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Here is what I got from the TTSAO Annual Conference, what did you get?

People go to conferences for different reasons and I am no different. There are the reasons of networking, gathering information, or looking for that next great idea. All of these are great reasons for attending any conference and you may have your own set of reasons. As an entrepreneur and business owner I have to look at where I am spending my hard earned dollars and make sure every event is worth going to. I do this not only when registering, but after the event to make sure it was worth my money. It’s a similar evaluation to those that have reports to hand in showing the value to superiors and more. Conferences are expensive and need to move a company forward to be worth attending. So this internal evaluation goes on all the time and didn’t stop with the TTSAO conference. The reason I bring this up is that the TTSAO just wrapped up their first annual conference and I am doing my usual evaluation and thought I would share my findings with you.

conference picture
Conference Picture

As mentioned everyone has their own criteria for attending an event and I have my own set. On the networking front I often realize I could see many of the people in meetings for the association. The difference with a conference is that it pulls on people that maybe can’t attend regular meetings due to distance or membership. Networking is always top on my list and the reason I attend most conferences. The TTSAO Conference did not disappoint in that regard.

As for gaining new information I wasn’t expecting to find anything new, but since the topics presented are part of my business consulting I wanted to hear what others had to say on the topics. The information mark hit my measure and I was satisfied that the information was both helpful and pleasantly presented through panel discussions.

So the last piece of the puzzle was the great new idea. I always go into every conference or event hoping to come out with one takeaway that will help my life move forward. The funny thing is that it usually comes at a time when I don’t expect it. Although the takeaway from this conference wasn’t ground breaking it was well received. It came from the main event in an interview and wasn’t really mentioned to be a great idea. It came across with the right amount of passion and I think that is what made it great. One thing I practice in my business is to treat people right. I don’t take the quick road but try to build my business on principle and being someone of value to the industry. That’s it! That was the takeaway. The main interview for the afternoon, which I think was watched by many for the entertainment value and it certainly delivered on that, it was funny. It was also positive, a leader of this industry who has built an empire stressed the fact that playing by the rules and doing the right things is what built his business to the great size it is today. He also talked about having pride in the industry that has kept food on the table for so many of us. Not only did I leave feeling better about our industry, but good that the way I am building my business today can help in the vision of tomorrow.

So thank you TTSAO for a job well done and now to you. What did you get out of the TTSAO’s first annual conference? I hope you saw it the way that I did? If you missed it I hope to see you next year.
About the Author

Bruce Outridge has been in the transportation industry for over 30 years. He is an artist, author of the books Driven to Drive and Running By The Mile, consultant, and speaker. TTSAO also known as the Truck Training Schools Association of Ontario has certified member schools in the truck training vocation ensuring quality entry level drivers enter the transportation industry. To learn more about the TTSAO or to find a certified school in your areas visit

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