By Peter Drechsler
STLE’s greatest intangible
A big idea (and a little technology) allows our Corporate Members to reach 13,000 lubricant professionals
Perhaps one of the most intangible but invaluable benefits of STLE membership is networking. Where else in our profession can we meet with such a broad and diverse group of people? From the shop floor maintenance worker to the university professor, our society brings them all together, especially at the annual meeting where we meet face to face. Whether you want to showcase a new technology, product or knowledge in a particular discipline, STLE’s Annual Meeting & Exhibition is the place to be.
The Commercial Marketing Forum was introduced several years ago following a recommendation from STLE’s Corporate Members Committee and is a resounding success. As you know, there is a strict anti-commercialization policy in effect at annual meeting technical sessions. There is a good reason for doing this—the main purpose of these sessions is to provide a forum for presenting one’s work in a technical area, not showcase a product or service.
The Commercial Marketing Forum provides a platform that allows companies to openly promote and showcase a new technology, product or service.
This could be cutting edge technology or maybe a new, unique and novel additive chemistry. In any case, the Commercial Marketing Forum (or CMF) offers companies a venue for showcasing their technologies.
The CMF, although a relatively new concept, has proven to be quite successful. While the annual meeting trade show has for some time allowed companies to showcase their products or services, the CMF opened a whole new arena.
The other part of this equation is that all of these experiences offer STLE members the opportunity to see new technology and product information first hand and in person, which is all part of the networking experience.
How many times have you found a unique product, service or technology offering at an STLE conference that helped solve a problem or enhance the performance of your product? Maybe you were introduced to something new while attending one of the annual meetings that impressed you and, although It didn’t fill an immediate need, perhaps benefited you somewhere down the road? I know that I have been introduced to many new products over the years and have definitely used some of them to solve a particular problem back at work.
The CMF has been such a resounding success that it has continued to grow over the years and continues to sell out. Perhaps this has been one of the most valuable additions to STLE’s corporate membership package. For when you have a gathering of such a diverse group of individuals from around the world, there is no better place or time to advertise your company’s product or service.
And speaking of technology, you’re holding a prime example of it in your hands—or perhaps viewing it on your computer screen or mobile device. Since introducing its digital edition last year, TLT now reaches some 13,000 leading professionals in the lubricants industry.
CMF Plus extends CMF messages far beyond a roomful of people and lets them live forever in cyberspace. In our multimedia world, CMF and CMF Plus are a great example of how to combine face-to-face networking with communications technology.
The CMF originated from a recommendation by the Corporate Members Committee. We listened and acted on that recommendation.
Our ears are always open to suggestions from our corporate members, and we are always looking for ways to provide value to our individual members.
Please keep your suggestions coming! Who knows what the next value-added benefi t to our members will be? Your suggestion just might turn out to be STLE’s next resounding success story.
Peter Drechsler is a senior tribology specialist with The Timken Co. In Canton, Ohio. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.