Are Home Shows Worth the Investment?

Christina Lewellen
January 31, 2012
THE TALK... | Sales & Marketing

With consumer confidence slowly but surely seeping back into the economy, some industry companies are banking on a decent home improvement season in the coming months. And this uptick in confidence also coincides with “spring home show” season, a dynamic that could prove to be a useful catalyst in the window and door industry.

Let’s talk about home shows. Love ‘em or hate ‘em, plenty of homeowners—those with ideas, a commitment to upgrading their homes and money to spend, one would argue—head to their local malls or convention centers around this time of year to see what design options and upgrades are available from home improvement companies. Are home shows a worthwhile investment for window and door retailers? How do you get the most out of the time and resources it takes to have an impactful presence?

Take this week's poll and please take a moment to share with me your strategy (or your suggestions for dealers) for a successful home show venture. Will more specialty window and door retailers participate in home shows this year with the silver lining of more confident consumers shopping around? Are there better alternatives these days? Send me an email or post a comment below and please tell me how the downturn—and potential turn-around—has affected home show participation levels and other marketing initiatives of window and door dealers.


Survey Results as of 02/06/2012 :


Compared to the previous couple of years, window and door retailers are:

Likely to cut back on home show participation.




Likely to keep a home show participation at same levels.




More likely to participate or increase participation in home shows.




Home shows appear to be losing favor, perhaps a casualty of the Internet's growing role in the window and door buying process. According to the people who weighed in on this week's poll, more than half will likely cut back on home show participation this year. Another 30 percent or so anticipate maintaining home show involvement at previous years' levels.

There is a segment worth noting, however, who responded that home shows may be worthy of more attention and investment in the coming year. At a healthy 12 percent, these participants note that home shows are delivering the results that lead to increased participation in them.

For those who are sticking with their home show participation plan, I certainly wish you the best of luck this spring season. As consumers head out to the trade show aisles to find new and innovative ways to improve their homes, I hope your messages of increased comfort, usability and energy efficiency make a resounding impact with would-be buyers.

Contact Christina Lewellen, senior editor, at

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My company, American Exteriors LLC, did home/trade shows for years. From big town Home & Garden Expos to small town Trade Shows, across the mid-west, we participated as a local vendor. In recent years, due to the economy, the ROI on the expenditure of home shows fell off and we have shelved our Events activities. The fees, personnel, and follow thru effort began to outpace the revenue generated from these events. I loved participating in home shows, I felt that they were a great place to meet people of the community, take a pulse on how the company was received and what they were looking for but in the end, the dollars did not make sense.

Christina, I think that with the advent of social media, Home/Trade shows will go the way of the phone book. However, as a consumer who was always wide-eyed at the events, I sincerely hope the 12% have a better finger on the pulse of Home/Trade Shows than I.