Since March, schools around the world have closed their doors forcing administrators, teachers, and students to adapt to learning and teaching virtually. These drastic measures taken by governments all over the world have taken 1.37 billion students out of the classroom and into a remote learning curriculum. While these efforts were necessary, indispensable, and crucial in helping reduce the spread of the novel coronavirus, students, parents, and staff are left in the dark as to what are the next steps and the future of the school system.
All summer long, head faculty and staff have been closely monitoring the COVID-19 situation, brainstorming solutions on how to approach the upcoming 2020/2021 school term. Many schools have gone forward with the alternative of a half-and-half classroom solution, giving students the option to learn in the classroom or to stay at home and continue virtual learning. Other institutions have declared the first semesters to continue online, returning to the physical classroom for the winter semester if all goes well. However, one thing is for certain: classrooms, common areas, and break rooms will all need to change.
School furniture during COVID-19 has become a primary focus and popular topic since desks, chairs and any surfaces in the classroom could harbour the novel virus. With daily reminders on washing our hands, making sure surfaces are sanitized and disinfecting anything we touch, the state of the classroom is and will most likely continue to be a point of concern for your clients in the education field. When heading into your next meeting or pitch with an education client, it is important to approach selling with sensitivity and a needs-centred mentality.
In today’s blog post, we’ll be exploring 3 key features your clients will be looking for in school furniture during COVID-19. Let’s get started.
Although some states in America have moved into the final phases of their reopening plan, many have needed to retransition back into another quarantine period. Leading health professionals are still making new discoveries of the virus, making it very difficult to predict the climate a month from now. As administrators and head faculty continue to assess the COVID-19 situation in their areas, your clients will be looking for solutions that can help them adapt to the needs of the teachers and students.
When pitching to your clients in the education field, it’s important to spotlight your product’s wide range of configurations. Whether it be a simple desk pod that sits four students or the entire classroom, take the time and opportunity to showcase the different setup alternatives and the key features your products sport that make it adaptable and flexible.
Take for example the Beta student desk from Artcobell. The key feature of this solution is that you can easily join the desks together to form pods, or if the social distancing rules become even more stringent, separate the desks for each individual student. However, it would also be important to note the rolling table legs. This feature will make it easy for students to maneuver their own stations, preventing the need for close-contact assistance.
While there are resources that state the COVID-19 virus can live on a variety of surfaces for an amount of time, the fact of the matter is that tabletops and chairs can transmit all sorts of germs and bacteria, including the coronavirus. And due to the virus’s long 14-day incubation period, the seemingly invisible symptoms make it very difficult to reduce and contain the spread once one person contracts it. Beyond washing your hands and carrying hand sanitizer, all frequently touched surfaces will need to switch to materials that can be regularly disinfected.
When specifying solutions for your clients, use the time to suggest and bring to your client’s attention your range of easy to clean finishes. Whether it be solid plastic, metal, or laminate, be sure to use the moment to share your expertise on which materials will allow their staff to sanitize with zero difficulties. Doing so not only demonstrates your vast product knowledge, but it can also become an opportunity to show your clients your care and consideration in regards to our current circumstances. Redirecting your clients from making design decisions that could prove to be inconvenient and difficult in the future can ultimately be a great rapport builder.
Showcase Social Distancing Elements
Over the past few months, we have seen many schools implementing some form of partitions between their students. Whether it be adding shields in the cafeteria or Plexiglass surrounding desks, these physical barriers are able to help contain much of the germs that could transmit between students having a conversation or collaborating on a project. While it is absolutely a good idea to share any solutions in your catalogs that could provide that extra barrier, it is also vital to showcase the elements that adhere to the social distancing guidelines based in your client’s region.
Whether it be the areas you have included specifically for hand hygiene or graphics that help map out your proposed classroom traffic flow, these small yet significant pieces of information are exactly what will set your pitch apart from the rest. It’s easy to tell your clients that the desks will be spaced 6-feet apart or that students will not stand too close, however, showing your clients gives greater context and leaves a greater impact. And ultimately, helping your clients completely visualize what your proposed space will look like and what they can expect is what will build a reliable line of communication and trust. So investigate how you can show clearly to your clients how your solutions and configurations are COVID-19 compliant.
Work and Adapt Quickly
When it comes to working with clients exploring school furniture during COVID-19, it is critical to stay alert to current events and adapt accordingly. While everyone is in a similar boat, in the education industry, it is vital to match the speed with how quickly restrictions in a certain city, state, or country change on a daily basis. The right tools can make all the difference when trying to adjust and revise your plans, especially during a time crunch. So make sure you are well equipped with the latest tools that can help you make quick adjustments to your projects now and beyond.
The KITS collaborator™ - Mobile Sales Platform was developed to meet the needs of today's office furniture sales professional. If you’re interested in accessing over 100+ manufacturer’s digital catalogs and specifying products in real-time, click here to book a live demo with our team to see The KITS collaborator’s full line of features and capabilities. To see what The KITS collaborator can do for you and your dealership, click here to read our Client Conversations with a Senior Graphic Designer from Artcobell.