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Not Scheduling Live Equipment Demos? You’re Missing Out.

Jenny Lescohier
Rental Magazine

Access 101

Not Scheduling Live Equipment Demos? You’re Missing Out.

Expert Q&A - Oct 18

What is the value of product demos?

Product demos are immensely valuable as they bring equipment to life—from a two-dimensional idea with specifications, diagrams and images, to something visceral that interacts with the user. Without a demo, we can’t use our senses to make important judgements such as how the equipment “feels,” how it fits and behaves in tandem with our movements, how it sounds and how we relate visually to its controls and inner workings. Without these judgements, we might understand how a piece of equipment operates in the abstract, but we won’t know if we’re “compatible” with it, so to speak.

Anyone who’s bought a car knows it’s one thing to spec a vehicle online and negotiate the right price, but it’s another to actually test drive it to determine the fit and feel of the machine—not to mention witness its true performance. This is not unique to cars and other personal vehicles. Even something as simple and low-tech as a hammer can have unique design differences that will make or break our opinion of it.

What can you learn from a product demo that you don't learn from simply researching online or viewing at a tradeshow?

Besides our personal relation to the equipment, a product demonstration can validate or discredit a manufacturer’s claim. No matter how much history we have with a manufacturer or our amount of trust in their statements, there’s no substitute for first-hand experience. Seeing (doing) truly is believing.

Product demos allow us to make legitimate comparisons between brands of equipment. After all, Brand X and Brand Y might have all the same specs and even share many of the same features, but inevitably there are intangible differences that make one stand out as our choice.

Lastly, the opportunity to see new technology in use is infinitely more impactful than reading or hearing about it. Especially in today’s world where technology is rapidly evolving, getting first-hand experience with the latest advancements can be the only way to fully grasp their capabilities. Safety is another offshoot of this. When users gain personal experience with a new piece of equipment or even just a new feature on it, it enables them to work more safely because they’re more familiar with how the machine works.