We recently had the opportunity to exhibit at our first conference since the pandemic. BuildExpo LA brought together construction professionals from all over Southern California (and beyond!) as well as many eager attendees who were ready to experience the industry’s emerging and leading companies, products and services.

The two-day tradeshow was a whirlwind of activity for BEYREP. In retrospect, there were many learnings we took away from BuildExpo LA. Here are five of our most fundamental takeaways:

BEYREP’s founder and CEO Grace Tsao Mase led two workshops at BuildExpo LA focused on the benefits of emotional intelligence (EQ) in the construction trade. Construction can be an intimidating field on the outside. It’s largely dominated by men and has a long history of being emotionally distant. So, you can imagine the jitters that come with teaching a bunch of burly men about getting in touch with their feelings! But the attendees were more diverse than you might expect, and everyone was engaged with the discussion.

Professionals know this is a relationship-based industry, and Grace’s sessions highlighted the importance of EQ in successful working relationships. Before physical work begins on any construction project, relationships must be established with trust, transparency and – you guessed it – emotion. EQ has long been overlooked in construction, but the participation during Grace’s sessions were truly inspiring. Professionals are not only willing to learn about EQ, but they’re ready to implement its transformative power into their daily lives.

Large corporations aren’t the only ones with the ability and resources to invest in cutting edge technology. Most of the small businesses and general contractors we spoke with were on the hunt for smart tech solutions to make their day-to-day duties more organized and simpler to manage. Family-owned operations and independent workers may not have endless funds to pay for the same robust technologies as nationally known brands, but solutions like BEYREP are becoming an increasingly appealing option.

BEYREP is an accessible and affordable option for everyone in residential construction. As we demonstrated the software to BuildExpo’s attendees, the reception was universally positive. Many of the contractors we met with were shocked to see such a user-friendly technology that offers all the flexibility and features BEYREP provides. We were encouraged to see the pros had an optimistic reaction to our tool, with many scheduling one-on-one demos after the conference.

While men still make up the largest percentage of construction professionals, the future of the industry is clearly in the hands of women, minority groups and millennials. BuildExpo brought together an eclectic group of construction enthusiasts, from women-owned businesses to Spanish-speaking exhibitors to young people embarking on their first professional adventures. In many cases, the men we spoke with were accompanied by women who were ultimately making the decisions.

Here’s a related fun fact: women make 80% of the decisions when it comes to home improvement. Empowering women to have more decision-making power in the industry will greatly impact any professional’s ability to better serve their clients. Perceived barriers like gender, sexual orientation, race, language and age can be overcome – and if BuildExpo was any indication, these barriers are well on their way to being fully broken down.

Some of our most pivotal conversations at BuildExpo were with folks who didn’t believe they needed our product. Often, we would offer to demonstrate BEYREP with passersby, and we’d be greeted with a response like, “Oh, we don’t need that, but thank you.” It would have been easy to let them keep walking, but instead we encouraged them to interact with our product (and yes, we offered delicious candy as an incentive). By giving the pros a hands-on look at BEYREP, virtually everyone was shocked to see how useful this technology actually is.

In some cases, the pros already had technology that met their existing needs. Then once we demonstrated all of BEYREP’s features, they’d realize there were many more possibilities available. These pros would bewere pigeonholing themselves all along by investing in outdated tech tools. We don’t know what we don’t know, but if you can show someone what they don’t know, then you have a chance to transform the way they live their life.

BuildExpo LA was a stimulating experience for everyone. There were so many company’s showcasing in their booths, many notable speakers teaching workshops, and constant conversation taking place from morning until night. By the end, your brain gets overloaded with information, and it’s easy to forget a lot of what you learned and discusused. However, in the days since BuildExpo concluded, we’ve been thrilled to hear from many of the attendees we met. They remember us because we prioritized EQ in every interaction. Between Grace’s classes, our booth and product demonstration, and all of our conversations in between, we chose to lead with empathy and compassion – and that left a lasting impression.

As Maya Angelou famously quipped: “At the end of the day, people won’t remember what you said or did, they will remember how you made them feel.”