Whether at a tradeshow, a supply house, or just traveling down the highway, chances are you may have seen our Viega Roadshow truck making the rounds.
Commonly used for demonstrations, training, and promotion of Viega products, the Viega Roadshow truck is equipped with over 150 different kinds of Viega fittings, products, and tools - not including the hundreds of samples available for pressing.
It’s also designed to give customers an in-person opportunity to experience the “ah-ha” moment of realizing how quick and efficient it is to press.
Recently, the Viega Roadshow truck took an extended, six-week stint through Texas with the Viega Texas sales team.
To talk more about this special tour, we sat down with Viega Technical Trainer for the Texas Region, Chris Phillips:
Q: What was the intention in planning out the Texas roadshow tour?
Chris: It goes back to the end of January 2022, I traveled to the AHR Convention and that’s where I met Jim DeBreock (Viega Industry Marketing Manager) for the first time, and he pulled me aside and said: “...You know, we’ve got the Viega Roadshow truck going around. We’re having success with it, but wanted to find more opportunities to get it on the road more. So, with your background, would you want to take it for a certain amount of time and see what you guys can put together in the region?”
I’ve got a background in working with industry organizations ASPE, PHCC, etc,so I was all for it.. From there, I talked to the [Texas] team and I basically googled all throughout Texas, what was going on as far as golf tournaments, sporting clays, things like that, and got all those on a calendar. It was my intent to travel around to do that and then sprinkle other events in-between, and as I was talking to our DMs, it really came to the forefront that we could use [the truck] every single day.
Call it luck of the day or good planning, we didn’t criss-cross too much, we were really efficient. And we were really proud to do something every single day for six weeks. That’s how we got our 34 events!
Q: How did you choose where to stop?
Chris: I think each person, in their own territory, knew what was important to them. Whether it was working with a distributor, supply house, or something else. For example, in San Antonio, we had a crawfish boil with a supply house, another place, we grilled out.
So, [it was] whether we wanted to strengthen a relationship or work with some of the contractors that we knew worked in specific facilities. Again, it came back to what each team member thought was important and who they wanted to build a better relationship with. And, you know, each person… we got a good four or five days in their area so they could utilize the truck for their benefit and the benefit of the company.
Q: It sounds like there was a lot going on inside the truck, how did you use it for different events?
Chris: It’s cool because the truck opens up and there’s a porch on it, and an awning, and then there’s a table in it. So that’s normally where you’re doing trainings for people. You can walk around and see everything – which we did. And then if you want to do credential training, you can hold it right there.
The truck is really amazing and it really attracts people, especially as it opens up. We were just really grateful to have it. It takes the better part of an hour to set it up and tear it down. So if you’re talking about one stop a day, you can’t just park it in the parking lot and bring people in… There’s a lot of coordination that went into it.
Q: How do people engage with the truck in person? How does the experience within the truck resonate with people?
Chris: Yeah, it’s really cool. For example, the people that come up and say: “I’ve been using Viega for years, what’s new?” And we can kind of take them around to show off the valve line, the expanded valve line, a new fitting, or something like that.
But I think what was really exciting is those people that are new to Viega or haven’t been using it long-term, there was [always] something in the truck they hadn’t seen before. Whether it was the CuNi line, which is marine applications, or they hadn’t really been into MegaPress and they’ve just been focusing on ProPress before – they can see it and get their hands on it.
So I think that was the most fun - bringing them in and letting them start talking about their experiences.
And again, 95% of the time everyone was happy, but if there were some pain points that we could help them out with, that was great to hear, too.
Q: From all the 33-34 stops you went to, were there any standouts?
Chris: There was actually one all the way down in the South tip of Texas, so it’s really out of the way. But that’s what was amazing about having the truck for six weeks, we could plan where it was going. So, normally, you’re traveling around, you’re hitting all the big cities, but having it for such a long time, we got to go to some remote areas.
That one was especially satisfying because they’re not used to seeing reps come down there and doing big events.
Q: What’s your favorite part about the roadshow? And, now that you’ve done this entire tour, what would be your ideal opportunities for the truck moving forward?
Chris: Ideal opportunities for the truck. I think, ideally, we’d have more than one. Hopefully, [this experience] shined a light on Texas and how we utilized the truck and put it to great use.
My favorite thing was just meeting new people, whether they were longtime users or doing conversions. Just seeing the payoff with it and what Viega’s investing and the tools they’re providing us to get out there.
And, again, everyone on our team was super excited to get to put it to use when it was their turn. And we’re already looking forward to next year, doing it again. We’d love to have one just in Texas by ourselves.
So yeah, proud of the team, proud of the company, proud of the truck, can’t wait to have it back.