This weekend is the 17th annual Burlington Home Show. Over the years I estimate I’ve attended (and presented) at more than 60 trade shows. Spring is a busy time for Home & Garden Shows and I have some tips to help you.
9 Home & Garden Show Tips
Pre-registration is not required but it usually expedites your entry on the day of the show and you frequently get discounted (or free) tickets.
For large expo-style shows, research the floor plan and strategize which vendors you’d like to meet. You want to make sure you don’t have to track back to find vendors or worse, you discover when you get home there were vendors you missed.
Be sure to bring a pad of paper and a pen. You’ll want to make notes – like the name of a window manufacturer or perhaps a few tips a decorator shared with you. Home shows often host workshops so you’ll want to make sure you can take notes (another good reason to pre-register …you get first dibs on the workshops).
Don’t be shy about taking photos of ideas or set-ups you like. The shows are meant to inspire you and vendors spend a lot of time creating and setting up their displays.
Wear comfortable shoes, and bring a few snacks and bottled water. Some of the large expo-style shows only serve fast foods (hot dogs and hamburgers) so it’s nice to have healthful snacks handy.
Brain-storm what questions you need answered and bring the list with you. Even if you won’t be using a particular vendor, they may have information you need and from my experience, they’re always happy to visit. If a vendor offers brochures; write on their literature what you liked about them (or their product) and why. It will make it easier to remember them when you get home and you begin to sort through dozens of brochures.
Many shows will provide you with a bag or tote at the registration table but in case they don’t, be sure to bring one. You’ll be gathering magazines, brochures, samples, freebies and more…that’s a lot to lug around.A great time saver is to have your information printed on mailing address labels. When you visit vendors that interest you, rather than repeatedly filling out the same information, simply use your stickers. Necessary information to include: your name, mailing address, e-mail address, and a daytime telephone number.
Be sure to bring your appointment book so you can schedule to meet with a vendor at a later date.
So, grab a girlfriend, your daughter or your husband and head to a home and garden show. They’re inspiring, motivational and educational.