Communicating With Confidence
Building Relationships - More Than Just Trade Shows
By Melissa Buchanan
Recently I had the pleasure of to helping to co-ordinate a visit to Extron's Head office and manufacturing operations in Anaheim, California. The opportunity provided an insightful experience that demonstrated the value of understanding and building relationships, beyond simple face value experiences with manufacturers at trade shows.
The Australian delegation of TAFE Managers had organised their own ITS technology trip to various manufacturers in the United States. The aim was to investigate the latest and emerging technologies that could be used to improve the next generation of teaching spaces. This demonstrated a level of professional pro-activity, The purpose was not simply to see the latest wares but also understand the focus of the companies producing them. You may be asking why? What is the value of such an extensive undertaking? Quite simply, any company can build impressive websites, create glamorous trade show stands and surround themselves in the marketing hype, it is a little harder to hide once your standing on their doorstep. This unique group realised the importance of not only understanding the company's products but also seeing in person what they represent, what they know about their industry and what the long term focus is.
It was an opportunity to build a direct relationship with the manufacturer that could provide future benefits.
Our visit to Extron commenced with a welcome from Jeff Gibson, Vice President of Marketing and Extron Product Managers. TAFE delegates were engaged with the company's 24/7 operation, support and facilities. A tour provided the chance to see recently Accredited UL test areas first-hand. Extron rigorously test for safety, reliability and environmental standards, delegates now had an insight into how product designs are continuously refined in-house. However the most captivating time was spent with Andrew Edwards, President of Extron. His personal direction and involvement has seen Extron become one of world's the biggest manufacturers of Audio Visual products for the education sector. Discussions focused around many of the different challenges that the TAFE Managers faced each day. Andrew was able to advise and guide on Extron's solutions and direction for the future. Most importantly the meeting produced outcomes that will benefit Australian TAFE's and Universities
The message? We all know the A/V Industry is moving ahead at full steam. When manufacturers like Extron provide such valuable experiences it sends one simple message; you are not being taken on a ride, join us, you are also part of the journey. Service, Support and Solutions it's not a tag line but part of Extron's philosophy.