Consumer Guides

Home Show Tip Sheet

Home shows can be a great resource for homeowners. Attendees can look at and touch a wide array of new and innovative products as well as discuss ideas about upcoming projects. Product demonstrations and seminars can help you make informed decisions about home maintenance and improvements. Many experts are on hand to help you discover solutions to challenging home upkeep problems. You can check out dozens of contractors in a short period of time.

So how do you get the most out of home shows?

* Listen to radio ads and watch the newspapers for information about the availability of discounted admission tickets.
* Check seminar and workshop schedules when you first arrive so that you can make plans to attend those that interest you.
* Bring some return address stickers or a rubber stamp with your name and address on it to simplify filling out of information requests and contest entry forms.
* Fill out information request forms and contest forms that relate to products you are interest in.
* Allow your spouse to wander on their own a bit so they can spend time at booths that truly interest him or her.
* Bring a boyfriend or girlfriend if the relationship is ready for some thinking about the future.
* Bring the kids if they are interested.
* Leave the kids at home if they are overtired, cranky or out of control.
* Bring a shoulder bag or knapsack to make it easy and comfortable to load up carry literature and purchases. Dedicate one bag or part of your bag to “right away projects” and the another to “some day projects.”
* Take a break after a couple hours. Most shows have a snack bar and sitting area where you can relax.
* Get your hand stamped when you exit so that you can return at no charge.
* Come early or stay late to avoid crowds.
* Wear comfortable shoes.
* Pick up freebies that you’ll actually use.
* Bring sketches, drawings, plans, illustrations, photos and measurements to help you communicate with experts about your ideas.
* Instruct any children accompanying you to exercise restraint in grabbing freebies.
* Encourage your spouse to wander a bit and spend time at the booths that interest them.
* Expect follow up sales calls from every vendor for which you fill out an information request or contest entry.
* Keep in mind that exhibitors have not been screened for honesty, reliability, or work quality.
* Take sales pitches with a grain of salt. Things that sound too good to be true usually are.
* Leave plenty of time to see everything you want to see.

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