‘Samples- need to see samples- now’ your buyer says. Answering the need, you find yourself minutes later pushing a hand truck with samples across town. You try desperately to keep the sample boxes steady, as you bounce across uneven pavement, while wipe way the summer heat from your brow. Welcome to how the home decor business was done in Manhattan over the last 3 decades.
Now imagine the home decor business coming to you- at your desktop. Buyers, suppliers, even retail customers, meeting online in the display and examination of home decor goods and services- on a global scale.
You have just taken a walk back in time and into the future with HomeDécShow CEO Mitch Buchwalter.
Providing a Technology Bridge for the Industry
HomeDécShow is the world’s first home decor virtual trade show and business community, serving the B2B needs for the home decor industry, from textiles, accessories, gifts, decorative accessories, right down (literally) to the kitchen sink. Buchwalter’s inspiration to create homdecshow.com was weaved by his 30 year relationship with the home decor industry, and its craving to embrace digital technology. It is indeed the global aspect of the home decor business that leverages the global digital connection the industry can make @ homedecshow.com.
The Home Decor Market- An Intricate Pattern to Success
Thriving in the home decor business is the art and science of navigating the complexity in constructing a supply chain. Critical tasks to this end can include identifying manufacturer sources, finding a new weaver or dye house in a specific country, qualifying a more reliable freight forwarder, or adding a third party warehouse overseas. The hurdles to success in the business are many. With these challenges serving as a template for Buchwalter’s virtual event platform vision (ultimately deciding on OnStream Media), he was committed to discovering a solution that at its heart portrayed elegance through simplicity. Brenda Weis, HomeDécShow President notes “It occurred to me how similar virtual spaces are to actual physical spaces. As a designer who has worked on many complex projects such as hospitals over the years, I know how important “way finding” is to any design”. Hence the objective of the site is to ensure that all users can easily navigate through the virtual environment in order to get to their destination without stress or undue frustration.
A Platform of Simplicity and Win/Win
Buchwalter also wanted to partner with a platform vendor that supported his desire for not an episodic but a perpetual virtual environment. What emanates from HomeDécShow site is the win/win proposition he makes to the marketplace that he loves and respects. For vendors/exhibitors- the site becomes their global marketplace, where buyers can visit at anytime; consume content in the form of videos, RSS feeds, webinars, presentations- all in an interactive and collaborative virtual environment. Attendees benefit from HomeDécShow technology platform in the same light. After a user-friendly and free registration, attendees are served a virtual exhibit pavilion that by virtue of their registration data they provide, tailors their exhibit hall journey based exclusively on their solution needs. As they absorb content, attendees are equipped with a digital briefcase to hold all the brochures and information that they pick up along the way in this virtual trade show environment.
Empowering the Design Community to Design
HomeDécShow is designed for business users with no IT resources required. The built-in templates and intuitive drag and drop interface lets you choose the nature of your virtual booth and then provision it with content all in just minutes. Buchwalter is encouraged by the way in which vendors can immerse themselves in this vein, designing a look and feel of their exhibits that portrays their company’s personality.
It’s About Simplicity, Economics, and Leads
HomeDécShow is designed to produce quality leads at a fraction of the cost of paid advertising in industry media. “The solution is a complete turn-key marketing machine. It enables companies to showcase their products and services in new and exciting ways. Aside from just having a booth full of all kinds of multi-media content, an exhibitor can be featured in video banner ads, movie-quality webcasts, and informational webinars or can just simply chat within the virtual trade show environment.” Buchwalter adds that the site delivers sophisticated search engine optimization techniques to drive qualified traffic to exhibitors, while creating opportunities for additional revenue streams from targeted advertising and sponsored links. HomeDécShow in addition provides analytics that track all attendee activity, continuously updating their profile and information in the process, allowing vendors to target those needs.
“We see homedecshow.com as a ‘playground’ for the industry. It is a B2B destination where both business and social dialogue happens, where you can keep current with industry news, as well as CEU opportunities. Trust and community are magnified by the fact that all content will be user generated. We believe we are positioned to be the Facebook for home decor”. Time to set places, as HomeDécShow is on its way with a summer 2010 launch.