“The Roundtables are where business happens.” That’s how ISRI Secretary/Treasurer Andy Golding of Kripke Enterprises sums up The Roundtables, ISRI’s annual gathering of recycling traders, processors, and consumers. From Sept. 14-16 at the Hyatt Regency Chicago, recyclers and their supporting industries gather to:

  • Review the past year’s performance
  • Learn about changes in consumer specifications.
  • Hear from consumers which materials they are buying and which they are not buying.
  • Learn about new materials coming out of recyclers’ facilities.
  • Look for quarterly or annual spread-based contracts.
  • Enjoy each other’s company.

Through sponsors’ generosity, ISRI has provided plenty of opportunities for attendees to get to know each other or renew contacts.

Day One (Wednesday, Sept. 14)

  • 12:30 – 1:00 p.m. Networking Welcome with Refreshments and Exhibits (sponsored by Sierra).
  • 3:30 – 6:30 p.m. Networking.
  • 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. Networking Social Event (sponsored by SDI La Farga Copperworks) at AceBounce, 230 N. Clark St. Roundtables badge is required for entry.

Day Two (Thursday, Sept. 15)

  • 8:00 – 9:00 a.m. Continental Breakfast with Exhibits (sponsored by Greenspark).
  • 10:15 – 10:30 a.m. Networking Refreshment Break with Exhibits.
  • 12:00 – 1:15 p.m. Lunch on Your Own.
  • 2:30 – 5:30 p.m. Networking.

Day Three (Friday, Sept. 16)

  • 8:00 – 9:00 a.m. Continental Breakfast with Exhibits (sponsored by Wendt).

Beyond maintaining eye contact and a firm handshake, here are some questions you can use to expand on your initial contacts with people you meet at Roundtables:

  • Is there anyone here you can refer me to who needs a ____ type of product/service?
  • I was looking to meet with ____, can you point me in their direction?
  • Do you have any suggestions for who I can speak with about ____?
  • One of my goals is to meet with someone who does ____, are you aware of anyone here like that you can introduce me to?

Just like in your personal life, maintaining a business relationship takes work too; keep these helpful tips in mind, so a contact doesn’t “break up” with you!

Touch base often, particularly with known contacts; go to lunch or dinner or simply chat a bit! You will come to find that some of your contacts will turn into some of your closest and long-term friendships.

Don’t forget to ask if they are an ISRI member. ISRI has staff onsite in Chicago who can explain the association and help guide prospective members to key industry contacts. Just stop by registration and ask.