Las Vegas, Nevada – It’s safe to say that this year’s SEMA show was a bit different than years past, with all the challenges that 2020 has brought, many organizations have had to quickly adapt to keep up with consumers, even big guys such as AkzoNobel.
“I think 2020 and all of the challenges it has brought has taught us to be nimble, flexible, patient, and adapt quickly. That is the mindset we had for the show,” said Jen Poliski, AkzoNobel’s marketing communications manager for North America.
Whether digital or in-person, Poliski said that attending SEMA is critical for the company in terms of connecting with its network and meeting prospective customers. Showing up to SEMA is not just about showcasing a new product either, it’s also about showcasing that AkzoNobel is more than just a paint company, they also offer business solutions and services along with technical support to its customers.
“We want our customers to know that despite all of the challenges that we have faced this year, we are still here, and we will come out of this stronger and better. We want to be here for our customers, no matter what. We thought that being at SEMA was critical to keeping that connection,” said Poliski.
In preparing for the online version of SEMA, Poliski said that the company approached the organizational aspects similarly to an in-person show. AkzoNobel made sure it had a strong presence of personnel supporting the booth; including representatives from both the U.S. and Canada of varying backgrounds, such as business solutions, technical support, product support and sales support.
Poliski says that participating in SEMA was important to AkzoNobel because they wanted to make sure that they were able to offer the same support at the online show as they would have in person, as this is one of the biggest events for the company. Even despite not being able to have the in-person show, she said that the team has shown the same amount of support and excitement for the online version as they have at the previous shows.
“We all understand why it is not in person this year, but you can’t hold a candle to a normal in-person show. We are adapting and we’re trying to make the best out of the situation we’ve been given,” Poliski explained. Of course, this year has brought challenges for everyone, and AkzoNobel is no exception. Poliski discussed that not being able to travel or just hop on a plane to visit customers has been a big hurdle to jump over. But she boasts that the company has been thinking outside of the box and has started taking advantage of the digital landscape in a way they’ve never seen before.
“I think we’re realizing that we can rely on digital to help get our jobs done with instant results, while saving on the travel time and expenses,” Poliski shared. “Given this year’s dynamics, I feel that our company has certainly stepped up to the challenge. The engagement that we have with our customers, if anything, has improved because we are there for them. I think we’ve done a really good job of keeping those connections open and getting through this together.”