The Local First INsight conference was held at Aquinas College this past week. The event featured several local business owners who have made an impact not only in the West Michigan area, but around the country. From the Carol Roeda Studio, one of the most prolific artists and retailers in West Michigan to Terra Trike, the world's leading recumbent bike manufacturing company, organizations large and small came together to learn from one another. The goal of the overall event is to educate and inspire local business owners to be honest with each other about the struggles and successes that have shaped their businesses. The event photography for the INsight Conference was unique as well. Not only did we photograph the event, but images were also edited and posted online in real time throughout the day. Local First's events thrive on having images quickly, so we want to facilitate them telling their story as it's happening. As the conference moved from section to section with several break out sessions, we were able to edit images as the day progressed, giving them a library of images to publish throughout the day.
Our biggest take away from the event was a theme that seemed to cross over into all the speakers. To become successful in business, you don't have to please everyone (in fact you can't please everyone). The people you need to please (and serve) are those who believe in what you do and love that you're doing it. In other words, we must create a community of people that love what you do! Don't worry about those who don't understand what you're doing and why you're doing it. Serve those who do understand - they are the ones who will bring every one they know.
Local First is a great organization that we are happy to support as they are interested in building a vibrant, living economy that continues to grow throughout West Michigan. We have been involved with their Local Treasure campaign, Fork Fest and the Annual Meeting. If you're looking for a business group having a major impact in West Michigan right now, be sure to check out Local First.