Infographic: Lincoln Collections
With the approach of the International Builders Show in January, before deciding whether to attend, you’ll probably ask yourself, “Are tradeshows even relevant anymore?” With the advent of the digital age, it’s definitely a valid question.
You could say that tradeshows are what the industry historically did in order for builders and architects to find out about the latest and greatest products, attend workshops and network with others in their field. With the internet and social media, you can argue that this has become obsolete. You could argue it, but you’d be wrong.
Have you ever heard of the term ‘showrooming’? It’s a retail reference where consumers go to a brick-and-mortar store to see an item before then going online to purchase it off a web site. It’s done primarily to save money, but it shows how vital the need to see and feel the item before committing to a purchase is in the consumer’s mind. Tradeshows are the ultimate showroom and there’s a confidence that comes once you physically touch a product as opposed to seeing it in a brochure or on a computer screen.
For the upcoming IBS, Lincoln will be introducing our new Swinging Patio Door with 2-1/4” thick panel option. This door can be built to very large proportions. We will be displaying a single swing door with a panel dimension of 3’6” wide x 10’0” high. This is a door that no amount of photos and feature descriptions can adequately describe. Due to it’s size, this may be the only opportunity our dealers and their customers get to physically operate the door before placing an order. Obviously, most dealer showrooms are simply not large enough to properly display a door of this magnitude. From a sales perspective, we’ve found that nothing replaces this hands-on experience. After a dealer has seen and operated a product and bounced questions off an informed Lincoln staff member, they’re much more capable of selling the item when they get back to their dealership. The whole sales process becomes indelibly smoother from start to finish.
That brings up one of the most important aspects of tradeshows for Lincoln – the networking. For us, it’s an opportunity to meet our customers and in turn, their customers. It’s more than just showing off our products. It’s sitting down one-on-one and listening to thoughts about past and future projects and ideas. It’s not only about improving our business, but improving everyone’s business. It may sound cliché, but we succeed when our customers succeed. Tradeshows become a great venue to brainstorm solutions for challenges that dealers, builders and architects face every day. Getting a chance to speak with the actual manufacturers of the products they use is invaluable for everyone involved.
Since Lincoln has exhibited continually at the IBS for the past quarter century, the show becomes almost an annual reunion where we get to reacquaint ourselves with not only our customers, but industry friends, former co-workers, vendors and media.
When deciding whether to attend the IBS this year, please remember - where else can you find a projected 75,000 attendees from 100 countries and see 1300 exhibits? What is the best face-to-face environment for existing clients to actually witness what is currently working and what the horizon has to offer? The answer is the International Builders Show.
So, if you find yourself asking whether tradeshows are still relevant, I think you know how the Lincoln sales & marketing team would answer.
Hope to see you there!