What’s so helpful about IFAI are the contacts and networking. I’ll go to the tent shows or awning shows and ask other business owners if they’re experiencing the same challenges and/or trends that we are at Glawe. For instance, we’ve had some issues lately with finding the right thread for an awning project. I talked to other IFAI members to find out what thread they were using. I talked to one member who had just spent six months checking thread and was kind enough to share the results. That saved me a lot of research.
I also have about 10 IFAI member companies I subcontract tents from when I need access to extra inventory. And I’ve contacted IFAI Tent Rental Division managing director Jan Schieffer to connect me with member companies when I needed help resolving a permitting issue. You call Jan and you can pretty much get connected with a member anywhere in the country to help you out, and that’s invaluable.