This blog gives a behind the scenes look at our life working home shows!
The spring home show season for 2014 is officially over for us.
Some companies hire a staff of people who do nothing but work shows. We chose not to do that. Steve, Zach and I work most of them. We prefer to have people in our booth who know the product and can have an intelligent conversation with you. Zach, Dave, Joe, Sarah and Mike are all people we adore both personally and professionally. They are smart. They are helpful. They are knowledgeable. They are good people and we trusted them to represent our company. Having that level of trust made those big huge long shows very successful for us. More importantly, their help meant we didn't have to be there every minute.
Home shows are a lot of hours. Still, they are the best way to get our name out to the local communities. Are they the only way for us to personally connect with homeowners and potential customers? YES! Are they hands down the best way for a prospective customer to see the quality of our replacement windows and doors while comparing to the competition? ABSOLUTELY!
But is working a home show every weekend easy? NO!
While everyone else is winding down their Friday and calculating how much longer they have to pretend to work before Happy Hour , we are just getting started. We are loading the truck. We are printing our move-in instructions. We are gambling with rush hour traffic; trying to get a bit more done in the office before we go set up.
Have you ever seen a home show get set up? It’s like one of those little Chinese puzzles we used to get as kids at birthday parties. Everyone is jockeying for a spot by the door. Everyone is frantically unloading their stuff and dumping it into their booth so they can move the truck and the next guy can get in. It isn’t a calm process.
Then, once all of our displays are inside we arrange the booth. Do you think the booth would be easy to arrange every time? It isn’t! We have different set ups every single time based on the location and size of the booth, the number of corners the booth has, whether or not we’re on the end, and even what show it is. This means once everything is unloaded we do the whole scratching our head thing and start moving stuff until it feels right. (Not unlike when we moved into our home trying to decide the best spot for the sofa!)
We do our best. We make a list of what we forgot, and we head home. Do we stop for ice cream? Yes. Most days.
If we are both working, the “show prep” continues with prepping the babysitter for the next day. We try to clean the house so we don’t look like total slobs. We try to make sure there is food for the sitter and for the baby… and we usually do an okay job at it. Just like that our Friday night is shot.
Saturday Mornings are crazy. We are busy getting up and ready to go. We need a big breakfast. We need to pack a lunch. We spend what time we can with our daughter. We greet the babysitter and give her last minute instructions, then we race off to buy the caffeine we’ll need for the day and then race to the show. Often we stop at the office to grab something. More often then I’d like to admit, we stop at the grocery store to buy food for lunch. And a doughnut. (our nutrition suffers).
By the time the show opens we are ready to go and we work. We talk to hundreds of people every day. We demo our replacement windows. We show the quality of our steel and fiberglass entry doors. We talk about the benefit of being a preferred contractor with Owens Corning for our roofing. We talk until we cannot talk any more. Then we ride home in silence. Exhausted.
The next day we repeat the whole routine.. with the added bonus of tear down. At the end of the show we tear it all down, pack it all up, re-load the truck, jockey for loading space in the back of the show space and then take it all home. And unload it all back in to the warehouse. Sunday night is usually a late night.
Then on Monday morning the week starts all over again. The phone keeps ringing, orders keep getting placed, jobs keep getting installed, and our sales guys keep running appointments. We look ahead to the next weekend and what we need to do to get ready.
For us, home show season starts at the end of January and goes until mid-April. We have a few weekends off, but for the most part we are working every weekend. It is necessary. It is beneficial. It is tiring. It is exhausting.
If you talked to us at a show this year, thank you very much. We appreciate your time and consideration. We love our company. We believe in our products and we strive to do the best possible job for you and your family.
Next weekend we have a weekend. This is going to feel new to us. And it is going to feel so very GOOD. I can’t wait.
Meanwhile, if you or someone you know is in the market for replacement windows, doors, siding or roofing, please contact us for a free quote.
Steve The Window Guy sells more than just windows in MN!
Author: Melissa Brager