09 September 2010

BuildDirect's Rob Banks on DOMOTEX and Social Media

BuildDirect's Rob Banks on DOMOTEX and Social Media
If you are like me and have embraced Social Media as a viable tool to reach out to your customers, then you probably know Rob Banks, Co-Founder of BuildDirect. He was recently featured in a Mashable post about how CEOs in various industries are using Web Video to engage with their customers. Fortunately for us, Rob is not only responsible for running one of the leading online manufacturer/wholesalers of building material, but he is also a loyal attendee at DOMOTEX Hannover and DOMOTEXasia/CHINAFLOOR.

I was introduced to Rob through an industry friend and we spoke about his company’s goals and how they are using the various Social Media outlets like Twitter, Blogs and Web Videos to make personal connections with their customers.

Rob explained that the building material industry has a very traditional way of doing business and most have not embraced social media. Contrary to most of their counterparts, BuildDirect understands that their customers are consuming media and information differently from the more traditional methods and they are leveraging that knowledge to reach those customers.

Rob told me a great story where Twitter allowed him to meet a potential business partner from Scotland. Since -of course- he is very active on Twitter, they were able to connect and actually met personally at DOMOTEX as “pre-qualified strangers” because of their online interaction. Since the meeting they have not only established a business relationship but a personal one as well.

Take a look at these two blog posts with highlights and video footage from DOMOTEX:  BuildDirect at Domotex Flooring Show in Hanover, Germany and 2010 Domotex Show in Germany and wood flooring thoughts.

BuildDirectAs Rob and I spoke further about his experience at DOMOTEX, he explained that he only attends 3 trade shows a year and two of them happen to be DOMOTEX Hannover and DOMOTEXasia/CHINAFLOOR.
  • His main purpose in coming to Hannover is to get a glimpse of the trends that will be hitting the North American Market in the next year of two.
  • He views DOMOTEX as a valuable time saver where he is able to set-up pre-arranged meetings with top level executives and decision makers from all over Europe.
The one piece of advice he can offer to other attendees interested in international products is to do your homework prior to DOMOTEX. Set meetings with those suppliers you are looking to do business with ahead of time.  If you are prepared prior to attending, the event is not only an incredible time saver, but it will also minimize your travel costs by avoiding you having to travel the world over to meet with individual companies.

Thank you, Rob, for spending time with me on the phone.  Thanks, too, to BuildDirect for making me laugh after watching BuildDirect’s Pancake Day. These guys sure know how to make a work day enjoyable!

You can connect with Rob Banks on Twitter and via the Building Materials with Co-Founder Rob Banks Blog.

You can find BuildDirect on Twitter, on Facebook, on YouTube and actively engaged via the BuildDirect Blog, BuildDirect CEO Blog and the Green Building Blog.

Rob, I look forward to connecting with you in person at DOMOTEX 2011 in Hannover!

~ Katherine

Katherine León
Director of Sales - DOMOTEX and LIGNA Worldwide Events

Hannover Fairs USA
1170 Howell Mill Road, Suite 300
Atlanta, GA 30318
Phone: 404.214.0432

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