I’m a firm believer that, tempting as it is, you simply can’t conduct all business from behind a desk or by phone or email. Sometimes you just have to get out and shake hands and meet people face-to-face.

That’s why a few times each year this King Monkey hits the road to take advantage of some networking opportunities in the active and sports lifestyle space. I find it’s a great way to meet new people and old friends, kick the tires on some new products, and take the pulse on the latest market trends.


This past week I was at the Interbike 2018 event in Reno, Nevada, September 18 to 20. The Expo, held at the Reno-Sparks Convention Center this year, is an annual opportunity for brands, dealers, and distributors to see what’s hot in biking, make new friends and renew old contacts, and check out favorite brands and new prodcuts.

This week, I’ll be at the 2018 Las Vegas Souvenir & Resort Gift Show and the Vision Expo West:


September 25-28
Las Vegas Convention Center (Las Vegas, NV)

  • The nation’s largest souvenir and gift show features more 1,300 manufacturers and exhibits showcasing ways for retailers to differentiate themselves with a wide range of imprinted souvenirs and giveaways, including high-end goods, apparel, and new innovations. Representatives from the top industry associations and organizations regularly attend, such as the Zoo & Aquarium Buyers Group, the Museum Store Association, and others, so networking opportunities abound.


September 26-29
Sands Expo (Las Vegas, NV)

  • Vision Expo West is an expansive show and educational opportunity highlighting top eye fashions, medical eyecare products, and trends and advances in technology and business practices for eyecare professionals, such as ophthalmologists, optometrists and opticians, as well as those who support them by running and marketing their practices. More than 400 exhibitors are expected to be on hand showcasing many fashion and luxury eyewear brands, as well as the latest in contact lenses, therapeutics, and cutting edge medical and diagnostic equipment.


Building a network of relevant contacts and leads can often mean the difference between success and failure for your business. But not just any network. While the size of your network matters, what’s more important is its relevance. In other words, are the people in your network or the trade shows you attend relevant to the work you do or the industry niche in which you operate?

To build your network, reach out to individuals at companies or in positions that align with your interests. Ask them what’s hot in the industry and where they get leads. I think you’ll find that most people generally enjoy being asked to share their expertise, experience, and knowledge of relevant opportunities. Likewise, be prepared to contribute to the relationship by sharing leads, information, and experiences, and by being willing to open doors for others.

Effective networking can put you in front of the right people at the right time, and can often be the difference maker between landing that new job, new client, or new project you’ve been eyeing.


If you want to try to connect while I’m at the Gift Show or Vision Expo, or ask me how Interbike in Reno went, contact me by email at [email protected] or call me at (310) 503-1149.


If you can’t make it to one of these networking opportunities, that’s OK. Barrel O’Monkeyz will gladly provide a free assessment of your current marketing and branding strategies. You can also check out Barrel O’Monkeyz white papers on a range of topics, from website development, social media, and inbound marketing, to digital marketing, brand development, and design. Each white paper is full of ideas and steps that can help you turn your ideas into reality.


Let Barrel O’Monkeyz serve as your seasoned, outsourced marketing team. Our barrel is full of talent and creative arms ready to prove we don’t just monkey around! Contact Barrel O’Monkeyz Today!