4 Reasons to Attend HIRI’s Virtual Summit 2020

Working in today’s home improvement industry looks very different than it did five years ago. (Did you think you’d hear this much about Zoom meetings one year ago?) While the industry might look different, some things remain the same: This year’s HIRI Summitis sure to delight our attendees. 

But the benefits of attending the HIRI’s 2020 Virtual Summit are greater because this year ... the event is entirely free. 

Reasons to Attend the HIRI Summit 

All industry professionals and thought-leaders need to make informed decisions about growing their businesses. HIRI has designed the Summit speakers and schedule to serve those professionals in the home improvement industry. 

But HIRI wants to improve on what’s been missing at home improvement networking events by offering something more than a conference: something entirely virtual and completely free. Here are a few reasons you should think about joining the fun. 

1. It’s time to plan for the future.

The home improvement and construction industries aren’t known to adapt quickly to change. From adopting new technologies to applying building codes, there’s a lot of change to navigate! 

The Home Improvement Research Institute (HIRI) was founded for just that reason, though. With more questions and changes than ever before, HIRI wants to ensure that all home improvement industry members have equal access to the information (and insights) available to professionals. Every annual Summit event is an opportunity to bring professionals together, improve knowledge sharing and build a more connected future for the home improvement industry. This is especially as an organization plan for the upcoming year with some annual events being canceled or changed dramatically. 

But, as Carisha Swanson with House Beautiful explained at the 2019 HIRI Summit, “Adaptation is key right now. We are in a space where media is constantly changing because technology is constantly changing.”

And 2020 looks quite a bit different than it did last year. That’s what the 2020 Virtual Summit is all about: This “new normal” requires direction and leadership. HIRI sees the Summit as an opportunity to help marketers, sales professionals, retailers and other industry organizations navigate the changes brought by economic disasters and a crisis like COVID-19. 

2. Your customers rely on you to stay up-to-date.

Your customers use the internet to stay informed about everything from politics to the weather. 

And since the COVID-19 crisis began, many homeowners have started staying at home more, which means internet searches on home improvement and DIY projects are way up. “Having more time at home is the biggest impact COVID-19 has had on DIY projects. This is the primary reason so many homeowners are starting projects,” according to research from Farnsworth

Home improvement industry retailers will get the chance to learn effective ways to reach those customers in person and online at this year’s Summit. “For home improvement, consumers are knowledge-hungry,” according to Amy Anthony with Lowe’s, who spoke at last year’s HIRI Summit

It’s up to your brand to deliver what your customers are after online. “Seventy-four percent do research to get as much information as possible before making a purchase,” explains Amy. “Knowledge is absolutely essential for brick and mortar, but a seamless, effortless [online] experience is also important.”

3. You’ll learn ways to help your customers find the solutions they need. 

This year’s Summit needed to be special because working through change (like the industry and world are going through) takes a community. The HIRI community was created for professionals to get the resources they need to build their business (including online business). For any Summit to be considered a success, HIRI members should feel like they leave with solutions for attracting more customers. 

But that means you’ll need insight into your customers. The online Summit will help retailers and industry professionals understand where their customers look for products on the internet, what they shop for and how to talk to customers about those products.

This year’s crisis has required many businesses to observe restrictions around operation because of COVID-19. The online shopping experience is more important than ever for your customers, and the HIRI Summit will feature speakers, industry professionals and experts to help you reach them. 

“Shopping and purchasing via mobile device is growing rapidly and must be a main strategy at retail.” 

Brendan Baby, The Home Depot

4. You’ll be the first to know about changing market demands.

When you understand what your customers are like and what they need, you can give them a better shopping experience. That means brands have to stay on top of trends and projects that inspire today’s consumers. 

What kind of trends?

  • In 2019, some of the top strongest product categories were windows and doors, and insulation. Todd Tomalak, SVP of Research for John Burns Real Estate, explained why: “They are purchases catered to homeowners planning to stay in their homes, specific to those with rising incomes, and fall in the low-to-mid price point.” 

  • More homeowners now recognize the need to build more sustainable, durable homes that will withstand harsh climates. And younger generations of homeowners today think about the environmental impact of the materials and products they use on their home: 41% want to be seen as someone who buys “green products.”

  • More people are living in their homes longer, and because of this mobility decline, they’re purchasing materials and products to maintain their home. “It turns out that people who stay in their homes make very different kinds of purchases. Maintenance is more of a consideration,” says Todd Tomalak

Need More Reasons to Attend This (Free) Event?

Today’s consumers are more knowledgeable and inspired, and there’s a demand for high-quality shopping experiences wherever they browse for products.

When home improvement retailers have research-based, consumer-centered strategies for reaching those customers, they can help build their business and ensure their future success. 

Join us for this free event that takes place for three hours over three days, from September 22-24. And if you become (or already are!) a member and register for the Summit, you’ll also get access to all of the recordings from the virtual event (a member’s only perk). 

Sign up for HIRI’s 2020 Virtual Summit today for free access to exclusive research, insights on Pro & DIY customers, channels and economies, forecasting information and more. We can’t wait to see you there.


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