“It’s undeniable that there will be a gap in engagement related to this four-day event, as we traditionally meet over 4,000 individuals within our booth at IWF annually,” said Andrew Swanson, digital marketing specialist for Stiles Machinery. “Even before the cancellation, we were anticipating that many would-be attendees would not be able to make the trip to Atlanta, which led us to take proactive steps to connect with our customers.”
Stiles has already been in development of new and engaging ways to connect with customers. “The convenience of the trade show format allows attendees to interact with hundreds of exhibitors, but limits participation only to attendees who can travel to Atlanta in the specific four-day time frame,” said Swanson. “The customer engagement innovations we’re working on will provide further opportunities for education and information that will last far into the future, and we’re excited about the ways this will help us strengthen our relationships with our customers.”
Since April, Stiles has conducted nearly 24 hours of live webinars, provided countless remote demonstrations of machine technology and digital solutions, and wherever possible, the Stiles sales team is making visits to customers, Swanson said. “Our field service team has continued providing on-site support to our customers and has been installing new technology throughout the COVID-19 crisis, and our parts and technical support team has continued taking 24/7 calls,” he added.
However, he recognized that in-person events are still important. That’s why the company is continuing to host events at its eight showrooms in North America. Those events include the Manufacturing Solutions Seminar, plant tours and regional lunch and learn events with an intention to “meet our customers where they are,” while being mindful of their time away from their business and their safety, by adhering to local safety guidelines, Swanson said.
“At IWF 2020, we were looking forward to sharing a range of solutions focused on modernizing production in both small and large-scale operations, featuring operator assistance and guidance, digital apps and software and robotics,” Swanson said.
Specific products to be featured included:
- Homag Sawteq-B-300 Robotic Panel Saw
- intelliGuide operator-assistance system on Homag Drillteq D-500 drilling and dowel insertion machines
- Collaborative robotic solutions that can assist in part loading and unloading
- Homag’s productionManager apps, available by monthly subscription
- Configurator3D software, which supports design, sales, and production integration
“As we provide solutions for a variety of applications and work with manufacturers of all sizes, we strive to ensure an interactive, consultative approach to provide solutions, instead of a one-size-fits-all approach that doesn’t truly provide our customers with the best value,” Swanson said.
For shops re-thinking their operations as they reopen, Swanson said, “Our Engineered Solutions, Schuler Consulting, Digital Solutions and product teams all bring unique, personalized solutions to our customers who are looking to improve their production.”
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