Being a mechanical insulator in New England has benefited NCMI as a company, as we have been able to make strong partnerships with seasoned companies throughout the region. One such partner is Alliance Mechanical, based out of Essex Junction, VT, who we’ve worked alongside for numerous projects across the state.
Alliance Mechanical hosts their annual Facilities Professionals Exposition at several locations throughout New England, landing this year at venues in Vermont and New Hampshire. When I was originally approached to attend and sponsor a booth as a vendor, I immediately accepted, due to the partnership between our companies, but I wasn’t sure what to expect, or what the value-add for NCMI would be.
There were some big name companies in the facilities field that would be in attendance, like Milwaukee, Spirax Sarco, Grundfos to name a few. There would be live boiler demonstrations, giveaways, and keynote speakers. I knew NCMI needed to bring our own heat to make a good showing.
I invited Jon Kane, our recent hire and new project manager, to join me at the first event in the expo series. While we didn’t have live boiler showings, or cordless power tool giveaways, we still managed to make a splash and educate attendees on the importance of mechanical insulation for facilities performance.
Lesson #1: Pack Light, and Bring Valuables
I prepared one-sheet takeaways that showed the breadth of NCMI’s work and our expertise in various industries. We call these short work examples solution briefs, and pictures of the finished project alongside impact numbers help demonstrate the improvements that mechanical insulation can make in any facility.
This lesson was reinforced when a pair from Keene State College come over and almost walked right by until I grabbed their attention and showed them a relevant solution from a different college project. While at first glance, they thought we only did new construction, I showed them some of our retrofitting and renovation work and they were able to walk away with the one-sheet Solution Brief in hand to reference after the expo.
Lesson #2: Show Your Logo
Whether they know your brand already or not, you’re wasting your time at an expo without your logo on a banner or sign set up by your booth. People remember who you are by your logo, which can help reestablish old connections or reinforce new ones. Case in point, I met a group from ‘SPD’ that I had originally met down in Houston Texas at a mechanical insulation expo, they recognized our logo first, and then me. It was good to touch base and reconnect about their latest product innovations and lines, as we rely on them for several products that NCMI actively uses.
Lesson #3: Demo, Demo, Demo
While people attending the event knew that insulation was vaguely important, but few realized just how energy can be saved with the installation of mechanical insulation. I scheduled several walk-throughs with new contacts for a free on-site energy appraisal to demonstrate not only the importance of mechanical insulation for their unique facility needs, but also crunch the numbers to show the energy savings to be had.
Lesson #4: Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff
While we didn’t have the most exciting demonstration of the expo, we were still able to offer value to expo attendees through conversation, takeaway solution briefs, and scheduled energy appraisals.
I did not know how NCMI would compare to the other vendors but was pleased with the content I had brought with me. We may not have had a trailer full of high efficiency boilers or shiny new power tools, but what we had to offer is much more valuable: energy dollars saved, reduced emissions, and overall happy customers.