Occupying one corner of the Wood Products Showcase pavilion at the National Convention of the American Institute of Architects (AIA), NELMA introduced its new exhibit graphics and hands-on wood visuals to the estimated 20,000 architects and designers in attendance. The 3-day annual event was held at the spacious Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta on May 14-16, with more than 800 exhibitors on the floor. NELMA’s presence within the Wood Products Showcase space at AIA was made possible with funding from the Softwood Lumber Board (Check-Off Program) as part of their “Re-Think Wood” outreach campaign.
NELMA’s new exhibit graphics focused on a single 8’x8’ image of an eye-catching room surrounded in Eastern White Pine products, featuring call-outs of specific areas that provided viewers with information on size, grade, profile, and the type of finish used to give the room its distinctive look. “With only seconds to attract a visitor to actually stop at an exhibit you must have an intriguing visual that creates instant interest”, stated Jeff Easterling, President of NELMA. “We believe the large room image accomplishes this goal. And once the visitor stops, we prolong their participation by showing them actual 12” samples of various Eastern White Pine profiles within our sample box they can touch and feel.”
In addition to being able to reach out to practicing architects and designers with northeastern softwood lumber product information, NELMA’s presence at the national event provides an opportunity to discuss the role this professional group has in making overall product decisions in residential construction. “Even though homeowners have easy access to a plethora of information today when it comes to home construction products and make selections based on internet searches and/or cable television home shows, they consult with an architect or designer even more today to discuss product attributes or comparable options, according to visitors to NELMA’s exhibit when asked the question.”
And finally, lagniappe to exhibiting at AIA is NELMA’s ability to also engage professors from accredited architecture schools from around the country that attend the Show; a golden opportunity to discuss and promote the Association’s Sustainable Versatility Design Award program for students. Jeff reported that a number of additional key professor contacts interested in receiving information regarding NELMA’s 5th Annual Competition (Fall 2015) will be added to the promotional poster and email list.