Special events like tradeshows, Expos, open houses, training events, and Meet & Greets are happening all the time.
in a previous article we covered these types of shows that contractors should know are out there and available to them if they wish to attend., this article will cover the costs and the benefits to the contractor of attending these Tradeshows, starting with...
THE COSTS OF ATTENDING TRADESHOWS...
- $$$... yeah, you spend a noticeable amount of money to attend some shows like Mega or National Tradeshows... Everything from air fare, hotels, food, Ubers, show entrance fees need to be considered, if it is in Las Vegas, as many are, there is an even greater opportunity to “contribute to the local economy” so, a contractor must “Count the financial cost” of attending a Mega or National Tradeshow.
the exception is smaller, Regional Tradeshows, as well as Manufacturer and Distributor events. they are oftentimes local events that you can usually break away for the day or even the afternoon to attend and the cost oftentimes is just gas to and from the show.
- TIME AWAY FROM WORK… With bigger shows, you have to factor in travel time as well as time at the show itself, at World of Concrete for example, you need at least a solid 2 days just to walk the show and that's if you don't get bogged down at too many booths, most contractors end up spending 3 days at a show like WOC...
when your at a show, your not working... if you’re not working up and sending out quotes, scheduling your crew, or out on a jobsite yourself getting the project done, you're probably not making any money. So, can you afford to be gone attending a Tradeshow?
Again, mostly not an issue for attending Regional shows and local events, but a serious consideration on bigger shows.
- OVERWELMING… Mega and National Tradeshows can be very confusing, overwhelming, and intimidating If you are seriously considering a major purchase, to counter this, do your homework ahead of time, arrive prepared with some knowledge of the equipment you are interested in. as well as have questions you want answered about the equipment you are looking at. Have ready for the sales teams you will be speaking with information like, what am I looking to accomplish with this equipment? What is the general size of my projects? Do I work in occupied spaces, medical facilities? Or do I control the space I am working in? and a big one... what is my budget? questions like these help a good salesperson to quickly narrow down the list of equipment that you should be considering.
The combination of prepared contractors and a knowledgeable salesperson insures that the correct equipment is selected.
the exception to intimidating and confusing again is the smaller Regional Tradeshows, Manufacturer and Distributor events. where your equipment selection can be minimal. There are also far less manufacturer participation there to interact with.
THE BENEFITS OF ATTENDING
- KEEPING UP TO DATE... Industries are forever changing, the equipment, tooling, materials, sundries, and installation practices you used 15 years ago have least been modified greatly over the years if not changed all together. keeping up to date on all the newest materials offered, all the latest tooling and equipment now available, even the latest installation techniques for your trade is at these shows allowing you to keep current on the latest innovations and they are there to be explored and purchased if needed.
- EQUIPMENT COMPARISON… This is an important point, most manufacturers of show related equipment are at the big MEGA & NATIONAL Tradeshows, this allows contractors to compare like equipment and choose the best equipment for their needs. For instance, Bartell Global manufacturers an incredible ride on floor scraper (Best in the market 😊) it is the TERMINATOR used to remove old flooring of all types, but, here is the key point, we are not the only ones that do, other manufacturers of ride-on floor scrapers are there as well… this makes it easy for a contractor to talk with us about our equipment, our features and benefits, And then walk just down the aisle and talk with those other manufacturers about their comparable equipment. It makes it easy for a contractor to come to an informed decision on which brand and model best fits his needs.
- TRAINING… big shows have organized training seminars on a variety of industry related subjects that you can take advantage of. In addition to that, manufacturers displaying their equipment have specialists onsite as well that are able to train or go over their equipment in detail. The latest installation methods, tooling, and equipment. also how to use related materials like leveling systems and mastics right there on the booths to be taken advantage of.
A SALES & EQUIPMENT SPEICALEST AT WORK
- FEEDBACK & CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISM… this is a really important positive point for both contractors and manufacturers... I was a contractor for almost 40 years and had no clue that I could talk with a manufacturer and that they would actually be interested in my feedback! I was 100% wrong, manufacturers value greatly feedback from contractors that use our equipment or potentially might in the future. We value knowing what you like about our equipment but more importantly, what you don’t like, knowing what you would like to see in our equipment is of high valuable. Manufacturers respond and oftentimes modify future equipment in response to constructive criticism, the value to you is that we are able to provide equipment that better serves you, the contractor. A result of feedback and constructive criticism.
- INTERNATIONAL PERSPECTIVE… This one is really cool, we as contractors exist in our own little world out on a jobsite somewhere, not reacting much with the outside world. But when your at a MEGA or NATIONAL TRADESHOW, you can interact with contractor's from all over the country and the world, guys doing the same thing that you do... you get a perspective of our industry from a completely different vantage point. You become better informed about how projects are completed in other parts of the country and the world and how you might be able to apply some of their methods to your projects. Also, discussions about common challenges in the industry they and you encountered and other ways to address them. Just to name a few of the benefits of interacting with other contractors.
- BUILD IMPORTANT LOCAL RELATIONSHIPS… At the smaller Regional events you are not commonly exposed to international or even nation wide relationships but, probably more importantly, you can get to know local distributers, contractors, manufacturers reps or other contractors. great relationships to build.
- IRON SHARPENS IRON… this relates to an earlier point and goes back to my years as a commercial flooring contractor, here is a truism; You can learn something you don’t know from anyone… when you’re in a room full of contractors that do the same work that you do, every one of those contractors knows something that you don’t know, maybe just something small and insignificant, but possibly something really important… be alert and openminded to learn something... Don’t be “The smartest man in the room”, we all know that guy, right? the one guy that knows it all, has nothing to learn from anyone. instead, keep in mind that “Iron sharpens Iron” … allow yourself to learn what other contractors can teach you.
- TRADESHOWS ARE JUST FUN… Mega and National shows especially are usually in interesting cities like Miami, Las Vegas, Las Angeles, and New Orleans, just fun places to visit (Mostly) and attendees tend to combine a little vacation time with the show to make the trip enjoyable.
TRADESHOWS ARE IMPORTANT TO THE CONTRACTOR… contractors probably can’t go every year, but you should go at least every 2 – 4 years, something like that, they are that valuable to serious contractors and must not be ignored. When you cant make the big shows, take advantage of Regional shows, they are easy to attend, local and for a modest investment of time and money.
How many different kinds of Tradeshows are out there that contractors need to know about and benefit from? check the following article out...