Networking Through Tough Times

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There’s currently a lot of buzz about Web 2.0 and social networking. But St. Louis construction companies are also networking in  tough times with proven technology: a cold beer and a good story.

ASA BBQIt may be that misery loves company, but it’s far more likely that companies recognize the power of information and connections in recovering from the current slump.  Two nights in July saw back-to-back events attended by hundreds of contractors, vendors, designers, owners, and service providers. The American Subcontractors Association (ASA) Midwest Council held its contractor barbecue at Creve Coeur Lake’s Sailboat Cove, followed up the next evening by the Associated General Contractors’ Build A Brat beer and bratwurst bash at Tilles Park. Many of the same faces could be seen at both events. The mood at both events was upbeat, even as the conversations turned to topics such as confirming that customers had the ability to pay.

ASA Midwest Council’s Contractor Barbecue event

“One of the many benefits of belonging to ASA is networking.  Members can network with those in different trades and find out about upcoming projects or problems on jobsites long before it becomes known in their field,” Reba Gillick, executive director of ASA Midwest Council, said.

O'Donnell eventOn July 30, O’Donnell, Bonebrake and Co., PC held a networking happy hour at Pujols 5 in Westport Plaza. There was no program, other than a greeing announcement from Mark O’Donnell, principal in the firm. O’Donnell told those in attendance that the sole purpose of the event was to provide them with the opportunity to meet with one another. O’Donnell said that O’Donnell, Bonebrake planned to repeat the event on a regular basis. He said that if companies wanted to bring information about their products or services to display alongside the buckets of beer on the cocktail tables they were welcome to do so.

O’Donnell, BoneBrake Networking Event at Pujols 5

On August 19, ASA Midwest Council’s meeting program topic is “Surfing the ASA Network.”  Without completely spilling the beans, Gillick said that the evening has been structured as a “speed meeting” game that is designed to allow those in attendance to gather as much information as possible about other attendees.  The meeting will bec held at  The Viking Conference Center, 10709 Watson Rd., Sunset Hills.  The cost is $40 for ASA members. First time guests are free of charge. Reservations are required and no-shows will be billed. Checks can be sent to the ASA office, P.O. Box 270, Union, MO 63084, or payment can be made at the door or by bill after the event. Reservations can be faxed to the ASA office at 314.214.1665.