anyone had success at home shows?

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by Efficiency, Jan 10, 2013.

  1. Efficiency

    Efficiency LawnSite Bronze Member
    from zone 6
    Messages: 1,855

    Had a rep call today asking if we wanted to be in an upcoming home show/trade show with a bunch of other local contractors. The investment isnt huge but if im going to divert money from my proven sales drivers, Id like to know that its going to return equal or better performance; basically, Im unsure if there will be the right ROI. Wondering if anyone else has done this sort of thing and what you experienced? Did you make sales at the time of the show? Lots of estimates? TIA
  2. Cadzilla

    Cadzilla LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 903

    You generate a lot of leads but a lot of tire kickers too which I know you hate.

    They aren't bad though. I used to run one when I worked at Davey.
  3. Will P.C.

    Will P.C. LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 966

    What type of money do you need to set up shop?
  4. Cadzilla

    Cadzilla LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 903

    Depends on your booth size and sometimes your location which you don't have a lot of choice over.

    Generally in the 500 to 1000 dollar range for a two day event.

    But to really be successful you need a display of some sort. At least some banners or what not and printed hand outs.
  5. KrayzKajun

    KrayzKajun LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,737

    the amount of money needed for just the booth space, is rediculous here. booth rentals for a 10'x10' starts at $1500. by the time i set up get brochures etc.. i would be in close to $4k. for that much i can send 20k 6"x9" postcards to the exact communities i want to service. to me its not worth it. most home and garden shows cater the DIY Homeowners anyway.
  6. Cadzilla

    Cadzilla LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 903

    You're right on the pricing. These days my shows are a little more country small town shows but in downtown Detroit or at the big Novi Mi. show it's like you say for 10 x 10.

    The thing about home shows is sometimes they are in the semi off season, or early season when mailers are too early.

    Most of the real successful green industry home show exhibitors are the landscapers and hardscapers with big ticket items and killer displays.
  7. rcreech

    rcreech Sponsor
    Male, from OHIO
    Messages: 6,163

    Post is good timing. We just started our first home show of the year yesterday and it goes through Sunday.
    We started going to home shows last year and ended up going to 3 big ones total plus a local show. We spent about $3500 total just to prepare for the show but they are mostly long term costs. We had a very nice back drop made, flooring and a table cover with a few little things to spruce up our booth. But you can use them year after year.
    You should already have phamphlets for your business so that would be no added cost other then the ones you hand out. We also hand out a really nice pen with our name.
    Then we either take the box truck or HHR too.
    The booth rent for a normal show is $2,000+. But our results were very good enough that we are not missing them this year.
    We measure the lawn right there at the show with goilawn and try and land them.
    After the show we then visit the lawns we didn't get.
    I will post pics this weekend but its pretty nice.
  8. Efficiency

    Efficiency LawnSite Bronze Member
    from zone 6
    Messages: 1,855

    Thats my biggest issue. We dont waste time; I need an answer at the end of the pitch. Its a soft sell but there is a decided call to action. I cant have wishy washy people kicking tires.

    The numbers look like this - we would have to sell 30 new accounts for this show to have our cost per client match or beat our other mediums. About 1 new sale an hour. Im unsure if thats reasonable or not - Rod, is that possible or reasonable? If we walk away with a bunch of leads but 5 sales, ill be ticked. That a couple hours answering phones in the spring.
  9. rcreech

    rcreech Sponsor
    Male, from OHIO
    Messages: 6,163

    PM me if you want data.

    I don't want to post on here.
  10. grassmasterswilson

    grassmasterswilson LawnSite Platinum Member
    from nc
    Messages: 4,988

    For me it would have to be a commitmnent and not a one time thing b

    The upfront cost to banners, blown up photos, hand outs etc would be too high for a "test" show. If you we're going to do multiple a year or the same local one over the next few years it would work.

    This is a simple form of branding even if you don't see a money return.

    One thing I would ask is the attendance over the last few years.

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