What follows does NOT apply to GSF or DCI delegates. It only applies to delegates attending ABM events.
ABM is not a buying and selling trade show.
At ABM, you become part of a collaborative forward-thinking network of positive energy, finding common ground and building relationships that bridge the gap between supply and demand, cultural backgrounds and business motivations. This works best if you register early, are engaged, clear in your communication and active during preparation by using the messaging system to start conversations.
If you register with the sole focus to sell to the Indigenous market, and depending on the relevance and competitiveness of your product or service, you may miss the more complex and more rewarding long-term opportunities unique to the Indigenous business space.
You therefore have a better chance of success if the business opportunities offered extend beyond a “simple” customer/supplier relationship, including investment, joint ventures, training, employment and procurement. Also consider the purchasing power of your company and what products and services you may want to buy from Indigenous suppliers.
While Indigenous communities are always in need of suppliers and their purchasing power is significant, they attend ABM to look for revenue-generating initiatives that move their economies forward.
ABM is about developing relationships in an expanding but largely untapped business space that is challenged by many factors from the economic to the social. The event is a highly valuable forum to gain knowledge and start conversations that have the potential to translate into profitable business relationships with Indigenous communities and businesses but also in mainstream markets that are increasingly socially engaged and aware. While we know that delegates sign deals on the trade show floor, we recommend to arrive with long-term approaches rather than quick win expectations.
Larger companies attend ABM often to pursue a broad Indigenous business strategy that includes the Calls to Action by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (See recommendation 92.), the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the desire to confirm their corporate performance in Indigenous relations as good business partners and as inclusive employers. Companies that attend ABM show commitment to the prosperity of Indigenous communities, a commitment that is becoming more and more important to non-Indigenous markets in Canada and globally. (Check out CCAB’s PAR Certification.)
Smaller companies often attend to develop partnerships that increase capacity, make them more competitive in procurement bid processes and support growth by adding connections with the Indigenous communities whose territory they are based and operate in.
If you are a consultant, make sure that your profile expresses clearly what value you provide, and what your track record of success is. It may not be sufficient to list who you have worked for but may be of benefit to express in practical terms how your expertise made a venture happen or more successful. In addition to linking to your website’s home page our system also allows to link to testimonials and recent client references are of course always helpful.
It does not matter what stage of economic development you are at.
ABM is designed to a forum that allows you to move your business priorities forward. We review your profile first and then connect with the ABM Network of companies to attract those that complement your goals. For this reason, it is important that you register early and communicate your priorities though the ABM online profile.
Your attendance will showcase the economic power of Indigenous communities in Canada and add to the critical mass required for companies to develop business plans and models that consider the multi-dimensional motivations of Indigenous communities from community development to creating employment and own-source revenues.