New Relationships, New Opportunities and an Upgraded Showroom: One Distributor's Back to Business Virtual Event Experience
Olivia Scott, MAS, is owner and president of Promotional Partners Inc., a distributor based in Apex, N.C. In 2018, she attended a live Power Meeting, our sister brand Promo Marketing's one-on-one business development events that match distributors and suppliers to create partnerships and build relationships. When Scott saw that Power Meetings had gone virtual, she jumped at the chance to attend.
"When the Back to Business event was pitched as virtual this year, I immediately saw an opportunity for our entire team to benefit from the positive experience I had with the meetings," she said. "Our team attends local shows together, and [we] enjoy seeing and touching products, but there is not an exclusive time in that type of setting to delve into business development."
Scott came away from her 2018 Power Meeting with notes and contacts she still uses today. She came away from the Back to Business Virtual Event with all that and something extra: a $1,000 gift card. Scott and her team were among several winners selected for being the most engaged at the event. And, it being a team effort, Scott thought it made sense to spend the money as a group.
"Applying the funds to our business is an investment, just like each of those supplier partners that invested time and money to pursue opportunities to expand business relationships with our company," she said. "After all, it’s not just the distributor taking time away from work—it’s the supplier and their representatives too."
Scott and her team held on to the gift card for a few months, trying to decide the best way to use it. Then, as she says: "fate." Promotional Partners Inc. had outgrown its space some time ago, and the building owner now had a solution that would double their footprint with minimal construction, cutting through a wall connecting the space to an adjacent, empty one. The extra space would allow Promotional Partners Inc. to upgrade its showroom. And, now, Scott knew exactly what to do with the $1,000.
"We purchased items that would lend us to flexibility in the future: new display cabinets, shelving units, fixtures, new blinds, several tables, apparel forms—mannequin-like to add some dimension and rotate seasonal offerings," Scott said. "Prior to COVID, our company frequently hosted events for our client base. Purchasing items that rounded out the space would allow us to easily reconfigure the space in the future. The purpose of our showroom is touch—brainstorming and comparing products in a way that an e-commerce store cannot. ... Oddly enough, we needed to purchase some simple items too, such as two folding, six-foot tables to showcase how table covers fit and drape. We have options now to move products around and change out displays based on seasons and trends."
That's not a bad haul from an event Scott and her team attended at no cost. And while $1,000 is nice, the true value of each Back to Business Virtual Event is much greater.
"Networking, starting new relationships and growing your resources is an investment that gives back to you exponentially," said Scott. "Forming new relationships and learning about new opportunities taps our creative vein and infuses us with new ideas and directions to explore for our client base. By investing, we are able to energize our current and new accounts. Never underestimate the power of a fresh perspective on an old challenge."
Interested in attending a Back to Business Virtual Event? Check out our Winter Edition, happening Jan. 25-28 and Feb. 1-4. You can find details here, or registration information here. The event is free to attend for qualified distributors.
We'd also like to congratulate the incentive winners from the most recent Back to Business Virtual Event:
- Most Engaged Winner 1 ($1,000): Kathy Garner from Barker Specialty
- Most Engaged Winner 2 ($1,000): Lisa Greyhill from Firebrand Global Marketing
- Most Engaged Winner 3 ($1,000): Youssef Fadel from NEPM
- 10 Meetings Winner 1 ($500): Paul Kenney from Source Squared
- 10 Meetings Winner 2 ($500): John Vo from WHOOPLA
- Suppliers Choice Winner ($500): Judi Brown from Getting Personal Imprinting LLC dba Tacoma Trophy