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September 2020 –OrderEase announces the success of its first virtual trade show in the U.S. for Prince Corporation, a wholesale distributor and manufacturer of agricultural, lawn and garden, and pet and wild bird products. In fact, due to the outstanding response, Prince Corporation chose to extend the original show dates of September 14-16, 2020 for an additional 30 days.
“We knew buying groups and distributors, such as Prince Corporation, would need a different way to host their traditional booking shows,” says Warren Patterson, CEO of OrderEase. “Since face-to-face shows have been halted due to Covid-19, it was only logical for us to build a virtual trade show platform around our existing wholesale order management software. After hosting our launch show for Prince, the results exceeded both their expectations and ours, validating our easy-to-use ordering platform.”
Virtual Versus In-Person: The Future of Trade Shows?
OrderEase and Prince Corporation began developing the virtual trade show at the end of June, with a target of 150 vendors. However, the vendor list grew as the show date neared, and OrderEase’s platform easily accommodated last-minute additions. During the three-day show, Prince Corporation reported 812 registrants, 198 booths featuring more than 42,800 SKUs, 308 sales agents, with just under 25,000 individual booth visits. The sales volume for the three-day virtual event exceeded Prince Corporation’s seven-day physical show last year by 10 percent.
“In shifting to a virtual-only show this year, we were unsure how it would go,” says Shaun Quinlan, CEO of Prince Corporation. “I’m pleased to say, the sales volume and overwhelming positive feedback from vendors and retailers far exceeded our expectations.”
Working with the OrderEase platform expedited the trade show ordering process. “Show totals used to be a manual, laborious process and take weeks to enter after the show ended,” said Quinlan. “The OrderEase platform allowed us to track sales volume by category, by vendor, and by customer during the show in real time. With such a great experience, we’re allowing vendor reps to use OrderEase for an additional 30 days to visit with retailers and secure additional business for the coming year.”
Selling in an Age of Social Distancing
With most tradeshows on hiatus throughout the U.S., companies need alternatives to in-person sales and shows. OrderEase’s platform allows sales reps and customers to gather—albeit virtually—to share the latest products and fulfill customers’ needs.
“As a territory manager for Prince Corporation, it was a pleasure to work with the OrderEase virtual trade show platform,” said Dan Orr, territory manager with Prince Corporation. “Easy login with an email and password allowed me to quickly find vendor partners on the showroom floor. With one click, we could see product and show specials, then interact with the vendor reps. In the show administrator function, I could see all the customers and interact with them by video or text. The platform allowed me to view the booths customers visited, plus I saw how many guests were on the showroom floor. Orders were visible as they were entered, whether by the customer, the vendor, or me. Overall, the site was easy to use and navigate. We were very impressed with the results of our virtual show.”
OrderEase’s technology connects wholesalers to all their channels through online product catalogs and a centralized order hub, providing fast, accurate ordering.
Typically, business-to-business retail transactions are captured manually via phone, fax, or email, which can result in inaccurate orders, excessive returns and credits, high order costs, and delays. OrderEase’s centralized order hub and unique app for sales reps streamlines the order process, reducing time spent creating orders and improving order accuracy to create a positive customer experience. By adapting its existing platform, OrderEase creates virtual tradeshow experiences for clients like Prince Corporation.
Key features and benefits of the OrderEase platform for use in virtual tradeshows include the ability to book and submit orders digitally, along with real-time sales data—by customer, by sales rep, or by vendor. The platform allows multi-tier pricing management, as well as letting sales reps order on behalf of customers. Orders are auto-saved as they’re built, saving time for both customers and sales reps. The platform also includes live chat and video conferencing between attendees and vendors, as well as live video, phone, and email support throughout the show.
Exhibiting Products Virtually
While tradeshows typically require expensive displays and big travel budgets, virtual shows not only save money but also keep participants safe during the pandemic without sacrificing important real-time customer/exhibitor connections. With products displayed through the OrderEase platform during the Prince Corporation show, exhibitors could quickly answer customer questions and assist in product selection and orders.
“As a vendor partner, I found the OrderEase platform used for the Prince Virtual Fall Booking Show to be very user-friendly,” said Mike Allway, territory sales manager for Midwestern Pet Foods Inc. “I really liked getting notifications when people visited the booth or placed an order so I could reach out to offer assistance and thank them for stopping by and ordering. The contact information provided and the instant messaging tools made timely, personalized responses possible. Having real-time access to orders and the list of attendees was also very helpful.”
Attendees also found the new tradeshow format worked well. “Overall, I’m very pleased with how the show worked out,” said Mike Thormodson of Swedberg Nursery.
For more details about the OrderEase virtual show platform, go to https://www.orderease.com/virtual- trade-show-platform or call OrderEase at 416.592.0909.
OrderEase (formerly LinkGreen) believes that wholesale ordering should be easy—and so do more than 7,500 customers who use their platform.
The OrderEase cloud solution connects wholesalers to all their channels through online product catalogs and a centralized order hub for fast, accurate wholesale ordering. Uniquely positioned to capitalize on streamlined wholesale ordering, OrderEase’s proven technology, growing customer base, and strategic business model makes it an ideal wholesale ordering solution.
OrderEase serves multiple industries, including grocery, greenhouse, nursery and floriculture, lawn and garden, lumber and building materials, cannabis, and home décor. Visit orderease.com for more information.
About Prince Corporation
Prince Corporation is a wholesale distributor and manufacturer of agricultural, lawn and garden, pet, and wild bird products. Since 1922, Prince Corporation helps customers succeed by carrying broad, diverse, and unique product lines, serving retail customers throughout the Midwest. Visit www.prince- corp.com for more information.