Discovering Industry Trends: Tips for Exploring a Tradeshow
|Green Career Tip of the Week
"The US solar industry is on a roll. PV Installations in the US more than
doubled last year compared to the year before,
due to utility-scale project completions,
a strong residential market, effective policies,
and the plummeting price of solar panels."
PV America West Conference Guide
We had the opportunity to attend a solar trade show last week for about an hour. In today's article, I walk you through what I did to get a sense of the industry in such a short time frame. I've also provided online links to many of the materials I discovered in person. Whether you are interested in solar or not, this article will provide you with pointers for your own research of your target industry.
Getting two copies of our newsletter? Scroll to the bottom for instructions on how to modify your subscription
Interested in learning more about sustainability?
Check out this F.REE virtual event highlighting numerous luminaries in the field!
The Spring of Sustainability: Solutions for a Thriving New World is a virtual summit to explore all we can do to leave a healthy, vibrant planet for future generations. Produced by The Shift Network in partnership with the Sustainable World Coalition, the Spring of Sustainability is the world's largest-ever sustainability events program.
Cost: F.ree !!
When: March 26th-June 22nd - Started this Week!
- Listen LIVE each weekday from 12-12:30 Pacific / 3:00 - 3:30 Eastern from your phone line or computer
- Or access the audio replays at a time more convenient for yo
More than 100 sustainability pioneers - top ecologists, activists, visionaries, scientists, indigenous leaders and sustainability experts - will be talking about all aspects of sustainability, from green activism to green lifestyles to green business. You'll hear the latest cutting-edge insights into green building, green business, green living, renewable energy sources, wildlife preservation, and climate change.
Green Career Central is a co-sponsor of this event. If you decide you want to access the MP3s or transcripts of the 64 calls, we will receive a financial thank you from the event organizers.
Tip of the Week: Discovering Industry Trends: Tips for Exploring a Tradeshow
Read this article online
Last week my husband and I had the opportunity to visit the exhibit hall at PV America for about 30 minutes before meeting a colleague for dinner.
Although 30 minutes was far from enough time to do the trade show justice, I thought I'd share a few impressions from the show and walk you through some pointers about how to gain valuable information about your target industry at a similar kind of event.
Walking in I expected to see wall to wall solar arrays...it was a PV (photovoltaic) industry event after all. Although we didn't have time to study them all, it appeared that each booth with arrays had some special technological nuance that they were touting. Diagrams, demonstrations, and printed materials within the booths told their stories.
Within a few minutes I picked up on several additional trends - (1) parking structure solar arrays, (2) companies specializing in connectors and hardware to fasten the arrays to rooftops and other mounts, and (3) financial vehicles to fund solar projects.
Making Sense of the Industry/Show
When we picked up our name tags we were give a Conference and Expo Guide (56 pages) with a list of conference sessions and exhibitors. Studying this guide (you can find it online here) for 30-60 minutes would give you insights about trends, opportunities, and challenges facing the industry.
For instance...the conference sessions were coded by track - Finance, Marketing, Policy, Technology, Utilities, and topics that cut across these tracks. Reading the talk topics will highlight current trends. Make note of presenter names and the companies they represent. Research these individuals and companies on LinkedIn or the Internet for clues for your networking efforts.
Another example...the exhibitors were listed in alpha order and by category. I find that reviewing categories is one of the easiest ways to get a quick snapshot of the industry. In this show, the categories were: Building Integrated PV, Concentrating PV, Consumer PV, Consumer PV Products, Energy Service Providers, Finance, Professional and Business Services, PV Cells, PV Distributors, PV Installers, PV Materials, PV Modules. If you were new to the field, just having this information may give you a new sense of the industry.
Dig into the Details
Extra Tip: Under each of these categories is a list of exhibiting companies. So....if you are building your list of target companies, you've just found a gold mine! Be sure to check out sponsors and media contacts as well if they are listed in the program.
At most conferences and trade shows you are likely to find a few booths that focus on tracking developments in the industry. In the conference guide, I found 15 media sponsors. I made a beeline to one of the booths I recognized to discover what materials they had to offer. I was rewarded with a bonanza of information!
- At the GreenTechMedia booth, I picked up the executive summary of their new publication: U.S. Solar Market Insight Report. Although the full report is nearly $4,000, the executive summary is absolutely accessible to you...because it's f.r.e.e! Written in partnership by Solar Energy Industries Association and Green Tech Media's GTM Research group, this quarterly report is an up-to-date review of the solar industry in 2011. Filled with easy-to-read summaries, visually accessible diagrams and charts, and state-by-state date by industry sector and technology type. If you are interested in working in the solar industry, I highly recommend you read this 15 page report cover to cover.
- If you are interested in alternative energy in general, I also recommend you check out the publications of two other media sponsors of this event.
Would You Like to Know More?
PV America is presented by the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and Solar Electric Power Association (SEPA). Check out these three sites to learn more about various aspects of the solar industry.
Copyright 21012 Transition Dynamics Enterprises, Inc
Have You Had It with Your Current Career?
- Are you looking for your path forward?
- Are you searching for a clear vision of the work you are meant to do?
I know what you're going through! In addition to the career transition you read about above, I've made several other major career transitions. I know how hard it is to be in a career that's not fulfilling or meaningful.
I also know how frustrating it is when you want to change,
but you don't see a clear path to your next career.
By not knowing what steps to take, you lose the chance to connect with valuable contacts. In addition you miss powerful opportunities to become engaged in your target industry.
I've been helping people transition to careers that align with their values for more than 20 years. On a consistent basis I help people go from confusion to clarity about their career focus in the matter of weeks rather than months or years!
If you are ready to smooth out your transition
to a greener, more sustainable career, I invite you to apply for a complimentary one-on-one Green Career Strategy Session with me. During our time together, we'll explore your
biggest challenges and identify the steps you can take
to step forward on your path to your new career.
Green Career Central Blogs
Green Career Central(TM) is an online coaching and resource center designed to help mid-career professionals, students, new grads, and career counselors make sense of the green economy and the green job market.
Carol McClelland, PhD, author of the award-winning, Green Careers For Dummies, is one of the nation's leading green career experts and founder of Green Career Central. Throughout her career, Carol has helped thousands of people find careers that match their values and interests.
Copyright (c) Transition Dynamics Enterprises, Inc. 2007-2012.
All Rights Reserved.
Green Career CentralR is a trademark of
Transition Dynamics Enterprises, Inc
PO Box 354, Menlo Park, CA 94026
If this newsletter has been forwarded to you, you are welcome to sign up to receive your own copy:
If you wish to be taken off this list simply scroll to the end of this newsletter for your subscription update options.