Construction Industry Trade Show Survival Guide
January through March is Trade Show Season in the building and remodeling industry. If you're a building or remodeling professional, these six tips will help you make the most of your building material trade show experience:
1. Discover New Products to Set Yourself Apart
New styles, new colors, new materials... manufacturers typically announce new products in the spring to raise awareness and generate demand for the upcoming construction season. During this time, they're vying for your attention to promote those new offerings and secure new business before the season starts. Beat your competitors to the punch: make an effort to learn about the latest offerings and pick up samples and literature at the show. Be the first to offer prospects something they haven't seen before, and it could help you close the sale!
2. Get Face Time with Reps
Getting face time with representatives from your preferred manufacturers can be difficult. Trade shows provide a great opportunity to see them all in one place - allowing you to conduct product research, get answers, and secure relationships with the manufacturers that matter most to your business.
3. Stay On Top of Tech
Every year, advancements in technology create new opportunities in the building and remodeling industry. From measuring tools and services like EagleView, Hover, and Stanley SmartMeasure Pro to product visualization tools like CertainTeed ColorView and project management programs like BuilderTrend, technology continues to provide new ways to sell, specify, and manage jobs. Keep an eye on tech displayed at construction trade shows - you might discover something that can help you optimize part of your business process!
4. Save Big on the Things You Use Every Day
Local distributor shows have big pallet-quantity specials that you can only take advantage of if you make a purchase at the show. Being prepared for this opportunity can net some serious savings for the season. If your company has a warehouse, you can load up on accessories like fasteners, underlayment, ventilation, and more. You have a good idea of what kind of volume you'll do during the season, and you can save hundreds or even thousands of dollars by stocking up your shop with the things you use every day.
5. Play with Tools
Tool manufacturers are always coming up with a new way to help you save time or make your job easier. Reading tool literature, checking out reviews, or watching a video are some ways to learn more, but trade shows give you the opportunity to actually handle and practice with new tools risk-free. Inspect build quality for yourself and discover if that new gadget really will save you time and money on the job!
6. Expand Your Network
Building industry trade shows are a great place to get in front of people from all walks of industry life. Along with manufacturer reps, you can also network with salespeople from distribution and members from industry associations, like your local HBA. Let's also not forget the importance of making contacts with potential new crew members, or even builders you can sub for! On the show floor, at seminars, over dinner or drinks - you'll find plenty of opportunities to forge new relationships and open new doors for your company.
Many shows take place throughout the first quarter, ranging from national and regional destinations to local events. Find the one that's right for you:
International Roofing Expo - Every year the biggest, most influential trade event for the roofing construction and maintenance industry provides total coverage of the innovative equipment, suppliers, resources, information and technologies that are shaping the future of the industry.
NAHB International Builders' Show - For three days, building industry professionals from across the globe discovered a variety of products and innovative concepts that are sure to enhance their businesses moving forward.
Great Lakes Builders Show - Statewide show organized by the HBA of Southeast Michigan, held at Suburban Showplace in Novi, with a mix of building industry exhibitors, seminars & education, a job fair, entertainment and more.
Michigan Construction & Design Tradeshow - held at MotorCity Casino in Detroit and organized by the Construction Association of Michigan, this one-day construction industry extravaganza for owners, contractors, architects, suppliers and more, is the best place to learn about new construction products and network with those who are building Michigan’s future.
- Wimsatt Spring Shows - hosted conveniently in multiple market areas - Wayne, Waterford, Sterling Heights, Saginaw, Lansing, Grand Rapids, Traverse City, and Toledo - this is your opportunity to meet with dozens of the top manufacturers in exterior building materials, take advantage of incredible show specials, enjoy a buffet dinner, and score chances to win incredible prizes!
Whichever show(s) you choose, use these tips to make your time at trade shows as effective as possible!
About Dave Karras
Dave Karras is the Marketing Manager at Wimsatt Building Materials.