Supporting Our Industry Partners

Hopefully you all realize the value of relationships. We are in a relationship business, after all. We develop relationships with our clients, and within the community and with specific referral partners to help promote our business. And we develop relationships with our industry partners.

Those relationships with industry partners are particularly highlighted during market weeks – whether Las Vegas or currently at Fall High Point Market. For some of us. the relationships we build with specific vendors can determine where we focus our shopping and research for design projects. Often because of those relationships you may receive the extra help needed for a project, a special arrangement to use their products for a showhouse, backup needed if a problem arises, to say nothing of their sharing special offers on current or upcoming product lines and their help to expand your knowledge of those product lines. They can often act as a backup sales force when presenting selections to a client.

These past months have been much more challenging to develop those relationships as most designers are social people and many are getting frustrated with “virtual” get-togethers. Those of you who made the decision to attend in person will have found that they have gone above and beyond to incorporate numerous protective measures so attendees will feel comfortable attending. Their website did an excellent job of explaining new processes and procedures in place.

If you are reading this and chose not to attend Market in person, but live close enough to drive and are within the area designated for Period III (see the website), from October 19-21, online registration will be available through October 21. So consider making the drive to show your support for so many of our industry partners whose businesses have, like yours, been turned upside down. Between attempting to introduce new product, running into challenges of getting materials, and the challenges of reaching you – their clients, I hope that there is great attendance at this Fall Market.

Attending Fall Market in person goes beyond the advantages of staying ahead of industry trends, finding unique products and new resources and expanding your knowledge of current product lines, or setting you apart from your competition. It shows your support of those industry partners who are so vital to our business. As you know, a great deal of work goes into the planning of each market and this year is more challenging than usual.

If you were not able to attend this fall, I hope you will visit their website as there is still a great deal available virtually and some showrooms are hosting a “virtual market”. Also, show your support of those special industry partners who provide such value to your business. Set a day aside, select a location where you can socially distance, plan to order lunch, invite several other designer friends, and invite several industry partners to come at scheduled times during the day to share what’s new. The industry partners will thank you and you will be able to socially distance but still socialize and gather new information!

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Drue Lawlor

Director of Coaching Drue leads our coaching and consulting. As a NCIDQ certified designer she and Gail co-developed the 12-month Strategic Business Transformation Group Coaching. The program leads the way in teaching designers how to build or redesign their businesses for profit and success. Outside of Gail Doby Coaching and Consulting she is the co-founder of Boomers with a Plan B. She is driven to help clients create a safer and healthier homes. You’ll find her in Senior Magazine and a contributor to the following books: Design for Aging: Post Occupancy Evaluations and Interior Graphic Standards, second edition.
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