Monday, November 18, 2019

Home and Garden Shows Are Right Around the Corner

It's almost Thanksgiving and if you are going to have a booth in your local Home and Garden Show in February, already you should be planning for it. The Home Shows of old should never see the light of day again. Today your booth has to vibrate and easy to understand, just like a website.

For modular home builders and even modular factories, home shows can provide a way to get your homes in front of a targeted audience and meet with current and potential homeowners. But there is much more than just signing up for a booth and winging it at the last minute.

Here are 8 key questions to answer before doing a home show.

1. Why am you participating in this show? People sign up for a show for a number of reasons: It can serve as a launching pad for a new series of homes, a way to build up your brand recognition, a means of nurturing relationships and even a place to show homes you’ve built and testimonials from past customers.

2. How much space will you need? While it’s nice to have a large footprint on the home show floor, those who can’t afford it shouldn’t worry.

Invest in a simple booth presentation and then doing everything he can to capture contact information and follow-up with these leads after the show. It is more about these meaningful connections, conversations and ability to convert prospects to actual home buyers than the complexity of a booth.

Some builders and factories use Home Shows to showcase entire projects.

3. Does it matter who your neighbors are? Absolutely. But how you view your neighbors is where views diverge.

Before you sign for your booth, make sure your neighbor isn’t another builder or next to an extravagant presentation (think lots of signage and activity). This kind of placement can distract potential home buyers from your message and homes.

You’re not just competing against other builders, but everyone who is exhibiting there. This doesn’t mean your booth should be in a corner away from those flashy booths. Those flashy booths will draw a crowd and being close by will give your company great traffic flow.

4. Who are you targeting at the show? A show might have tens of thousands of attendees trekking through the event but you need to figure out who specifically you are targeting and how you plan on reeling them in. Some builders get stuck on the number of people who stop by the booth, instead of looking at whether they are qualified new home buyers.

Are you looking for 1,500 basic leads or 50 well-qualified leads? Are you looking for shallow and wide exposure or narrow and deep?”

By qualifying the type of people you hope to reach, you can plan your presentation more effectively.

5. How am I going to measure my attendance and presence at the show? In addition to counting leads, it’s important to measure marketing impressions at the show. Just like you can see how many people view your website, you want to know how many people are viewing your marketing materials like signage on the show floor.

This can be done by simply observing the number of people that walk by your booth without stopping. When someone stops and talks to you, stop counting but make sure you write that number down. When the person leaves your booth, begin counting again until the next person stops by. By the end of the show you will have a good number to work with. # of people that stop divided by the # of people that walk past. A very valuable percentage to know for the next home show.

DO NOT put candy, magnets or have a drawing for an iPad Mini at your booth. First you don’t need it and secondly it will mess up your count.

A good looking booth
6. Are you making people stand outside your booth to talk with you? People do not like standing in traffic flow to talk with you. Move your table to the back of your booth and place a small table and two bar stools at one side. Your literature, computer and large monitor and signage belong on the big table at the back and the small table is for you to use for leads, extra business cards, etc. The bar stools are used when you aren’t talking to someone. No bar stools would be better but let's be honest, we can't stand on our feet all day like we used to.

NEVER eat in your booth! Period. You wouldn’t eat a sandwich in front of a stranger at your front door, so why do it at the home show.

7. Have you backed up your presence through social media? Keeping your prospective new home buyers informed about your company’s activities before, during and after the trade show is crucial. You should post on Facebook, Twitter and other social media about why people should come see you at the show. Having them stop by with a floorplan they have been working on at home and offering to have it drawn professionally is a great way to attract people with a new home in their future.

Other relevant social media efforts can include blogging from the show floor, making regular updates on Facebook and posting videos of customers visiting your booth on your website.
8. Do you have a post-show plan? It takes a lot of money to plan and exhibit at a show. Don't let all your effort go to the wayside by not being active after the event is over. In this competitive world, if you don’t respond to leads within two or three days, your competitors will.

Prepare a sound plan for following up with people immediately after the show is over. If you have an app where you can send out information in real time at the event, all the better.

If you wait two or three weeks, you’ve missed your window of opportunity.

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