam packed with seminars, round tables and discussion groups that you can share your experiences as an LGBT business and just as important, you can hear from other LGBT entrepreneurs and learn from there experience. These second aspect is getting business from these national companies. There were several ways to achieve this: the conference organizers set up one on one meetings with the national companies. You select from the participants and then you meet with them to tell them about your business and you can pitch your business to them, another way was at the expo in which many of these companies had booths where you could meet their representatives, and you can also make great connections at the reception/cocktail parties each night of the conference.

Besides all of the business connections I made at the conference, it was a great way to meet other LGBT business people from around the country. There were over 700 attendees! I am in touch with colleagues from Seattle , to Austin to New York City. We have kept in touch and are doing business together.

The other interesting aspect of the conference was meeting other chamber staff and board members. MBA was well represented with Brennan from the staff and Callum and Michael from the board. I can tell you that in talking with other chambers, Orlando is well respected and known throughout the country as a very active and progressive chamber. I am proud to be associated with MBA. Great job, Mikael, Brennan and the Board !

I would encourage all members to become a certitude LGBTE company and take advantage of the great resources that NGLCC has to offer. I plan to go to Washington, DC in November for their annual dinner gala.

Next year the conference is in Ft. Lauderdale and I would encourage everyone to attend.

 

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LGBTBE Certified