I wish I could say I have a gift for presenting on stage, or that my name alone is capable of drawing standing room only crowds. But the truth is that SketchUp stole the show at Coverings 2012. I was just a guy fortunate enough to get the opportunity to bring this innovative tool to the attention of over 100 designers, contractors and manufacturers who attended my session: Selling tile and stone with SketchUp.
The striking thing was how hungry everyone was to soak-in a software demonstration. Was everyone just showing up for a comfortable place to take a nap? Turns out, there’s a big need in this industry for a simple tool that can quickly visualize what tile will look like in a given space. So much so that not one person in the crowd fell asleep in their soup!
My presentation showed the basics of SketchUp as well as the add-on Product Connect – our technology for making product information available to SketchUp users. Some well-received highlights included:
• Manufacturers can convert images of their products for use inside SketchUp, by in-house designers or outside customers
• Designers can use these catalogs to help sell their design ideas to clients
• Contractors can preview installation problem areas or complete take-offs for estimates and orders
By the end of the presentation, I was keenly aware of this industry’s need to be served with better software. These days, we all use software on a daily basis. So much so, in fact, that it doesn’t feel like software at all. “There’s an app for that” is a phrase that sums-up what we expect of our technology – we need tools that “just work” so well in fact that we don’t think of them as work related “software”
I hope SketchUp, and our Product Connect add-on, can be tools that just work for showing your customers what your products and design ideas will look like. And I hope to get a chance again at Coverings 2013 in Atlanta to tell the story again – hopefully with success stories for what designers and manufacturers have done since our meeting earlier this year in Orlando.