Discover your free Construction Marketing Ideas Email Newsletter

Friday, February 09, 2007

Marketing the way it should be done

Last night, I attended the annual Connections Cafe, co-ordinated the Ottawa chapter of Construction Specifications Canada (CSC). CSC is affiliated with the U.S. based Construction Specifications Institute and represents the people in a variety of disciplines responsible for drafting construction documentation.

Spec writers, of course, are really important to building product manufacturers, as well as building technology and systems developers. They also are important to general and subtrades interested in learning about opportunities before they are openly posted (if the opportunities are publicly posted at all.)

The importance of the specification writers is magnified in Canada's capital (as it is in Washington D.C.) because several members of the local chapter are federal government employees with key responsibilities in the Defence Department or in writing and maintaining the Natioinal Master Specifications.

Not surprisingly, manufacturers representatives and technical sales people find local CSC or CSI good places to be near; and this is certainly the case in Ottawa.

So the Chapter, following a model originally developed in Winnipeg, has for the last six years organized an annual Connections Cafe. Guests pay for the meal and can bid on donated items in a silent auction. The revenue is shared between the local chapter, Habitat for Humanity and a local Ottawa charity (run by Dave Smith) that provides alcohol/drug rehabilitation services for young people.

We of course cover the event in our local construction newspaper. "Selling" here is unobtrusive, natural, and built on relationships and long-standing connections, but it works. This is community involvement and participation at its best.

No comments: