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For some, the mergers and acquisitions market is something they will participate in just once while others build their entire careers in it. Many businesses land somewhere in between, using M&A as a tool for growth or occasionally transitioning from one ownership group to another as a company evolves. Regardless of your company’s relationship to the M&A market, the 2021 BizTimes M&A Forum offered plenty of lessons to make your next deal a little easier. The annual event was held July 21 at the Brookfield Conference Center. It featured two panel discussions, one focused on sellers, the other on buyers, plus a series of breakout sessions. The forum was made possible by sponsorship from Old National Bank, Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren s.c., Taureau Group and supporting sponsor Vistage. The full program is available on demand, but here are some key lessons offered by panelists: