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TTI Takes Its Road Shows into the Virtual Space

May 19, 2020
More than 500 attendees have already taken part in TTI’s virtual “rock shows,” which come complete with tour t-shirts and groupies.

Last year, TTI, Inc., launched a series of town hall meetings where it interacted in person with its customers, suppliers and manufacturer’s rep partners. Developed by TTI’s corporate team, this “executive roadshow” went over so well that the distributor decided to do it again in 2020. The global pandemic would interrupt those plans—at least for the first half of the year—but it didn’t deter TTI from orchestrating an engaging “virtual” roadshow.

With its first three virtual events attracting more than 500 participants, the company is leveraging the power of technology to stay in touch with its customers and partners during this difficult period. “Our colleagues in the industry are hungry for contact/face time and a sense of stability and forward vision,” says Don Akery, TTI’s president, Americas. “By meeting live—though virtually—and sharing openly, we’re keeping the spirit of our electronic components community alive.”

Keep Calm and Carry On

Uniquely positioned to offer and share that sense of security and stability, TTI is a Berkshire Hathaway company that embodies the motto, “Keep Calm and Carry On.” So much so, in fact, that it has made the virtual roadshows fun by emulating a rock concert tour, complete with  “tour” t-shirts (proceeds are going to the non-profit organization Girls in Tech) and “TTI Groupies” (the suppliers and reps).

Akery says the virtual events serve as a reminder than even as TTI has grown, the company definitely remembers “where it all started and everything that’s happened along the way.”

Feeding off the energy of its 2019 Executive Roadshow—where executives got on airplanes, flew to different locations and met with people face-to-face—the virtual events are now helping TTI bring the electronics manufacturing and distribution communities together.  

“We had nine stops in 2019 and the events proved to be a hit in person,” says Akery, whose main objective for this year’s events is to get out and hear directly from customers about what's working well, what's not working, what they want from TTI and what they need from the industry as a whole. The company had nine more stops planned in 2020, but like many other organizations, TTI had to backburner those plans due to the coronavirus.

Connecting with Customers

With its virtual events, the company has turned a crisis into a way to connect with its customers, suppliers and reps, all while having a little fun along the way (something we could use a bit more of right now). “We picked the rock tour theme, made the shirts, and started calling the reps and suppliers who showed up at multiple events our ‘groupies,’” Akery explains.

The quality of those meetings has exceeded Akery’s expectations. “We’ve been able to get a broader, higher-level audience that includes a number of CEOs, presidents and other executives,” he says. “In fact, I think they've missed us a bit, and missed our salespeople visiting them on a regular basis.”

Still to come are six more confirmed virtual tour dates for 2020, although Akery says that number may increase to 15-20 total markets this year. The current dates are:

Cleveland                   June 17

Milwaukee                 September 9

Portland                     September 22

Seattle                        September 24

Orange County         October 15

Orlando                      December 10

Look for a TTI rock show coming to a town near you!

About the Author

Bridget McCrea | Contributing Writer | Supply Chain Connect

Bridget McCrea is a freelance writer who covers business and technology for various publications.

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