There is a lot to like about May — early spring and buds are just starting to bloom, baseball season really kicks in, and we can finally finish shedding our winter layers. One of my favorite parts of May, however, is the Showroom Showcase featured in this issue. This is our fourth year doing it, and I still get amazed by the creativity dealers use in designing their demo spaces.
I like this issue so much that I decided to keep its spirit all year long with our monthly Showroom Spotlights, which not only gives me a look into different kinds of experience centers around the country, but also insights into the business practices of each dealer. And, despite the similarities in gear, trends, and installations, no two showrooms are alike, with each Spotlight offering different takeaways in displays, marketing, management, and business priorities.
For example, our first Showroom Spotlight featured The Loop in Boisie, Idaho, which uses what it calls “storyboards” for clients to take a self-guided tour around the space and learn about each product category. The storyboards also make it easy to update when new technologies roll around.
Then there is SAV Digital Environments in Bozeman, Mont., which uses Lutron lighting solutions to highlight art in its unique gallery-like showroom.
Those two represent innovative displays, but we also had companies like Gramophone in Maryland that is able to constantly update its showroom to make sure it represents exactly what the sales team is selling.
The Acoustic Design Group in Scottsdale, Ariz., merged with a lighting design company, and the result is a showroom that features a dazzling array of cleverly used lighting techniques, as well as a dedicated wellness area.
The list goes on, but you get the idea — there are a ton of ways to inform and entertain customers about CI services, and we hope to tell as many of them as we can.
Finding rooms to cover is fairly easy — with the toughest part deciding which to feature. I get leads from marketers and integrators, or sometimes a room will catch my eye on social media. (A gorgeous showroom always gets me to stop scrolling!) If you are interested in getting your new or updated showroom featured in a Spotlight, email me at [email protected].
Of course, there are plenty of CI businesses that do not have a showroom for various reasons — they are expensive, difficult to maintain, and take up a good deal of space that some facilities just don’t have. And I get that, too — we’ve covered plenty of successful dealers who don’t rely on showrooms to make the sale. After all, there is no better sales tool for a dealer than having past clients who are so happy with the dealer’s services that they allow them to use their homes to show off their work!
There is also the issue of “showroomers” — people who use dealer showrooms to experience the products, but then buy them elsewhere. That is a question I’ve asked every dealer that has been featured in a Showroom Spotlight, and the responses have pretty much been the same: “If the client goes somewhere else to buy, then we have not done our job.”
Be sure to check out this year’s showroom journey with an in-depth look at DeVance Electric Lifestyle’s innovative space and the 2023 Showroom Showcase.