i+D - May/June 2021 - 36

Expanding on Tradition
Justin Orlansky, the new owner of Dennis Miller
New York, believes in offering the best customer
service possible, whether with online tools or
during a client visit. Orlansky had been working
for Dennis Miller for more than a decade when
he purchased the business last year in the midst
of the COVID-19 chaos. He says he was able to
adjust quickly because of his knowledge of every
aspect of running the showroom, which is located
at the New York Design Center. " I have been here
for over 10 years, so I know the ins-and-outs of
the business, " he offers. " When the pandemic
hit, I had everything in place for us to be as
successful as possible. "
Orlansky has been known to send smaller chairs
or end tables directly to a client's home so they
can try out the merchandise, and approximately
10 percent of his customers order furniture
by simply reviewing a tear sheet. The website
provides plenty of product information, from
catalogs for those just browsing to complete
vendor price lists for designers who register. And,
there also is a virtual showroom tour on the site,
which Orlansky plans to update quarterly.
The majority of clients, however, prefer to visit the
showroom personally to see and select items for
their projects. " People want to be helped; they
don't want to just click and look at something.
They want to come in, talk to a salesperson,
and learn about what they are buying, " Orlansky
says. Providing information for customers when
they need it is one key to ensuring that clientele
continue to support the company. " I am working
on a system that will allow designers to see their
orders online. I want to give them increased
access, " he adds.
Justin Orlansky
(Image: Courtesy
of Dennis Miller
New York)
NeoCon will take a hybrid
approach in October with
an in-person event, digital
hub, and keynotes and other
real-time videos streaming
in exhibitor spaces.
(Image: Courtesy of theMart)
Enhancing the Show Experience
During the pandemic, the management team at Chicago's
theMart, producers of NeoCon, turned to virtual tools to move
the signature trade show online. " When we found out last
year that we couldn't have an on-site NeoCon, we wanted
to do whatever we could to bring the commercial design
community together, " notes Lisa Simonian, vice president of
marketing, consumer shows for theMart. That included offering
resources and programming via the show website and social
media channels.
Virtual attendance, while not at pre-COVID, in-person levels,
was surprisingly robust. It signaled to leadership that people
still wanted to interact in some way and that a wider target
audience could be reached. " We had 34,000 attendees,
with 12 percent international engagement, " Simonian says.
Now, as the producers prepare for an October in-person event,
a departure from the regularly scheduled June dates, an online
digital hub is being developed. All of the keynotes will be
livestreamed, and exhibitors will have the opportunity to do
real-time videos from their booths. " People can use [the digital
platform] as a guide when they visit the show, but it's also a
way for those who can't attend to connect with exhibitors and
each other, " Simonian explains. " They won't have to physically
be in the space when a presentation is taking place; they will
be able to watch it via the platform. "
In New York, September will bring the NY Luxury Design Fair,
which is a rebranding of the Architectural Digest Design Show.
The fair is being held at the Javits Center and will boost the
visitor experience by running concurrently with The Armory
Show, a premier art fair and cultural destination for collectors.
" An art lover is often a design lover, and vice versa, " says
Michael Rabatin, managing director of the NY Luxury Design
Fair. " For the producers, it's an ideal pairing. People who have
a ticket for The Armory Show will be able to attend the NY
Luxury Design Fair for free. We're going to have an expanded,
built-in audience. "
Lisa Simonian
(Image: Courtesy
of theMart)
Michael Rabatin
(Image: Courtesy
of NY Luxury
Design Fair)
36
i+D - May/June 2021

i+D - May/June 2021

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