The Bryant University Sales Competition (BUSC), originally scheduled to be an in-person event, proceeded as scheduled as a virtual competition on March 19. With the help of Carousel Industries, the event's presenting partner, the competition was hosted on WebEx, a video conferencing platform that enabled students and judges to meet in virtual rooms.
"Everyone came together offering innovative problem-solving ideas and attitudes," said Associate Professor of Marketing Stefanie Boyer, Ph.D. "We all want what is best for each other, and this event shows how working together can help us all win."
"We all want what is best for each other, and this event shows how working together can help us all win."
BUSC is a one-day sales competition in which Bryant students enrolled in Personal Selling and Sales Management courses compete in three areas: role-play sales pitch, speed sell e-pitch, and social media. Students also have the opportunity to network with sales professionals from sponsoring companies.
Bryant’s sales program is designed to give students both a theoretical background and applied experience in the field of sales. Students learn the concepts of the selling process and effectively apply those skills in selling products, services, or ideas to have successful careers.
Pivoting from face-to-face to WebEx
In the past, students and judges would gather on campus for face-to-face meetings. This year, due to the University's decision to transition to remote learning in light of the COVID-19 crisis, the applied experience requires WebEx as a delivery tool.
"Preparing students for change with an adaptable mindset is one of the most valuable lessons we can provide."
"We train students on adaptability as a part of class because the one thing we know for sure about the future is that it will constantly change," Boyer said. "Preparing students for change with an adaptable mindset is one of the most valuable lessons we can provide."
Students, who are now taking Bryant classes while living at home, were able see and converse with judges, and do such things as share short videos prepared for the traditional "speed sell" round.
In students' words: What the competition truly tested
"This was a true test of adaptability and making the most of the unexpected," said Caroline Meizen '21 on LinkedIn. "In the future, there are going to be many more virtual meetings, as it is a quick way to connect busy people, so this experience has helped prepare me."
Steven Couroupacis '20 wrote on LinkedIn that this year's competition wasn't about winning awards or prizes, but instead "the insight I gained on the importance of handling adversity."
"We are fortunate enough to live in a time where technology can allow us all to interact with each other as if we are in the same room," he said. "Our class came to the conclusion that the competition could be done online."
After the competition, students had an opportunity to schedule a virtual networking meeting with representatives of each participating company.