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Monday, May 12, 2008

CSC-CSI and marketing

The CSC Ottawa Chapter AGM on May 8. The chapter website is at
Construction Specifications Canada (CSC) and the Construction Specifications Institute (CSI) chapters provide some of the most unique and rewarding marketing opportunities within our industry. The reason is because of the core role of the specification writing process within the planning/construction/cycle. If you can encourage the person writing the specs for the project to use your materials or technologies, you have a 'sale' down the road -- regardless of which contractor or sub-trade actually does the work. And if you are a contractor or sub-trade, the spec writing stage often provides really valuable clues and evidence about upcoming projects now well under way in the planning/designing process, providing clues about future work. Everyone in the industry clearly benefits from clear, consistent specifications -- reducing the risks of change orders, or inconsistent design.

These facts make the specifications writing community a prime marketing focus for building product manufacturers and building technology service providers, of course, but you'll find plenty of other people you want to meet and know at local chapter meetings. So I hesitated not a second in attending the CSC Ottawa annual chapter meeting on May 8. We learned about the multi-million dollar work at the Victoria Memorial Museum Building (Canadian Museum of Nature) and and executive/committee members provided reports on their activities.

Paul Butcher from Ottawa Community Housing Corporation will take the helm as chapter chair.

But the best stuff occurred informally, at the table with people I knew and hadn't met yet -- representing a general contractor, new telecommunications industry members, and a senior representative of the CSC Toronto chapter. (I make it my practice to put all comments and observations at the dinner table for events such as this to be off the record unless we agree otherwise -- otherwise, conversations can become quite stilted and way too over cautious.)

CSC/CSI individual member dues are quite reasonable -- if you haven't already joined, I recommend membership; you'll develop connections and meet some truly worthwhile people (and find business from the process).

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