LBM Advantage hosts first virtual buying show

LBM Advantage
Kevin O’Leary from ABC’s Shark Tank, left, speaks virtually with LBM Advantage CEO Stephen Sallah during the 2021 LBM Advantage Annual Buying Show.

Normally held each year in Florida, this year’s LBM Advantage Annual Buying Show event took place virtually from Feb. 22-24. While there was no hand shaking or toasting, the event brought together hundreds of LBM vendors with Advantage membership and staff. According to a press release from LBM Advantage, the virtual format brought record attendance to the annual Buying Show.

Virtual booths enabled vendors to share product sheets, videos, and other assets, along with a live virtual Zoom room to meet with Advantage members. Attendees also had the ability to setup one-on-one meetings with members and staff.

“The virtual appointments were a bit like speed dating, but I met a lot of national sales reps and I benefited a lot from the three days,” said long time Advantage member, Jay Ward of Ward Lumber in Jay, New York.

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Exhibitors offered exclusive show specials promoted in advance, and many also had booth-only specials available to members who visited their virtual booths.

“It was essential to the show’s success that we bring our partners and members together. Even in a virtual environment, our members were able to speak with vendors, learn more about products and make deals. The technology worked well, and that made for a successful show,” said Tom Molloy, executive vice president, products and programs at LBM Advantage.

The virtual show also featured speakers including a strategic growth presentation by Steve Frawley, founder and CEO, Frawley Sales & Strategy, and an hour with keynote speaker Kevin O’Leary from ABC’s Shark Tank.

Country music artist Leanne Rimes performed an exclusive virtual concert, and a virtual mixology lesson and trivia contest was available to members. Closing out the show, awards were presented to Advantage’s 2020 Vendors of the Year, and members won several raffle prizes.

Feedback from members and vendors was overwhelmingly positive. “I feel like we have a good formula for putting on a successful virtual show, but we’re all anxious to get back to in-person events”, said Molloy.

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