If there is one thing we have all learned this past year, it’s the importance of flexibility. The pandemic brought many changes for businesses throughout the U.S. It prompted us all to adapt and evolve quickly to survive and thrive. One of the areas where we saw significant change to our business related to the events and trade shows that we had regularly attended.
PLM normally attends approximately 200 trade shows and other events each year involving both the lumber and the insurance industries. Our employees and our leadership team typically travel around the U.S. exhibiting at association shows, attending golf events, or hosting dinners for customers in the area. Our involvement at shows is a large part of how we do business and build relationships with the industry and among our customers. We are all in the business of people. What better place to build existing relationships and to create new relationships than at association events throughout the year? Shows also give us an opportunity to learn from industry professionals, stay on top of trends and changes in the wood and insurance marketplaces, and share the PLM name.
In 2020, we saw a halt to nearly all of these activities and a transition to virtual events. While these virtual shows were a viable option for association updates and continuing education, it ended up being a less than effective way to network and interact with our customers.
Now, here we are in 2021, excited about the show schedule.
As restrictions are lifting, we are anxious to get back out and return to our face-to-face interactions! Our trade show schedule is filling up quickly and more of our people are traveling to shows. We have also begun to plan PLM Dinner events for the remainder of the year. We are looking forward to seeing many of you at upcoming shows and events. We can’t wait to shake hands, network in-person, share ideas, and build new relationships once again.
Despite our excitement to return to in-person events, the flexibility needed in 2020 has taught us that we do not need to wait for those moments to communicate. The changes we made to adapt to a more digital environment has brought us new opportunities and improved communications with our insureds.
In the past year, when our Loss Control and Business Development Representatives were grounded and no longer able to visit the premises of our insureds, we launched a new program called Anytime Risk Management (ARM), allowing our customers to take control of their own risk management and work virtually with our Loss Control Representatives to survey their operations.
This past month, we had our first installment in our new Insured Webinar Series. Over 150 customers joined the webinar to learn about fleet safety management, defensive driver training, and the various programs and resources available to them to help keep their operations safe and prevent costly auto accidents. We applaud those who took the time out of their busy schedules to recognize the importance of risk management in the operations. We plan on continuing this free webinar series for our insureds highlighting a variety of timely topics on a quarterly basis and you can expect the next one in September. We hope to see you all there!
Finally, later this month we are introducing our new blog, The PLM Exchange, where we will share our industry-specific knowledge and resources on topics ranging from risk management and insurance coverage issues to the industry marketplace. The blog will be easily accessible on our website and provide our stakeholders with timely and valuable information.
The pandemic has been a trying time for many businesses in our industry, but it has also been a time of tremendous growth and exploration of new processes. Many of these new forms of communication will continue to grow and evolve in our operations to allow us to improve our customer experience and better serve all our stakeholders.