The award for Bertrand Company in the category: Best Home Technology Product was like the cherry on top. It was a magnificent conclusion to this massive and prestigious event. Straight out of American movies. However, it would be an oversimplification to say that Bertrand gained recognition and success solely because of this award across the ocean. In my opinion, several factors contributed to the overwhelmingly positive reception of the company, both in the USA and in Poland, which I will attempt to summarize at the end of this trip to Las Vegas.

 

Firstly – the decision.

 

Well, everything really started with it. Bertrand had already exhibited in the United States six times. In 2023, the company also participated in IBS, which translated into a certain sales success in the following weeks. In such a situation, the desire to continue on this path is natural, but one must measure their capabilities against their intentions. Keep an eye on the budget, which is not unlimited. So, the Bertrand Board glanced at it frequently. Finally, the decision was made: we’re exhibiting!

 

And it was the best decision possible.

 

Secondly – the location.

 

 

The hall where the trade fair takes place is enormous. Upon entering through one of several entrances, as you step onto the fairgrounds, you get the feeling as if you’ve entered an immense home improvement store. Booth after booth, each different and captivating, stretching in all directions. Yet, each of these companies exhibiting at IBS dreams of having their brand attract the largest crowds. The visual aspect of the booth is not insignificant here – companies, depending on their budget, opt for various bells and whistles – more or less spectacular solutions. From dazzling LED screens to large banners hanging above the booth, some came up with impressive setups. For example, one company had its space right by one of the entrances. Entering the hall, one couldn’t miss their ENORMOUS sliding doors welcoming visitors.

 

But yes, the location. Where the booth was situated, in which part of the hall, precisely, all of this also had enormous significance and influence on how many potential customers would stop and enter. Last year, Bertrand had a larger booth but located somewhere at the very end of the hall. This year, somewhat luckily, we managed to secure a spot more or less in the middle of the hall, right by the stairs and the main thoroughfare. The result? Bertrand’s booth was visible from at least several vantage points – from above, from the side, climbing the stairs. Compared to the previous year, this was a truly colossal change for the better. It certainly contributed to more foot traffic at Bertrand than during the previous edition.

 

Thirdly – the atmosphere at the booth.

 

Alright, your company is at the trade fair, and it has a superb booth location – the key to success is ready, right? Not entirely.

 

Because you can have a superb spot, a beautiful, shiny booth with lively music playing, but one must not forget that besides products, unique as they may be, there are people working in that trade fair space. When there are a million booths, when each is more or less the same, when customers pass by most of them, and the chance that they’ll remember yours is not particularly high, it’s these people, who are on the front lines, who can make a customer look more favorably upon your company. They can make it so that after the event, intrigued by the offer but also delighted with the service, the customer sends you an email. That’s how it works. When a customer sees a hundred booths during the fair, if they talk to the employees of fifty companies, which one will they remember the best?

 

The atmosphere, the engagement of all employees, a professional, albeit not entirely conventional approach to customers. That made visitors to our booth feel at home, they felt properly taken care of, they felt treated not primarily as customers but as people. It was about the little things, about such a proactive attitude embedded in the details – asking the customer how they’re feeling, if they need anything, if they’d like to taste some Polish delicacies.

 

Seemingly small things, right? But believe me, they worked. Of course, it’s known that this is an event where you seek customers. It’s known that each company wants to attract as many as possible. That’s normal. Both sides know why they’re there. But, precisely, just gently stepping beyond the usual in conversation. Beyond those customary “How are you?” Believe me, it really works.

 

Plus, the atmosphere at the booth. We often had a rather relaxed atmosphere, and I had the impression that customers liked it. Of course, it didn’t mean loosening up in terms of professionalism; rather, it meant showing that the conversation with the customer, the approach to them, wasn’t painfully stiff. Just normal, human. We joked a lot, which immediately resonated with them. We held contests, handed out gadgets, and finally – as the only company at the fair – we had our magician, Paweł, who amazed and also did a great job for us.

 

Fourthly – engagement.

 

A trade fair is such an event where you have to hustle. 9 o’clock strikes, it’s time to start, and work counts. There’s no place for sulking, for complaining, for tiredness – that comes later. I have the impression that our team was greatly united by the fact that we worked until the very end on Monday, shoulder to shoulder, with the sense that we couldn’t let each other down. Therefore, when the “zero hour” struck, everyone knew that if necessary, they could count on their colleague. Everyone was aware that if they needed a moment’s break, they just had to say so, and then they could take a breather. And a colleague would take over. I know these sound like lofty clichés, that every company can write such things about themselves. True. But I also know how much nerves, stress, emotions it cost us to finish the booth on time, that it wasn’t as colorful and fun as it may seem, I also know that this strongly motivated us to show that in Bertrand, strength lies in the people. That’s why during work – we didn’t spare ourselves. During evening outings in Vegas – neither. But in the morning, compact and ready, strong and standing tall like Optimus Prime, we did our job. We turned tiredness into jokes. We suppressed grumbling in the bud. We solved frustration and problems in the evening. That’s why we had both the atmosphere and the engagement.

 

Fifthly – the product.

 

Unique. One that made a difference. It grabbed attention. And it’s not just about the Infratherm technology window that won the award, as I mentioned at the beginning. Americans like products that are unusual, non-standard, not necessarily mundane. And we, as Bertrand, had exactly such constructions at our booth. It took us a lot of time, effort, and nerves to install some of them at the booth, not to mention dismantling them, but we had immense satisfaction seeing later how much interest these products aroused.

 

I remember that long before IBS 2024, there was a lively debate within the company about what to showcase in Las Vegas. We have a plethora of different and truly impressive doors and windows in our offer, so the aforementioned discussion was not only lively but sometimes downright tumultuous regarding what to ultimately send to the States. And as one of the representatives of Bertrand Company in Vegas, I have immense satisfaction because of that.