National Business Furniture (NBF) was recently presented with a BizTimes Media IQ Award, an award that recognizes innovation in companies throughout Southeastern Wisconsin.

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN-- Earlier this month, National Business Furniture was selected to receive an IQ Innovation Award from Milwaukee business news resource BizTimes Media. The annual award, which was created to recognize companies in the area that make great strides to stand out in their industry, was given to NBF for their efforts in starting their Virtual Visit office furniture showroom.


The “I.Q.” in IQ Award stands for Innovation Quotient, meaning that it recognizes companies that exhibit the most unique or clever products, services or processes in Milwaukee and the surrounding areas. To be considered for this award, a company must be run by bold, forward-thinking leaders who are willing to take risks in order to improve their products, the way their products are made or the services that their company can provide.


National Business Furniture met the criteria for winning an IQ award with the launch of its innovative Virtual Visit Showroom. The 15,000-square-foot showroom was opened in an abandoned retail space in downtown Milwaukee’s Grand Avenue Mall and launched earlier this year. Virtual Visit seeks to bridge the gap between the convenience of buying office furniture online and the experience of seeing it in-person before making a purchase.


NBF President Kent Anderson received the award on behalf of NBF on Wednesday, May 21, 2014 at the annual Bravo! Entrepreneur and IQ Awards Luncheon. “Virtual Visit continues NBF’s tradition of finding innovative ways to provide expert service to its customers,” Anderson said. “I’m proud to be part of a company that values innovation, and I’m proud of NBF for having been recognized by BizTimes with this award.”


The virtual showroom works via a one-way live video stream, which allows customers to connect with a live person in real time. NBF’s furniture experts can then show all of the ins and outs of a given product so that the customer can benefit from experiencing the furniture even though they are unable to see it in person. Whether a customer wants to know how the wire management system on an executive desk works or they need to find an office chair with the best ergonomic capabilities, Virtual Visit makes it possible. While the idea of the video chats isn’t entirely new, National Business Furniture is the first office furniture company to offer such a service specifically for live product demonstrations.


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