First Impressions of Home Show

First impressions of Home Show squareFirst Impressions of Home Show 2014 St. Louis

One of our HomeNav team members attended the Home & Garden Show for the first time this year.  When she shared her reactions with me, I asked her to share them via our blog this week as I feel it provides some valuable insight for the home industry (and all of us) about the sometimes blurry line between education and marketing.  We welcome your comments!

The rest is from our HomeNav team member

This was my first year at a Home and Garden show. I went with my boyfriend and we both came away from the show with the same opinion. We arrived early Sunday morning while the crowd was still sparse and as we walked around we noted something of a pattern with many of the home product and service representatives.   The home show falls right before the best season for home buying.   Like many other young couples, we are in the market to buy a home.   Yet, we continually felt somewhat put aside by many of the vendor representatives.  They did not provide us education, nor did they market to us. Instead, almost every vendor we walked past or talked to asked the same question, “Are you a homeowner?”  When we would reply, “No, not yet but we are in the market for our first home.” They would usually give the same response, “Oh, well then come see us next year.” We were both very surprised by these responses. 

As a young couple starting out, we will be looking for a starter home to fit our budget and are very open to buying a home that needs work, even a lot of it.  Aren’t we the best group to reach out to? I saw many young couples there probably in the same boat – who just bought their first house or are in the market.  Likely their house was going to need work and most will need help.  Not only were there many companies who did not reach out to us as a market segment, but there were not many booths offering Do-It-Yourself information or just education.  This type of information would be very helpful and would have offered an opportunity to gain us as lifelong customers.  Since we are in our 20s, that’s many years of home related purchases.

We did see a few strictly informational booths.  We especially enjoyed the Home Performance with Energy Star booth.  We ran into Don Dieckmann who has guest blogged previously for HomeNav.  He has provided education to not only homeowners, but buyers of all kinds on how to get the best out of your home remodel or improvement. The booth was very informative and easy to understand, showing different types of lighting, how to properly insulate, and much more.  More of these types of booths would help me better understand the improvements I can make to our first home.

Want More Information?

For information and education on home improvements to green up your home, log in (or sign up) to HomeNav and check out the resources in the “Green Remodeling and Renovation” section. Good luck! If you have any other ideas for green remodeling and home improvements, we would love to hear about them.

3 Comments… add one
Bob W. March 15, 2014, 10:17 am

Trade show booths are expensive and most reps are working hard to get the near term appointment in hopes of selling their product to help offset that cost. It is refreshing that you are taking the time to educate yourself as a part of the process of buying a home. Most FTHB don’t do that nor are they willing to do much work. Make sure your realtor has a list of companies that can address the needs you have once you find the home you want to make your own. Good luck on your house hunt!!!

Don Dieckmann, Better Building Institute March 17, 2014, 8:09 am

First, thanks for the nice words. Second, I want to give credit for the booth to Missouri Botanical Gardens’ Earthways Center, for whom I volunteer my time to run the Home Performance With Energy Star booth at all the area home shows.

As a home inspector, weatherization instructor and green building consultant, I believe that everyone should know how good the house they want to build, buy, or improve really is – or can be. The MoBot Energy Star display is a perfect teaching tool for the last two, and the best diagnostic tool to start with is a simple blower door test.

If you’re planning to build, I recommend checking out the alternative construction methods and materials that offer much better energy efficiency and structural integrity than normal wood frame, such as insulated concrete forms and metal roofing. All of these will withstand higher winds and fire, while saving more energy.

I invite everyone to one of my free seminars and/or paid classes to learn more.

Mike March 17, 2014, 1:50 pm

Sorry your friend had a bad experience. Usually, a local home show produces local reps. They are more interested in the sale, not how to get to the sale. The worst examples are the people who unconsciously convey the attitude of, “I don’t want to be here; I have to be.”

As a veteran of trade shows and booth personnel management, I’ve spent a lot of time with this subject. I’ve seen booths run poorly, and I’ve coordinated successful booths. From the booth manager’s perspective, the key to success is prepping your people long before they walk onto the show floor. Of course, a refresher once in the booth helps immensely.

I know cost is always cited as a reason, but I would think centralized training for all reps would be money well spent for some of these companies. It could be held over the course of a day or two, or a long weekend, so fun can be mixed in.

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