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I have been to several shows but have never had a booth.

What kind of luck has anyone had with home shows and what is the quality of the leads?

My market is most farmers, horse owners, classic car owners, mechanics and mini-storage facilities

BTW I love to meet customers in a sales/information gathering setting and excel at sales in person and over the phone.
 

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I do one home show a year, and I look at it like this: If I sell 1 or 2 projects, then it was not only worth it, but it also keeps your company in front of the name recognition. I have had many calls when someone will say they saw us at the H&G Show and waqnt to talk to us about a new home...sometimes years later.

I set up my ICF display and a metal building main frame display and then just be there. I don't write down contact information or "leads: and I let my project showcase sell my quality of work. If a customer is really interested, and I mean interested enough to contract you to do a project, they will have your card when they walk away and will call you. While it may work for some...chasing down leads and playing the sales game, I have had great results by simply being professional and letting the client see what I do and call me when they want to talk about it. Pre-screening in a way.
 

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I do a big one every February here. My costs are around $1500 (now that I have all the displays and everything) and I average around 100-125k in sales from it. One job pays for itself.

It's also name recognition. Establishes you as more of an "authority" in the industry by adding legitimacy and let's you meet and talk to new people.

The trick is finding a good show. The one we attend spends tens of thousands in advertising, has lots of special guest speakers, charges people to get in the door and is very well organized.

One I did in a small county didn't charge at the door and I wasted three days of my life and $600 talking to people who were bored.
 

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How do you find out about these home shows and get a booth? I think it would be hugely beneficial for my company and what we do, but I have no idea how to get in there.
 

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Search "home show" and start there. You will find the promoter listed on the web page, and then call.

Our local HBA "owns" the home show I am at every year, and I pay like $425 for my booth...same place now for 10 years or more.
 

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I do one home show a year, and I look at it like this: If I sell 1 or 2 projects, then it was not only worth it, but it also keeps your company in front of the name recognition. I have had many calls when someone will say they saw us at the H&G Show and waqnt to talk to us about a new home...sometimes years later.

I set up my ICF display and a metal building main frame display and then just be there. I don't write down contact information or "leads: and I let my project showcase sell my quality of work. If a customer is really interested, and I mean interested enough to contract you to do a project, they will have your card when they walk away and will call you. While it may work for some...chasing down leads and playing the sales game, I have had great results by simply being professional and letting the client see what I do and call me when they want to talk about it. Pre-screening in a way.
I agree. We didn't do any contact information either at the Remodelers Showcase. The leads we got called us.
 

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I cant figure out how to get this image up but

http://fsbd.co/portfolio/trade-shows/#jp-carousel-288

We do a lot of deck business from our homeshows. It was not until our 3rd homeshow where it paid off when we learned how to make it work. Its great to talk, but record their info... i suggest a give away like tickets to something with free estimate...

The wife is over there filling out the free raffle free lead thing. You and the husband are talking. When she is done you say, ok, I have your info, Mr and Mrs Jones, which night works best to meet.

Walk the line between mr nice guy and mr car salesman... you guys know the deal
 

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I've done a few shows, some paid off big time others were duds. What I've learned that worked best for me was a model deck with four different types of decking & three sides had rails each were different. Folks with nice looking creative booths always do better than those who show up with a table to put a couple of portfolios & literature on.

You can't be shy either, spark up a conversation with everyone who walks by & not about what you are selling.
 

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I am planning for a show that's coming up in March. What worked really well for my clients in the past is differentiating yourself from the other companies at the show that you are competing with. The raffle is a great idea that has been tried and tested, even if they have no interest in what you are selling you can still retrieve their contact info. Send a mass e-mail to all the losers of the raffle a few days after the show saying "thanks for trying, have this 10% discount as a consolation prize" or something along those lines. Say the homeowner doesn't need your service but now at least they are aware of it and you gave them something of value. If family members or neighbours ask if they know any good (insert trade here) companies, there is a good chance they will recommend you. Wives have been famous for posting their coupons on facebook if they don't want to use the coupon but don't want to see it go to waste.

There are many other small things you can do to be successful such as having monitors and tablets (think a swipeable slideshow) in the booth so potential customers can see your work in a professional manner.

Make sure you do your research before signing up to be in a show. How many people attended last years? what are the costs? will I have access to power? what other companies have already signed up?

I am planning to make a blog post soon about trade show marketing, please ask anything you want me to include or touch on!
 

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We did one last year through the HBA, and are doing it again this year because we got 5 - 6 quality jobs as a result. There were a ton of cabinet guys at our show, but only one other remodeler - and his display consisted of a hot rod with the company name on it :blink:

So, we didn't have to do much to distinguish ourselves because there was no one else doing general carpentry/built-ins. The biggest thing that drew people in (and made them act like dummies) was a bar display we set up, one half painted UK Blue and the other UofL Red with respective basketballs sitting on top. That got people to talk to us, but not much in the way of business. However, we found that the customers we are looking for weren't drawn in by our gimmicks, but because they knew what they were looking for. 95% of the people at the homeshow are just browsing, but that 5% who are actually thinking of doing projects and are looking for a contractor are the ones you want to target.

What tended to sell people on our company wasn't so much the nice displays (though that doesn't hurt at all) but our confidence, friendliness, and professionalism. We put a lot of effort into our booth, but it's more important that you be prepared to project professionalism and competence.
 

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Home and street shows are an excellent way to market your company IF you work them...

Your primary goal at these shows is to generate conversation, create goodwill, discuss what you offer to make sure you have a mach, qualify, and schedule appointments. The reason this is important is most people call only 2-3 companies (how many 1-2 hour sits would you want to do if it were your house), and you exponentially increase your chance of closing the project if you've already created a rapport at the show. The guy they schedule the appointment with at the show has an edge in closing the sale...

I find it amazing that a lot of guys talk about qualifying, etc. on the phone when people call in before scheduling an appointment (and rightly so), but will spend thousands on a show and days out of the field and just give out cards in the hopes they call them...

If you don't work the show that people are PAYING to get into, your results won't be anywhere near what it could be...

That said, also look into the local street shows that are held in the spring thru fall... believe it or not, they are often the same demographic, and they are a fraction of the cost to get into ($50-$150).

Best of luck... 8^)
 
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