It’s time for one of The Triton’s biggest events of the year, the spring edition of the Triton Expo, this year held on Wednesday (April 17) from 5-8 p.m. at West Marine Pro in Fort Lauderdale. Over 50 companies have signed on to showcase their goods and services for yacht captains and crew, we’ll add a little music and some casual nibbles, and we’ll have some great networking.
This low-key, free trade show typically attracts more than 750 captains, crew and industry professionals. It’s one of the strongest networking events in the industry.
Until then, learn a little more about The Triton from Publisher Lucy Reed, including how to get the most out of attending the Triton Expo.
Q. What is The Triton?
The Triton is a monthly news magazine produced for the professional captains and crew who run luxury yachts. I’m a journalist by training and experience, with about 16 years at daily and weekly newspapers around South Florida before starting The Triton in 2004. So it was natural for me to report on the men and women who run luxury yachts as the group of professionals they are. We cover topics and issues that are important to them in the day-to-day running of their vessels and in the longer focus of their careers.
Q. How does the Triton Expo fit into that?
The Triton Expo is an extension of the regular networking events we host every month. It fits into our vision of giving captains and crew the tools they need to manage their day-to-day jobs as well as their careers by exposing them to quality companies that can help them in both of those areas.
We’ve been hosting the Triton Expo twice a year for 11 years now, and it’s evolved into a really powerful event for crew and companies to meet each other. A captain once told me it’s like a boat show for crew, only without the boats.
Q. But why do it? What’s the point?
Networking. We see The Triton as a conduit for communication. Yes, we fill our pages with great information and tools to help captains and crew manage their jobs and careers. But we also provide a forum for them to meet each other.
The most powerful way to build a professional network is for crew to meet their peers, other yachties going through similar life and career phases. So much of this industry is accomplished through word-of-mouth, so we want to encourage our guests to never stop building a professional network of contacts for jobs, advice, tips, referrals and just camaraderie.
Q. How can captains and crew get the most out of the event?
- While it is casual, the Triton Expo is a professional networking event. Dress appropriately; come ready to meet new people; bring business cards.
- Prepare a little. Visit www.the-triton.com, hover over “events” and click on “Triton Expo”. Scroll through the list of exhibitors to see if there are any you want to learn more about, and make a point of visiting them during the evening.
- Walk around, introduce yourself and learn about the vendors. You may not need their services today, but next month when you get that promotion or next year when you join a new boat, you might want to contact them.
- Have a goal for new contacts. A captain might make a point of meeting three new business owners, or collecting info from five new crew candidates. A new deckhand might seek out and introduce himself to three captains. Ask a successful contact to introduce you to someone else.
- When making an introduction, find something that the two people have in common so they can more easily begin talking. You’ll be a rock star to both people if a new connection is the result.
- Collect business cards. Begin or expand your network of resources that will make you invaluable to your boss. Jot a note on the back of the card so you remember something about the person.
- Follow up. Do what you say you are going to do. If you said you’d forward a resume or share a link, do it.
- Placement agents will be there, both exhibiting and walking around. Stop and talk to them. Update them on your career. Bring a few copies of your resume.
- This is a business event. Be professional. Consider this work for a couple hours, then maybe invite someone new out for dinner to reinforce a new relationship.
All our readers are welcome to join us at the Triton Expo on April 17 from 5-8 p.m. at West Marine Pro, 2401 S. Andrews Ave. in Fort Lauderdale (33316). No need to RSVP; just bring business cards and a smile so you can meet some new people.