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Russ Hinkle, AIA, CDT, LEED AP
Senior Member
Username: rhinkle

Post Number: 99
Registered: 02-2006

Posted on Thursday, March 01, 2012 - 10:09 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Have any other firms noticed that sales reps are not coming in to do lunch and learns any more? Our firm has had none in the last 3 months and few in the last 6.

Are webinars replacing lunch and learns?
Russ Hinkle
Lynn Javoroski FCSI CCS LEED® AP SCIP Affiliate
Senior Member
Username: lynn_javoroski

Post Number: 1398
Registered: 07-2002

Posted on Thursday, March 01, 2012 - 10:26 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

My firm only books 2 per month; they are scheduled months out and we have reps requesting other types of sessions (brunch and bare? elevenses and educate?) instead of the traditional lunch 'n' learns.

We also get requests to just come in and talk with particular groups (interior designers, specifiers, designers, etc.) without food.

I've not noticed any slacking off.
Brian E. Trimble, CDT
Senior Member
Username: brian_e_trimble_cdt

Post Number: 59
Registered: 08-2005
Posted on Thursday, March 01, 2012 - 11:18 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

We are still providing a lot of lunch and learns every month, but we are trying to find ways to cut costs just like everyone else. I would love to do a breakfast meeting instead of a lunchbox seminar. I wouldn't mind doing a wine and cheese afternoon/evening mixer once in a while. I still need to get in and see architects, but it doesn't matter what format.

I do have to say that we are focusing our energy on firms that have a lot of work. ROI is in everyone's mind these days.
Nathan Woods, CSI, CCCA, LEED AP
Senior Member
Username: nwoods

Post Number: 420
Registered: 08-2005

Posted on Thursday, March 01, 2012 - 12:04 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Here in SoCal they are still frequent, though most staff find them of limited value. Few of our staff are AIA members, so what we have done is request the reps to toss the non-descript and fairly worthless AIA presentation in the rubbish bin, and focus on showing us their actual products! This has been pretty well recieved by the reps and the staff. Like Lynn, we also limit the number of visits. Too many events per month causes the staff just treat it as a free lunch and not a valuable interaction time.
Anne Whitacre, FCSI CCS
Senior Member
Username: awhitacre

Post Number: 1248
Registered: 07-2002

Posted on Thursday, March 01, 2012 - 05:03 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

we seem to be booking them at least a few weeks out, too. Since our office does a lot of interiors work, we have a couple of late afternoon (4:30 or 5 pm) sessions a month, and then probably 1 a week during an actual lunch time. I've also asked a number of the reps if they can toss the AIA credit presentation -- for the same reasons Nathan mentions. They are seldom of any value and they have a tendency to dumb-down the content so that the really good products are lost in the mix.

I can sense some desperation out there, though (and I'm not surprised). I've gotten quite a few requests for lunch presentations for products that aren't even remotely part of what we do (and the reps get testy when I say that). We're getting a lot of inquiries from residential product vendors, and for products that are useful in wood framed construction -- neither of which are part of the office portfolio.
Lisa Goodwin Robbins, RA, CCS, LEED ap
Senior Member
Username: lgoodrob

Post Number: 169
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Thursday, March 01, 2012 - 09:55 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

I'm trying to schedule a lunchtime presentation about specifications to one of our Architect client firms, but they are booked almost every day of the week. It was their idea to do a brown bag lunchtime meeting. Maybe I should suggest an early morning, "Wake Up Your Specifications" call!
ken hercenberg
Senior Member
Username: khercenberg

Post Number: 164
Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Friday, March 02, 2012 - 09:00 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

We have an incredibly innovative librarian who has our L&L schedule booked through July. These are limited to AIA LU, preferably with Sustainable Credits (USGBC certified sessions get first crack). We also have 'Meet the Materials' for breakfast every Thursday morning where a rep comes in and introduces their products over pasteries. Very informal and great way to get to know our local resource people. We also have quarterly Mini-Trade Shows where several reps who don't compete with each other set up booths for an hour at the end of the day. A rather sumptuous buffet is usually offered along with beverages. It's a lot of fun, great for morale, and a very comfortable way to get up to date on half a dozen or so product lines. We also have lots of internal educational presentations and opportunities to share knowledge. All-in-all, an excellent environment.
Lynn Javoroski FCSI CCS LEED® AP SCIP Affiliate
Senior Member
Username: lynn_javoroski

Post Number: 1400
Registered: 07-2002

Posted on Friday, March 02, 2012 - 10:42 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Lisa, that sounds like a great idea!
John McGrann
Senior Member
Username: jmcgrann

Post Number: 85
Registered: 03-2002
Posted on Monday, March 05, 2012 - 08:45 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

We're booked out 3 days per week until the first week in June, but most of that involves programs geared towards interior design materials. We reserve one noon hour per month for a brown bag "university" session conducted by either an in-house or outside expert. Those sessions usually offer appropriate content and continuing education credit.

I led off this year’s in-house university program with a session titled “Specifications – Designing with Words” that was well attended. The session concluded with groups of individuals writing specification sections (and coordinating their work with other groups) for a specific built design, in this case a high-end hotel room.
John T. McGrann, Jr., AIA, CSI, CCS, LEED AP

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