The PBC Show takes place next week. Like other building industry trade shows, the cost to attend and exhibit are a large expense for building materials manufacturers. Many people also question whether they need to exhibit at PCBC when they already exhibit at IBS. I’m not advocating that you at exhibit at PCBC but here’s how to get the most out of exhibiting at PCBC.
What’s Good About PCBC
It’s easier to get the attention of builders as it is a smaller show. There is a much better chance that builders can see every exhibit. IBS is so big that most builders can not see it all so they may miss your booth.
All trade show have a regional slant to them. If a trade show is within a days drive of a builder, a lot more builders, from the area, are likely to attend than when they have to fly across the country. I would consider having my West coast distributors or dealers in my booth to meet area builders.
As IBS moves to Orlando next year, there will be more builders who won’t travel across the country but will attend PCBC.
If you want to reach the 20 largest builders, this is the show for you. The largest builders have created an organization called, Leading Builders of America and they have made this their show. In addition to walking this smaller show seeing your booth, they also have several programs that make it easy for you to meet with them. The following tells you more about Leading Builders and their commitment to PCBC.
How to Be More Successful
It’s too late to change the message on your exhibit but it’s not too late to change your approach when talking to builders at the show. How can you help them be a more successful builder?
West coast builders tend to be early adopters of new ideas. When I lived in Ohio, I would watch what men were wearing in California and I knew what I would be wearing in a couple of years. West coast builders are also more Green than other builders. If you have a new product or a Green product, this is the place to promote it.
Green can mean energy saving but it can also be sustainable. If your product is made with more environmentally ingredients or manufacturing processes, be sure to share that.
Follow-up After the Show
It still amazes me how frequently builders tell me they visit an exhibit and request information to be sent to them or to be contacted by a rep, only never to hear from the company. If you can’t even do this, how reliable is your product or company?
If you use a marketing automation program, which you should, this list of builder leads should be put into your program for nuturing.
An Opportunity For You to Learn
The PCBC show is a great opportunity to learn more about what builders are looking for from a manufacturer. Look at the list of classes and home tours that are offered; this is a great guide to their areas of interest. In addition to telling builders about your products, interview them. What can you learn about the type of builder they are, the type of homes they build and what problems they are trying to solve?
The leaders of the smartest building materials companies spend time in their booth. Talking to builders to give them first-hand knowledge of the issues you are facing.
Debrief after the show. Most companies talk about how many leads they collected and which was the best restaurant and that’s it. Your whole team should also take time to share what they learned to make your future marketing, sales and trade show efforts, more effective.
Measure The Results
Take leads from the show and follow-up several months later to see if you are now being used by any of these builders. This is an often overlooked, but important step that starts to give you some measurable ROI.
My experience has shown that the companies who follow these steps get a lot better results from their investment in exhibiting at shows like PCBC. The ones who don’t, wonder why they even go to this show. This also helps you to make a more intelligent decision about whether to exhibit at PCBC, in the future.
If you’d like a refresher on How to Sell Builders, read my post here.