Canadian Contractor

Dave Gray   

It’s Show Time! Follow our home show survival guide to get through the season

Renovation Contractor booth space home show survival guide

Fall Home Show season is upon us. Setting up a booth at a consumer show can be a great way to generate business.

With the sun setting earlier and the temperatures starting to drop, it can only mean one thing: Fall Home Show season is upon us. Setting up a booth at a consumer show can be a great way to generate business. It can also be an expensive, exhausting way to waste a weekend if you don’t prepare for it properly. Here are some tips to make your next show a success.

  • You’ll obviously deduct the cost of renting the booth space and any staff time or materials used to set up it, but remember to get receipts for parking, meals, and any other expenses incurred onsite.
  • Wear comfortable shoes – leave the sky high heels at home ladies – and change your shoes and socks at least a couple of times a day.
  • Drink lots of water, and use lip balm liberally.
  • Eat healthy foods. If you start your morning loading up on bacon from the breakfast buffet then spend the day topping up with chips and junk food you’ll feel lethargic by mid-afternoon. Snack on a piece of fruit or some nuts to tide you over, and drink more water.
  • Bring a “survival” kit to the show with you: along with the aforementioned change of footwear and healthy snacks, also pack some Advil or Tylenol, hand sanitizer, gum, eye drops or contact solution, and chargers for your phone and laptop.
  • Set some targets. If you go into a show without a plan there’s no way to know at the end of it was a success or not. Set hourly goals for how many people you’ll speak with and a target for how many solid leads you’ll walk away with.
  • Get people’s attention. If you’re not a natural showman you’ll need some way to stand out from the crowd. Contests, giveaways, videos showcasing your best work, or a standout display stand help prevent eyeballs glazing over as they pass your booth.
  • Go easy on the booze, particularly if there’s a hospitality bar at night. You’ve spent a lot of time and money to be at the show. You’re not going to find new clients if you’re sleeping off a hangover in your hotel room.
  • Sleep well. That starts with leaving the party early. But conference centre hotels can draw boisterous crowds. Pack a sleep mask and ear plugs to help block out the party scene.



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