Tuesday, August 4, 2015

12 Strategies for a Successful Building Systems Week Event

My mother always told me that "it will never heal if you keep picking at it" but this time I just couldn't live with myself if I didn't pick a little.

I visited the NAHB Building Systems Council pages and found this guide for having a Successful Building Systems Week. Come on, did anyone even know that this is Building Systems Week? So how can you put out a strategy list about something nobody knew about? This is a wasted opportunity if you want my humble opinion.

Here are the 12 things they suggest:

12 Strategies for a Successful Building Systems Week Event

No matter if you sell directly to consumers or rely on builders/dealers to sell on your behalf, creating consumer demand is the key to success. The best way to create demand? Educate. Invite buyers and builders to attend an open house at your manufacturing facility, learn more about what you do and recognize the advantages of doing business with you.

Point of fact: Open houses do work. Here are 12 strategies to help make yours successful.

1)         Start promoting immediately
First and foremost, make sure to list the event on your website and any social media platforms you use. Then tap into other resources, such as the NAHB Building Systems Councils LinkedIn group. Many builders, architects and others who are interested in building systems belong to this group and have a social media network of their own. Plus, the BSC staff actively promotes Building Systems Week before and during the week, so be sure to let them know what kind of activities you are conducting so they can spread the word too.

2)         Provide multiple events
Keep interest going by offering a variety of events throughout the week, like a factory tour, a seminar on how to buy, an education or information session by a local supplier, or a model home tour. Mix it up.

3)         Pick a partner
If you think you lack the necessary drawing power, it can be helpful to join forces with others. Your suppliers are often happy to provide speakers on a variety of issues. Local banks can provide information on buying and building a custom home.

4)         Provide an avalanche of information
Don't forget that the attendees' time is valuable and the number of events they can justify leaving their business to attend is limited. Make your presentation content rich and worth their time. The best compliment you can receive from attendees: “It was too much information to absorb!”

5)         Promote effectively
Plan on several mailings and email blasts. Consider postcards, invitational emails, or letters. A solid mailing response rate is 3-5%, provided you are working with a good database. It could be less if your database is not current or focused. Bear in mind that your promotional materials can influence even the 97% that don’t attend the seminar positively. Maybe they'll come next time.

6)         Invest in advertisements, send press releases, use voicemail blasts, make calls
Invest in advertisements promoting the event, and send out press releases to national and local media. Personal phone calls to your contact list the week prior have been known to increase event attendance by as much as 25%.

7)         Coach your speakers
If there is more than one speaker, which is recommended, ensure they don’t repeat the same information. You will lose your audience.

8)         Provide quality handout materials
This is another valuable opportunity to shine. It's always a plus if you tailor your handouts to their needs, such as how to bid a job, or examples of other builders’ bids. Use your company’s coverage in the magazines or newspapers (reprints) to draw a portrait of your company as a quality home manufacturer and/or builder. Don't forget to provide pens and pads for note takers.

9)         Provide food and drink
Catered food is always a good idea. Sure, you could run down to the local supermarket and pick up a bunch of deli sandwiches, but if you want to convey that you are a quality organization, it’s best to hire someone to provide the food for you.

10)       Pay attention to the details
Logistics can get tricky, so make a list to keep track of all the small things that can make a big impact. For example, check to be sure there is adequate parking, that the presentation room is cool/warm enough and has proper lighting, and don't let the refreshments run out. Also, have your guests fill out an event/seminar evaluation form before they leave so you know how you did and where you can improve.

11)       Provide a going-away gift
Send them away with a packet of information on your company, magazines on the industry (both trade and consumer), and any promotional materials you deem necessary. Coffee mugs and mouse pads will keep your company’s name in front of them for the long haul as well as thank them for coming.

12)       Announce Upcoming Events

Follow up with some other events where they can learn more. Don’t let their enthusiasm for their new systems-built home get obscured by the familiarity of stick framing. Plus an educated and passionate consumer or builder/dealer is the best marketing value you have. They’ll sell your homes for you.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


Your a "HOOT". Poking fun at the hapless BSC of the NHBA is like fishing in a live well stocked with perch.

I do agree with their concept that a national event coordinated with the factories to occur in the same week instead of the plants holding their events on isolated separate dates only generates buzz for that plant.