3 Steps For Enjoying A Home Show 30. December 2016 Administrator Home Improvement (0) If you plan on getting a home sooner rather than later or you already own one, then you might want to consider going to a home show near you. Home shows are a great source of information when you are trying to decide about any type of home improvement like: Additions Remodeling Landscaping Updating & Repairs Attending a home show can be particularly helpful when considering new construction because there are numerous resources to help you decide about the design and find just the right home construction contractor. Home shows are a great way to review products and design trends that can give your home a one-of-a-kind look and improve its curb appeal. What is a Home Show? Home show, home improvement show, home and garden show, home design and remodeling show, these are just a few names used to describe a large convention style event organized around exhibitors in the home building or home improvement industry. Various businesses and vendors are arranged in booths in a large exhibition hall with their products and services on display. The types of products and services may include: Appliances Construction/Remodeling Contractors Furniture Home Designs Home Entertainment/Recreation Home Security Interior Design Landscaping Various Products Many times the exhibitors will put on live seminars, give product demonstrations, hand out free promotional items and even hold drawings to give away prizes. The most helpful aspect of a home show is being able to speak with the various contractors and product vendors and ask specific questions about the type of project you are considering. As you walk through the exhibition hall and view all the exhibits, it can be easy to lose track of why you are there in the first place and walk away from the event with little to show except some business cards and ink pens. We would like to offer these three steps to ensure your next home show visit is a success! Step 1: Plan To get the most bang for your buck when attending a home show, you need to have a plan! A plan will keep you on task and allow you to make some progress towards finalizing your next home improvement project. Even if you don’t own a home yet, attending a home show with a good plan in mind can help you solidify your home ownership goals for the future. Ask The first part of planning begins with knowing why you want to attend a home show. Being able to answer “Why?” will help outline what you need to specifically accomplish while attending. Are you building a new home or looking to remodel your kitchen? Do you need a home security product to fit your budget? Asking yourself why and knowing the answer will make your next home show visit more profitable guaranteed! Organize This is the researching part of the plan. You need to arm yourself with information about the various exhibitors and products that will be a part of the home show so you can create a prioritized list of the exhibits, seminars, and products that relate to your home improvement project. Usually, the home show event has a website with a list of exhibitors and sometimes they will even provide a map of the booth locations. Bring There are a number of things you might want to consider bringing with you to the show. First and foremost you need a notebook for taking notes, sketching, and writing down show inspired ideas. A camera can help with capturing ideas or provide a way to record what contractors and products you want to review later. If you have collected examples of your next project in a scrapbook or photo album that would be very useful when talking with a contractor. Step 2: Engage It’s important to remember the reason you are attending the home show and taking a hands-on approach to getting your questions answered, finding contractor information or products, and gathering whatever material you need to make informed decisions later. When it comes to actively engaging just remember these three rules: connect; collect; think. Connect A home show is a great place to connect with all the people who can help you most when it comes to your next home improvement project. There are product salespeople, architects and designers, and contractors of all varieties, but you must interact with them to get what you need most… information. If there is more than one person at an exhibit you are visiting then speak to as many as you can to get a good feel for the company and what they will be like if you choose their services. You might even want to come back and visit them again. Collect The exhibitors have come prepared to share facts and figures about their services and products so don’t be shy asking for any material you can take with you. There will be a number of flyers, brochures, booklets and data sheets so take whatever you need but don’t forget to get something with the vendor’s contact info on it. If you didn’t bring a bag of some sort to hold all of your collected material, look for an exhibitor who is passing out bags or totes as giveaways. Think Be sure to keep an open mind when it comes to ideas about your project. Think through the different options and ideas provided by the various contractors and product vendors. These people are on the cutting edge of their industries and may have a bit of insight you lack. Don’t jettison your ideas, but be ready to incorporate some ideas of others if they are good ones. Step 3: Review After the home show is over and you have collected all the information you need, it’s time to think about sorting through all that material and reviewing it. Take some time to work through your list of vendors and contractors you visited with and check out their websites for more information and customer reviews. Make sure you don’t limit yourself to only one or two contractors when you start calling to get quotes, four or five per category is best. Invitation Hopefully, these three steps will enhance your next home show experience and help you get what you need to make your next home improvement project successful. If you live anywhere in the Central Iowa area, you might think about attending The Des Moines Home and Garden Show held at the Iowa Events Center in Des Moines Iowa on 9-12 February, 2017. If your next home improvement project includes siding replacement, new windows or doors you might want to consider stopping by our booth. You can find a Iowa Home Exteriors rep at booth 1611. Payback From Home Improvements Infographic We are providing you this “Payback From Home Improvements” infographic so you will know what type of improvements have the highest return on investment. Feel free to download and share with friends and family. Stop by and visit us at the Des Moines Home and Garden Show and include a comment below about your next or prior home show experience.