Several of my best clients in REACH magazine tell me that Home Shows are some of their best advertising based on a cost per sale basis. And, yet others say that they don’t get much from Home Shows. Over the last two years some have indicated that they used to do very well from Home Shows, but that lately they have under performed probably due to the economy.
January, February, March and April represents the Home Show season in the Dayton area
I’m just telling you what my home oriented clients have told me about their experiences with homes shows. It’s funny because one may say, ” I’m not doing this or that show again. It was terrible!” At the same time another client will tell me the complete opposite about the same shows.
Each year I go to the Home Shows to see what is new in the market. Each year I see some vendors who know how to engage people without being pushy and I see others sitting behind their tables eating a sandwich and watching TV or texting messages about how bored they are. The investment in a Home Show could be several thousands of dollars and the results from a home show can fall down as the result of employees that don’t get it so to speak.
What’s going to happen at the Home Shows this year?
One of my clients informed me that they would be in REACH even during the Home Show season this year because results from last year were down significantly. The thing that usually happens with Home Shows is that people who are serious about making some improvements on their homes come to the shows and interact with various vendors finding who they feel most comfortable with. They may ask several vendors to come out and give estimates for a given project. However, if consumer confidence is down, sometimes serious buyers become just tire kickers. They want to get ideas that they may use in a year or two when things get better.
If three or four thousand people come through a show, many of the vendors will lose heart and get an attitude that harms their interactions with the participants. A good show will bring in Five to Ten thousand people. Then the opposite can happen. There are so many people passing by that it becomes difficult to engage them or perhaps your conversation with a likely client is continuously interrupted by other people with questions.
What I am saying is that although I always recommend that home improvement businesses participate in the first quarter Home Shows, it doesn’t always work out. Those who can figure out how to engage effectively with consumers usually do very well, but sometimes there are businesses that just don’t know how to do that or who delegate to employees that do not care. Just as sometimes REACH ads don’t work out for some businesses for one reason or another. It might be a poor offer that has no perceived value to the consumers or it might be how they staff interact with the consumers that come in. It can be how they answer the phone and if they are polite and ask engaging questions. I have learned that it is not always the venue or the form of advertising that brings success for businesses.
In any case, I will attend all the shows and I will ask some vendors how the shows are doing for them this year. I don’t know what they will tell me. I do know that a great home show brings in 10,000 consumers over the period of a weekend is only reaching the people who come to the show. At the same time, REACH Magazine can reach 260,000 homes in the greater Dayton market with a compelling offer that will make the phone ring for your business. The key to gaining clients is to have an engaging message whether at the home show or in the REACH Magazine and to have people who know how to help prospects understand the value of your product or service.
Boom or Bust?
If you are not going to participate in any Home Shows this time around, but you plan to in the future, the best thing you can do is to go to the home shows this year and see how the best vendors engage with consumers. What does their booth look like? How to the exhibitors present themselves and their product or service? Encourage your employees to do the same if they will be working the shows for you. Look at what to do and what not to do. You, like I have, will immediately see why some folks think Home Shows are a bust and why vendors in the same business around the corner say that Home Shows are their best return on investment advertising.
I won’t know until I go to the shows and talk with some of the vendors if the concerns of the economy, increased taxes and so on will have on Home Show season this year. As a business you have to do the best you can with the situation you are in. Wallowing in fear or being down about things is not going to grow your business. Planning how you will achieve success in your current situation is a better way to proceed.
Peter DeMott • Over 17 years experience in advertising • REACH Magazine • Valpak Coupons • 937-478-6222 • firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com