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Fiano Landscapes
01-03-2010, 12:28 AM
We are gearing up for our show season coming up. We have two shows this year in the indy metro area. How much luck is anyone having with these shows? We seem to generate tons of business from these shows.

4Russl5
01-03-2010, 12:43 PM
We are doing our small county 'Home and & Landscape show' at the fairgrounds here with a local nursery to capture local clients, maybe 10,000 people pass through. Then we team up with a good friend a fellow landscaper in Seattle for the 'Flower & Garden Show' there to promote dry stone masonry and it's uses in the landscape with plantings, 70,000 plus pass through here. We also team up with a large stone supplier for that show and share their space. We will build an arch or cool detail in stone.

The return on the investment has always been good/great.

I try and think of multiple levels for our clients. We like to travel for our work so a broad market exposure works for us.

tthomass
01-03-2010, 05:01 PM
How much are your spaces costing you? Here they are sold in 10x10 blocks and are $1,800+ each. Unless you do a large garden for the show that costs you about $15k.

Lite4
01-03-2010, 09:25 PM
We are gearing up for our show season coming up. We have two shows this year in the indy metro area. How much luck is anyone having with these shows? We seem to generate tons of business from these shows.

I am doing the Home show at the end of January and the Flower and patio show in March. Last year we did the march show and did pretty well with it. Are you guys doing a premier booth in the center garden section? I think I have seen your trucks around the Indy area. Do you do much work here?

4Russl5
01-03-2010, 09:27 PM
The County show up charges about $600- for a small display garden of 300 square feet or so. The Seattle F & G show pays you about 2-3k for about 1000 square feet, at least that is roughly what they paid us in 2008 for our display garden. Having to pay for a display garden is a joke. It costs an unbelievable amount to put together from start to finish. I am doing this County one up here to build my relationships with other companies and blow these other guys away with quality and creativity. Plus I am not interested in a ton of business. I would love to generate 3 to 5 clients that keep me busy for 3-6 months locally.

I can't believe they charge so much for a display garden. Their sponsorship must be next to nothing. The Seattle show is like the third or fourth largest show in the US I think.

A thought of advice.... do a collaboration with another company that you are friends with for your first show to help offset costs, coordinating, labor, set-up, standing on the floor and having dialogue with the public, and tear down.

Have fun with your display garden.

tthomass
01-04-2010, 02:40 AM
I'm not doing a display this year.

A 'feature' garden, as they call it, has free space but you have to do the rest. You can easily have $15k in labor, materials and overhead from build to tear down. I know of one company that put over $100k into their display........it was nice.

Its a big show, lots of people over a 4 day span but also lots of tire kickers.

JRSlawn
01-04-2010, 03:38 AM
I am doing a local show this year I hope it goes good! I will be doing a feature garden so the space is free and my supplier is letting me barrow the materials. So all I am going to have to pay for is the labor. I know when I did a 10x10 I got 10 small jobs I am hoping I can get some of the higher dollar jobs with a bigger display they get the most attention. Anybody have any pictures of what they have done in the past I am gathering ideas to get the design going. Anybody offer show discounts?

DVS Hardscaper
01-04-2010, 11:04 AM
This subject comes up multiple times a year on this forum. And every time I stick in my two cents.

I've seen varying results from home shows. Up until about 6 years ago we used to do quite well with the local show. But see, something has changed society. It's called THE INTERNET! Home shows gained their popularity because of the fact that if you were looking for a service - a home / garden show is a great way to meet with service providers, talk to them, and get a feel for what they have to offer. Well, the internet has since stolen the home and garden shows customers! A good contractor will always have a NICE, informative web site, filled with pictures displaying his/her capabilities. A prospective client can shop contractors from the comfort of their warm home while wearing their fuzzy bunny slippers.

When doing a show, as TThomass mentioned, you need to keep in mind that a show costs far more then the exhibit space and materials used. You have labor dollars invested in setting up and tearing down. It usually takes at least 2-3 days to erect a NICE display, and 1 day to tear down. OK, now one step further - the time your company is investing in setting up and tearing down is also time that you're loosing from working in the field and turning production hours.

In my neck of the woods - landscape and hardscape services are cut throat. Very little net profit (something many will never admit, nor may realize). So say you sell 3-5 jobs at a home or garden show. You must ask yourself "will the NET profit from those 3-5 jobs pay for the exhibit space, the materials used, the labor dollars invested, AND THE MONEY LOST FROM DAYS MISSED WORKING IN THE FIELD"????

10 years ago we cleaned house from our local home show. Landed some very profitable jobs. For the last 6 years the end results have been horrible.

What are the producers of the home / garden show doing to market the show? (radio, news papers, etc) How long in advance do they start advertising the show to the public?

Is it held in a warm, dry secure building(s)?

Is the parking for the attendees a paved lot, or if it's a rainy weekend will they have to walk through a muddy, grass field to get to the show?

just some food for thought to consider.........



,

glaciator
01-04-2010, 05:03 PM
Here in Colorado we can go Dec-Feb with little to no work unless one has some hardscape projects lined up from the previous fall. That said, if you have the time, they can pay off. I've found from another industry I was in that they help get name recognition out there, but there are a lot of tire kickers too. I'd rather spend my time in the winter visiting the shows to make sure I see the latest products from the distributors. In fact, I like the ProGreen expo in Denver since it is geared to contractors, not the general public. I get to put faces to names of people I've talked to, and see products. I also get to RELAX! I'd rather spend my January working on preparing for the upcoming season, and getting all my ducks in a row.

Dave

Fiano Landscapes
01-04-2010, 07:03 PM
I am doing the Home show at the end of January and the Flower and patio show in March. Last year we did the march show and did pretty well with it. Are you guys doing a premier booth in the center garden section? I think I have seen your trucks around the Indy area. Do you do much work here?

We do have one of the main gardens in the Flower & Patio show. The past 2 years we have been in the Belgard Challenge. It has paid off immensely! This year we were given our own space for the show separate from Belgard. All of our work is in Central Indiana. We invest a lot of money in these shows, and see high returns also. There are always a lot of tire kickers, but there are plenty of awesome clients in the mix as well. I know it always pays off huge for our company, so we will invest the dollars to continue.

Lite4
01-05-2010, 01:10 PM
We do have one of the main gardens in the Flower & Patio show. The past 2 years we have been in the Belgard Challenge. It has paid off immensely! This year we were given our own space for the show separate from Belgard. All of our work is in Central Indiana. We invest a lot of money in these shows, and see high returns also. There are always a lot of tire kickers, but there are plenty of awesome clients in the mix as well. I know it always pays off huge for our company, so we will invest the dollars to continue.

I was going to do a larger booth down by the ticket office where BAM had their booth last year. I had very grandios plans to fully darken it and the landscaping would have been awesome with a very cool theme, but then I came to my senses and remembered I am not a landscaper anymore, so why try to compete with them with a beautiful booth full of things we don't sell. So I am keeping it simple and clean this year.
What is your first name? I will look you up at the show. Are you doing the home show at the end of January too?

Fiano Landscapes
01-05-2010, 01:17 PM
My name is Nick. We are not doing the home show, but we are also doing the new show at lucas oil stadium as well. We won't be able to handle anymore than that. It is very arduous task to complete these booths. Especially with the detail at the flower and patio show. What is your name? I look forward to meeting you.

Lite4
01-05-2010, 08:36 PM
My name is Nick. We are not doing the home show, but we are also doing the new show at lucas oil stadium as well. We won't be able to handle anymore than that. It is very arduous task to complete these booths. Especially with the detail at the flower and patio show. What is your name? I look forward to meeting you.

I thought about doing that show at Lucas also. What are the dates for that one?

My name is Tim. I look forward to meeting you at the show.

GroundScapesIncorporated
01-06-2010, 11:56 PM
This subject comes up multiple times a year on this forum. And every time I stick in my two cents.

I've seen varying results from home shows. Up until about 6 years ago we used to do quite well with the local show. But see, something has changed society. It's called THE INTERNET! Home shows gained their popularity because of the fact that if you were looking for a service - a home / garden show is a great way to meet with service providers, talk to them, and get a feel for what they have to offer. Well, the internet has since stolen the home and garden shows customers! A good contractor will always have a NICE, informative web site, filled with pictures displaying his/her capabilities. A prospective client can shop contractors from the comfort of their warm home while wearing their fuzzy bunny slippers.

When doing a show, as TThomass mentioned, you need to keep in mind that a show costs far more then the exhibit space and materials used. You have labor dollars invested in setting up and tearing down. It usually takes at least 2-3 days to erect a NICE display, and 1 day to tear down. OK, now one step further - the time your company is investing in setting up and tearing down is also time that you're loosing from working in the field and turning production hours.

In my neck of the woods - landscape and hardscape services are cut throat. Very little net profit (something many will never admit, nor may realize). So say you sell 3-5 jobs at a home or garden show. You must ask yourself "will the NET profit from those 3-5 jobs pay for the exhibit space, the materials used, the labor dollars invested, AND THE MONEY LOST FROM DAYS MISSED WORKING IN THE FIELD"????

10 years ago we cleaned house from our local home show. Landed some very profitable jobs. For the last 6 years the end results have been horrible.

What are the producers of the home / garden show doing to market the show? (radio, news papers, etc) How long in advance do they start advertising the show to the public?

Is it held in a warm, dry secure building(s)?

Is the parking for the attendees a paved lot, or if it's a rainy weekend will they have to walk through a muddy, grass field to get to the show?

just some food for thought to consider.........



,

Your right, everytime this topic is brought up, you do stick your two sense in, and I usually just keep my to myself. LOL, haha. But for real, I couldnt disagree more, and its probablly just due to different markets, but here there is no way that having a website can be compared to the exposure of a good home or garden show, (everyone looks cooler online), there is nothing like one on one contact (if your serious about sales and good at it). Ill take one on one contact with potential clients anyday especially when I have a 20x20 booth full of a outdoor living space to show. Just my two cents for what it worth.

DVS Hardscaper
01-07-2010, 10:28 AM
Your right, everytime this topic is brought up, you do stick your two sense in, and I usually just keep my to myself. LOL, haha. But for real, I couldnt disagree more, and its probablly just due to different markets, but here there is no way that having a website can be compared to the exposure of a good home or garden show, (everyone looks cooler online), there is nothing like one on one contact (if your serious about sales and good at it). Ill take one on one contact with potential clients anyday especially when I have a 20x20 booth full of a outdoor living space to show. Just my two cents for what it worth.


That is just it. Market driven.

My point is - you can generate sales with a nice website and far less work than with a home or garden show. It's not theory, it's how we work.

In the more affluent markets - statastics (not my statistics) show that the people will turn to the Internet just about every darn time they want or need something done.

In the smaller, rural markets - folks will ask around, they'll turn to the yellow pages, or they'll attend shows.



Back to the varying markets:

True Story:
A very good contractor that does top notch, amazing, beautiful creations, I know in our area did the local home show at the fairgrounds = yielded zero sales

So he goes 40 some miles away to a home show in the hills WV (of all places), lower incomes = and he made out like a bandit!!

This year he did the Washington Flower show (which he has done year after year) and I think he only sold 3 jobs, averaging $8000 - $10000 (his jobs are usually $50k to $100k). Take the national average percentage of net profit and you can see that the 3 jobs did not pay for what he spent to do this particular show.




One big thing with home shows is that we are still getting calls from people that picked up our 4-color brochure 3 years ago. So you never know when they'll pull that card out of their junk drawer and give you a shout.

And sure, you may sell a small $9000 job off a show - and that $9000 job may know a friend, neighbor, or co-worker who's in the market for a $27k job. But - that scenario can go with any client.




,

GroundScapesIncorporated
01-07-2010, 07:05 PM
I gotcha, I guess I misunderstood you a little.