Where not to do a Homeshow

hi-temp hydro

New member
Set up a table yesterday at a fairly large mall for a home expo put on by a local Christian radio station. My placement was optimal, between JC Penny,Sears and the food court. Traffic flow was decent, but interest by passer-by's was just plain pitiful. People just wanted to do their shopping and that's it. It wasn't only our table, but every table, talking with other vendors. It seemed like every "interested" person turned out to be other people that had set up at the show or was there to try to get interest in their pay to play "networking opportunities". The only time that the shoppers seemed to stop was if someone got on the main stage to play music, cloggers, or guys putting on a martial arts routine.

I had much suceess earlier in the year setting up at locations where the home show was the main attraction, so setting up in a mall setting is NEVER gonna happen again.

I don't want to be too quick to call it a waste of time for someone looking at doing a show like that, butI'd love to have the $400 back for this one and I won't do it again! Maybe some other guys have had success at one like it?
 

Carolina Prowash

Exterior Surface Pros
We have done home shows in malls as well.......and you are right about folks coming to the mall for a purpose - to shop. These things are not nearly as well marketed as they should be by the groups that put them on so you have to put in some legwork there as well by letting your customers/potential customers that you will be there (well in advance so you can do it more than once).

The networking that you described is GREAT if you look at the big picture. It is always helpful for your local businesses to know your company. They all have buildings and homes too! With that said, those same folks may be participating next year (even though you say you won't do it again) and if several of you do a pre-event marketing strategy - you could be far more successful the second time around. Wasn't your second housewash better than your first one? You have to accept a learning curve.

Just some experience speaking.

Celeste
 

A-PLUS

Member
We did one in the mall back in Jan. '08. We got a few leads, but the networking was great. I've got alot of work from the other vendors and have referred work to them.
One of guys has become a close friend, he owns a painting and restoration business. We send alot of work to each other.
Also from talking to other vendors I found a couple of local networking groups that have brought more work.
I consider it a success.
 
I am having a booth this week at the local Realtors training/meeting. I hope to get some work from them. There will be a large crowd. and each person will get a ticket that they need to have stamped by the vendors to enter a drawing for a tv. That at least gets them to come by the booths
 

hi-temp hydro

New member
The stamp thing is a great idea, wish the promoters would have thoght of it. I think the overall promotion of the event I did was a little slack.

I agree that network associations are great. I'm a member of Middle TN Business Network (over 100 business owners in my area) referrals flow freely among our group, I can account thousands in sales to my bottom line with this group of what has become more like a close group of friends. Dues I pay are only $100 a year, compared to the $300 PLUS that other people at the show were trying to hawk add to that those groups are outside my typical service area fort weelky meeting.
 

Carolina Prowash

Exterior Surface Pros
If those type of groups are who were participating, then your "promoters" did not bring in "home and garden" exhibitors and I personally would complain to the people you paid. The idea of a Home & Garden Show in a mall is for mall goers to actually explore things that they can do at their HOME or in their GARDEN. Networking groups would not fall under that category :(
 

hi-temp hydro

New member
I didn't take it that way at all. It seemed as though the mall atmosphere brought to each vendor a reality that they threw their $ out for nothing, sales and lead wise with potential passer-by clients. It was almost like the ones trying to market a network group that they were a part of (not representing that group at the home expo show) were trying to share something that would be benfitial, unlike the flop we were all experiencing with the show.

Even if the promotors would have marketed the crap out of it, a mall was just the wrong place in my opiion. Earlier this year I did a home show at a hotel convention center in a MUCH smaller city, that was a pay to get in the door deal with extrordinary sucess. No more malls, live and learn.
 

hi-temp hydro

New member
The ones that really got me tee'd off were the people that showed up to sell their groups to vendors after "expressing interest" in services to people that were already frustrated with the situation.
 

jlpressure

JL Pressure Washing
Its to bad Jason, guess you live & learn, but thanks for sharing might save some other contractors the bad experience
 
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