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BGSeminar 2017 helps local company progress and evolve to help retailers

A lineup of current outdoor furniture and structural options along with some of the newest and most innovative new items were on display at the BGSeminar 2017. The event drew a large crowd of retailers and included tours of the facility, three different meals and plenty of information.

Dave Mast

In today’s business world taking care of those who make a company vital is absolutely crucial to maintaining momentum and growth.

Recently Berlin Gardens took time to not only thank the retail store owners and representatives who are part of their success, but also to introduce some new and exciting products that are on the horizon during the BGSeminar 2017.

In its ninth year under the guidance of Sam Yoder, Berlin Gardens owner and president, the BGSeminar 2017 is crucial to the continuation of his company to produce high-quality outdoor furniture and structures to retailers, both in this area and far away.

He said the connections that are made and the discussions that take place at the seminar are vital to the company gaining better insight as to what the retailers want to see and how they can create outdoor furniture that is going to have an impact.

“We know that not everything we try here is going to be a success, so we believe it is very important to hear what our retailers want to have on their own showroom floors,” Yoder said. “We rely heavily on our reps because they are incredibly knowledgeable. Two of them are second generation, and they understand the business of patio furniture and where trends are going.”

Berlin Gardens doesn’t sell retail locally. The Berlin-based company is a wholesaler and has built a fine reputation that has seen retail customers come from all over the United States and even beyond U.S. borders to become purchasing partners.

Recently the local manufacturer of outdoor furniture held its annual BGSeminar 2017 on Feb. 7-8, and a host of retailers from near and far gathered to learn more about the products Berlin Gardens will be unveiling for the 2017 outdoor furniture season.

Not only does the event bring retailers in to mix and mingle with the Berlin Gardens crew, but also it allows retail owners to put a face on the people who are supplying them with great product.

In addition BGSeminar uses this time to inform its retailers about the many new products that are available today, and it peeks into the future to showcase the hot items that will be available to them in the future.

Plus, according to Steve Miller, marketing manager for Berlin Gardens, this provides a chance to find out what kind of products retailers would like to see in the future.

Getting input from their retailers is something Miller said is crucial.

“It’s important for us to get the pulse of our retailers and to find out what they think is missing or what they would like to see,” Miller said. “If things come up that are important to them that we don’t make, then that is important to us. The hope is that it isn’t just during this two-day seminar that we are asking those kinds of questions but throughout the year. But this is a great time to sit down face-to-face to talk about assembly procedures, styles and what can make their lives easier.”

With two meals included in the two-day event, plus a breakfast for its top dealers, the staff at Berlin Gardens makes sure its retailers are well taken care of. Also included in the event are factory tours, the BG crew building a pergola, furniture sales training and a dealer Q-and-A.

One of this year’s keynote speakers was Howard Partridge, president of Phenomenal Products Inc. and a renowned business coach who spoke about retail sales techniques and how to build relationships in the market. In addition the seminar had a talk with David Kauffman, author of “Empowering Small Business.” They also had some major door prize drawings and a dealer award ceremony to honor their top retailers.

Miller said taking care of the people who make them successful is priority number one during the seminar, although he added that it also is imperative they share product that will be coming out for the 2018 season as well as items that might be new to some of the retailers.

“A lot of this is bringing out new products,” Miller said. “We show our new items, and some dealers haven’t seen some of them. It’s the same thing with our structures. That’s one of the main reasons we enjoy this seminar: because our retail partners get a chance to see what is on the horizon for the 2018 season.”

Miller noted that out of the record 10 structures set up in the giant warehouse area for the seminar, two of them would be new to the 2018 season.

Evolving, creating anew and giving the public what it wants is what Berlin Gardens is striving to do, and Yoder said the seminar helps keep them hungry to create the next new and exciting thing in outdoor furniture.

With a research and development team coming up with ideas and their own crew not only creating the product, but also creating the machines that create the product (all in-house), making sure they stay on top of their game is crucial to Berlin Gardens’ success.

“What got us here isn’t going to keep us here,” Yoder said. “10 years ago gazebos were the hot item. 15 years ago 85 percent of our business was structures, and 15 percent was outdoor furniture, and now those numbers are almost completely reversed. We realize things are always changing, and it is important to stay ahead of the curve. That is why our information from our dealers and reps is so valuable. We are constantly asking how we can do it better.”

Published: February 17, 2017
New Article ID: 2017702179979