By Tim Leeds
Anyone who sells things they make should take note: a conference aimed at helping you succeed is being offered on March 6 and 7.
Montana State University-Northern's Students in Free Enterprise is hosting the Second Annual Manufacturing Conference for Small Manufacturers. The conference will be held in the Crowley Room, upstairs at the Student Union Building on the MSU-Northern campus.
The conference will run from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days. The charge for the conference is $50 to attend both days, $30 to attend one day, and $10 to exhibit items produced without attending the conference.
Lanny Wilke, advisor for the MSU-Northern organization, said this conference will be valuable for anyone who makes anything for resale. He said their main goal is to reach "mom and pop" organizations which might be making jellies, leather items, quilts, crafts, machine shop items, paintings, anything.
Wilke said they already have some presenters ready for the conference, and they are still recruiting more.
He said Sandra Erickson, a member of the MSU-Northern business faculty, will address the conference on how to make a business grow.
Roberta Demarest, area businesswoman and candidate for the Montana legislature, will present information on copyrights, patents and trademarks, Wilke said.
Wilke said they are trying to incorporate information and concerns from the people who attended last year's conference into this year's conference.
He said a major concern was that people know how to make their projects but don't know how to market and sell them. He said this is one issue they will address at the conference.
One area discussed will be how to use the Internet, Wilke said. He said this can be a great aid to people in remote, low population areas such as the Hi-Line or even Montana in general.
Another area for discussion will be the possibility of forming cooperatives to aid in marketing, shipping and similar concerns, Wilke said.
Kyndra Moore, who is in her first year as president of the Students in Free Enterprise, said that anyone who would like information on successfully selling things they make would find this conference valuable.
Wilke said that since this is sponsored by a student group, all funding for the conference has to be raised by the students involved. He said area businesses have already helped to sponsor the event,but additional sponsors are welcome.
For more information on the event, contact Moore at (406) 265-4167 or Wilke at (406) 265-4165.