We are in the throes of winter and not quite thinking about spring but those trade shows are coming up quickly. You will have to decide if you’re going and to which one? There are at least 7 shows that anyone who is looking for a “toy” needs to go to if they want to see what’s new. Cars, boats, backyards, cabins…they are all represented at any of the big shows … imagine the quandary if you wanted to get a boat for the “backyard” of your cabin…which show would you choose? Just like you, the businesses who are at the trade shows don’t know which one they need to be at either. They choose to be at all of them, none of them and others just pick one. The problem comes down to cost. It costs the merchant thousands to be part of a show. Time, product, man hours at the show as well as their showrooms and they need to make you feel like you are getting a good deal so you buy whatever it is they are selling… Now Now NOW!
Before the internet the shows were the place to be if you wanted to sell product because everyone who was interested went to see what was out there. Merchants clamored to be in as many shows as they could afford with the Macdaddy of them all being the State Fair and where merchants couldn’t even buy their way into a booth there. Now with the internet you don’t have to go to the shows to do the majority of your research. You as buyers are much more informed when you go and all you need to do is get hands on to see if that is for sure what you are interested in buying.
Now, if I tell you something, you didn’t hear it from me….someone has to pay for the booth costs and it isn’t going to be the merchants. For each 1 of whatever it is that they are selling – there is a show cost built in. They may get a deal from the manufacturer when they buy so many, they intern get a discount which they pass on but you are paying for them to be there. If that wasn’t the case, they will for sure not be back the following year. The best deals are not at the shows…they are the ones that didn’t sell at the show or have been sitting on the showroom throughout the winter. They may not have the best selection but they do have brand new ones that they will work a deal on.
If you are looking for a boat, new dock, pool, hot tub, gazebo, outdoor kitchen don’t panic and buy something just because it is a show price… The only ones who will suffer are the salespeople at the show who are brought in specifically to sell you RIGHT NOW! If you walked into the showroom 2 days after the show, dollars to donuts you can still get that “show” price.
So my advice is, go to the shows, to find out what you want and talk to the local companies. Many of the small local companies who do the best work or have the best products may not even be at the shows. The expertise, product knowledge and support will make up for any quick deal done at the show. But you didn’t hear it from me.