Trade Show advice



  • texashomestagertexashomestager subscriber Posts: 2
    Wow, I have been out of touch and I`m overwhelmed at all the great ideas you all have given me!  Thank you so much!! 
    Janis, what an effective marketing idea. I will definitely do it!  Thanks!!
    Debbie...howdy!  Yes I do love this site and all the incredibly clever ideas, everyone is so willing to help.  Perhaps we can meet for coffee sometime, shoot me an email!
    Gary, you and I think alike.  I thought that we would have a banner with a picture of our staging space "unadorned", and let them watch as we transform it.  We would do a total of 3 transformations throughout the show, each one reflecting a different scenario but using the same "bones".  What a great example of the power of staging!
    Misterblubs, I love your name!  I redesigned my brochure using the suggestions given to me, it is a definite improvement but still not up to professional standards I`m sure.  I appreciate your kind offer and will email you privately.  Thanks!
    Craig, you have so many unique ideas, I don`t know how you sleep with all that creative stuff milling around in your head!  You`re the best. 
    I apologize for the delayed response, I must have inadvertantly turned off my email notification on this thread, but it`s back on now!  Thanks for all the fabulous suggestions. 
  • texashomestagertexashomestager subscriber Posts: 2`re correct, we haven`t talked about the giveaways!  Please define for me what a trade show jotter is...I`m pretty fresh at all of this.  And your last suggestion is great, I`m wondering what I could provide that would achieve that.
    We were thinking about draws for gift certificates or perhaps a free consultation, but that is so common.  We did come across a nifty little product I had never seen before (this may tell you how little I actually get out!). It is a compressed towel that`s about as big around as a nickel and about 1/2" tall.  If you have a spill, you toss the little tablet onto the spill and "presto", it expands and absorbs the spill.  They are so novel, I thought they may make a nice little briefcase or purse item.
    Any ideas or suggestions are more than welcome!!!
  • texashomestagertexashomestager subscriber Posts: 2
    Burnin` Green, now you`re making me think!  YOU are my target market!  Tell me what I could offer you at a trade show that would entice you to give up your contact information.  Would a drawing for a staging consultation and action plan for one of your listing clients do the trick?  What about a drawing for a gift certificate?  From the networking I have done locally, I hear over and over from realtors that my services are desperately needed and that there are no staging companies out there.  I suppose that is an advantage, but I need to figure out how to capitalize on that advantage.  I have been doing so much research and reading, my head is about to explode.  I`m learning that it`s easy to start a business, the hard part is making it successful!!
    This website is the best education I have had on how to achieve success...I value everybody`s feedback,  I can`t say it enough...Thanks!!
  • MontrealaisMontrealais subscriber Posts: 0
    BurninGreen is smokin hot!Montrealais Way to go!
  • texashomestagertexashomestager subscriber Posts: 2
    Very interesting points of view.  I`ll tell you what I have discovered from my own research and experience.  I have been a licensed real estate agent in Houston as well as Alberta, Canada, and played in some interesting market scenarios, both brisk and dead.  The one thing that consistantly made my listings stand out and sell quickly was staging.  Since starting Entrances, I have joined several organizations to network and become more visible and involved in the business community, including our local realtor association, chamber of commerce and professional referral services.  The positive feedback I`ve gotten is mainly from the agents I meet at the networking functions I have attended.  I have really not marketed the business beyond that at this point, mainly because I have been waiting for the website to be ready.  I sent out a few postcards soliciting feedback from local homeowners regarding their knowledge and understanding of staging, but have gotten 0 response from that. (A real estate agent warned me that direct mail was surprisingly ineffective) Now that I am ready to launch, I have planned to hit ALL the agencies in my area with business card bouquets, newsletters, flyers and presentations.  My thought is that real estate agents are the way in, even though I subscribe to FSBO online to capture the do-it-yourself`ers. 
    Burnin` , I did look into the stage presentation idea at the show I will be attending, there is a premium to do this and at this time no availability.  I found out about this show at one of the networking functions I attended, and got in sort of late, but reasoned that it`s worth it since we are the only staging game at the show.
    Keep the ideas flowing, this is excellent stuff and I am absorbing everything you send my way! Thanks!! 
  • texashomestagertexashomestager subscriber Posts: 2
    Craig, you are dead on with your assessment of what a home staging company SHOULD do.  Many out there are not providing the entire package.  We are extremely thorough, not just looking at the furniture and accessories but all the elements that will enhance the saleability of a home. That is where my "handyman" skills come into play.  After working almost 7 years at Home Depot, there isn`t much I can`t fix, or if I can`t, I know who can and how much it will cost.  During a recent staging consultation, I was able to straighten out the homeowners kitchen cabinet doors so they didn`t knock into each other when closing, and also removed some pretty nasty spots from the carpet.  They were thrilled!  Just tiny little things that I can do at the initial meeting shows the homeowners the scope of our services.
    Burnin`...EXCELLENT idea for the cash strapped homeowner.  I think that is a great benefit to offer and will be bringing that up at our manager meeting tonight.
    Have I told you lately that I LOVE you guys??  Thanks!!!!
  • texashomestagertexashomestager subscriber Posts: 2
    Thanks for the link Steve, excellent advice there!  I guess what it all boils down to is to engage the people.  Make them comfortable and at ease, listen to what they have to say and address their questions and concerns.  When I think back on the trade shows I have attended as a consumer, I was much more likely to purchase from someone who provided me with welcoming attention.  As you pointed out, Burnin`, people make the sale, not the materials.
    Craig, we are going to offer terms for homeowners who need to close on the sale before they can afford to pay for staging.  That is a fabulous idea.  Although I hope that our services will be more than affordable, I understand that not everyone has the ability to pay for something like that "up front". 
    We are steadily working on the booth, my dining room has been transformed into a 10x10 mock-up.  We have incorporated most of the ideas given to us so far in this thread, it has been invaluable!!!  We will take lots of pictures and post them when the show is done (9/9)  so be sure to check back for the results of all your suggestions!  Thanks a million to you all!
  • texashomestagertexashomestager subscriber Posts: 2
    The Trade Show was a huge success!  I`m working on putting some photos up so you can see how all your great advice really paid off.  Thanks to the SuN network of fabulous minds and unique ideas, our business is taking off!  You are all wonderful. Thanks so much!!!
  • texashomestagertexashomestager subscriber Posts: 2
    For those of you following this thread, the trade show recap is located here:</A>
  • texashomestagertexashomestager subscriber Posts: 2

    Hi Rodrigo,
    So sorry for the delay in responding, I have been absorbed in a current project.  I will prepare a proper answer to your questions a bit later this week when I have more time to give it sufficient thought.  Your product sounds cool!
    Be back soon...
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