Shows and Events: An Opportunity for Abundant Leads or a Waste of Time and Money?

By Dave Yoho

Let’s use our imaginations to “visit” an average home show and eavesdrop on what typically happens. We walk by booths where exhibitors are sitting behind tables, which are out at the very edge of the walkway, where they’re waiting for something to happen. Some are on barstools; they smile and make statements to passersby, such as, “Are you enjoying the show?” or “How are you today?” Sometimes these people stand close to the edge of their booths, handing out literature. (Check the trash can to see how well that works.)

In several cases, there are people standing in their booths looking over the crowd, waiting for things to happen. When properly executed, home shows present an opportunity to create and set leads, and the ability to add to your database for future contacts. Yet, what we observed in our imaginary eavesdropping does not represent idle circumstances. Alternatively, your booth might be well lit and structured for and administered by promoters who are trained to get the full value from this exposure. Let’s observe our suggested methods of operation.

The Do’s

1. Script, plan, rehearse and execute your plan.
2. Win the battle of the first impression by ensuring that nothing looks weathered or worn.
3. Have the proper tools on hand, including pictures, samples, lead cards and appointment reminders.
4. Create scripted language for booth personnel, to help avoid fruitless questions and statements, such as “How are you doing?” or “Are you enjoying the show?”
5. Teach the art of controlled conversation by avoiding promoters who say too much, too little, or many of the wrong things.
6. Create sensible shifts of four to six hours maximum (with breaks), not eight to 10 hours.
7. Have a third party shop your booth.
8. Teach openers and follow through language, such as, “If you could change one thing about your windows, what would it be?” and “What’s kept you from making the improvement?”

The Do Not’s

1. Avoid chairs, bar stools, food or drinks in the booth.
2. No books, magazines, personal phone calls, texting, or social media.
3. No ripped blue jeans, wrinkled khakis, soiled or scruffy boots.
4. Avoid personal conversations and activity with other vendors.
5. Sell the appointment not the job. (Don’t use sales reps, as they contaminate the lead gathering process.)
6. Don’t undersize or overfill your booth to maintain an open, uncluttered look.

Shows and events—large and small—are a great way to develop prospects. For the best outcomes, be sure to look at the bright side, while subscribing to
the above suggestions.

Dave Yoho is president of business consulting firm Dave Yoho Associates. Dave Yoho Associates ( promotes the company as the
oldest (since 1962), largest and most successful consulting company representing the remodeling and home improvement industries.

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DWM Magazine

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