Trade shows were once the place that people gathered to educate and learn, share ideas, discover new products, and to become informed about what new changes are abreast within the industry. Since the pandemic, trade shows have no longer been an option. So how are building material manufacturers informing and educating their dealers, potential customers and end users in 2021?
According to statista.com, "trade shows are a traditional marketing strategy used by companies to showcase their latest products and network with other businesses, clients, and potential partners in the industry." The trade show market value in the U.S. is $5.56B, according to the same source. With participants spending tens of thousands on average, annually.
So how can these funds be reinvested to further build your brand? And how can building material manufacturers continue to add the value that was previously articulated through product demonstrations and discussions at trade shows?
Well, the Building Materials industry is learning to flip the script by thinking outside of the box and possibly borrowing the U.S. Marine Corps. mantra, "improvise, adapt, overcome as new avenues of influence are being utilized. For example, as online learning across sectors has exploded during covid, the manufacturing world, too, has learned that the way info is shared and the methods by which we educate has changed significantly.
According to the Oxford dictionary, improvise means to make something from whatever is available. As it relates to the Building Materials industry, sharing available information via a new medium--virtual demonstrations, tutorial videos, etc... can fulfill the need of imparting knowledge to a particular audience or group. And this can be done on a much larger scale than previous methods allowed.
Adapting entails making something suitable for a new use or purpose; becoming adjusted to new conditions (life and business amid a pandemic, for example, would surely qualify). Here, evaluating the mission of one's company and how it translates into a service or product that meets a current need while characteristically having the flexibility and foresight to make adjustments in the future is very important. This is done by transitioning to a digital approach that focuses on doing business virtually. Comprehending the power of a strong virtual presence cannot be overstated.
In fact, the companies that are thriving today are those who have invested in digital strategies that enhance their online presence, increase the knowledge of their products and services, illuminate their story and mission, and inform their customers while also involving them. This strategy acknowledges the symbiotic relationships that exist between the manufacturer and the dealer as well as the end user. Each partisan relies upon and benefits from the other.
To succeed in business in 2021 and beyond, despite the challenges facing the Building Materials industry, improvising and adapting are in order. This involves engaging intentionally with your customers and providing value in new, innovative ways. Remember " a mind once stretched by a new idea, never returns to its original dimensions." -Ralph Waldo Emerson. So improvise, adapt, overcome!