By Bethany Stough, Glass Magazine
ASSA ABLOY Door Security Solutions Group has a large hardware showroom at its North American headquarters. But in 2007, company leadership wanted a way to brand the group of 23 North American companies as a solutions provider, and bring its door and hardware products directly to the customer—wherever they are.
“We had to generate more demand because our customers were not coming to us,” says Heidi Pascale, director of corporate events for ASSA ABLOY. “[We] brainstormed how to get solutions to our customers and came up with a ‘tradeshow on wheels’ concept.”
By 2009, ASSA ABLOY had a 53-foot tractor trailer filled with a showroom of hardware solutions. The company mapped out 60 stops across the United States and sent the trailer showroom on the road.
“This first installment of the showroom was not nimble,” says Pascale. “And it only scratched the surface of the products we offer. But the potential was there.” To expand the program, ASSA ABLOY began to focus on its niche product areas, and by 2011 had purchased two Winnebago RVs, which allowed for greater representation across the country.
The company’s events team conducts extensive research each year on where mobile showroom stops should be held. “We’ve encouraged our reps to think outside the box,” says Pascale. “Because of the variety of brands we offer, we try to visit more than the locksmith. We target the facilities manager, IT [personnel], architect[s].”
The showrooms have been the base for lunch and learns, offering AIA CE credits. They’ve been parked at distributor facilities, where ASSA ABLOY provides lunch and a raffle. They also pull up at local tradeshows, or turn into a tradeshow booth on wheels at national shows.