By Roy Manion
Global Buyers Mission:
I am sure you will be reading many articles on the GBM in this Wood Connections edition and this one will be no exception; however, this article will focus on just the Architect & Designer Program portion of the GBM.
For the A&D’s, the program began with Thursday’s Living and Building With Wood seminars, which we are pleased to report were among the best we have ever had and accordingly, received excellent reviews from those who attended.
On Friday, we introduced a new program for the architects and designers. In the past, we have take tnhem on site tours of some of the finer projects in Whistler. However, this year, in lieu of site tours, we opted for an architect’s only session with the manufacturers. One of the key reasons is that in previous years, while architects and designers walked the exhibit floor along with the buyers, many exhibitors didn’t get a real chance to talk to the A&D’s. While A&D’s wanted to learn about various products, they really didn’t want a sales presentation and in other cases they would look at a booth from a distance and if there wasn’t an immediate interest, they would simply walk by. In response to all this, Friday afternoon’s, Speed Learning Architects & Designers Only Session was developed.
For the A&D’s, we were able to provide them with Educational Credits for participating in the afternoon session. The A&D’s were broken up into small groups (maximum 4 people) with a specific agenda that required them to visit one of two preselected streams of 10 manufacturers, with each group starting at different exhibitors booths – sort of like “speed dating”.
For the participating exhibitors, they had to prepare 15 minute educational mini seminars which they gave to each of the 10 groups in their “stream”. By the end of the day, many exhibitors were hoarse – a sign they did a lot of talking which was a good thing.
As the program was new, neither the manufacturers nor the A&D’s quite knew what to expect. For many, this was the first time they gave an accredited educational seminar to the A&D’s. The A&D’s, for their part, were pleasantly surprised that they received educational sessions and not “sales pitches”. Some even said they were the most intense series of seminars they had ever attended.
One of the many positives from the session is that A&D’s were expected to sit in on presentations that they initially felt were of no interest, only to find that in some cases, an interest did indeed exist. In at least one case, an architect and exhibitor found a common interest and as a result, the exhibitor could be supplying a major project the architect is working on – a situation that would have never developed without this particular session.
The consensus is that both sides want the program to continue next year.
Now that the GBM is mostly behind us (we are still collecting surveys to determine what we did right and where improvement is required), we are moving onto our regular A&D programs with a number of activities already booked for October.
As we have mentioned in the past, the Guide is available on 2GB flash drives which were given out at the GBM. We now have the Guide on-line, in hard cover and on flash drives, which means that we have all the architects and designers requirements handled. If you wish to have your company included in the Specifiers Guide, please let me know.
As always, we welcome your company participation in any of the programs relating to architects, designers, contractors, and local governments, or if you just require additional information, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you aren’t quite sure if the aforementioned group should be included in your marketing activities or how to go about doing it, again, just get in touch with us. We would be pleased to provide answers to any of your questions.
Please note that I will be on vacation the weeks of September 26th and October 3rd, returning the day after Thanksgiving.