Blog for Building Materials Companies

INTEX Drywall Show Review

  |  Posted in Trade Shows

INTEX Drywall Show Review

I was at the INTEX Expo, in Washington DC, for wall and ceiling contractors to speak at the 50th Anniversary Celebration of Trim-Tex.

As with any building materials trade show, I enjoyed walking the show floor to see which companies are doing it right. A trade show is a big expense where you only have a couple of days to make it pay off.

I always ask companies with exhibits at shows, “Why are you at this show? What do you hope to achieve? How will you know if it was a success?”

The answers I got were disappointing. Answers like:

“We’re at this show because you have to be. It’s really not a show where you sell or gain new customers.”

“We really don’t have any goals other than to be here.”

“We’ll know it’s a success based on our opinion. We don’t measure the success of the show by things like the number of leads and how many customers we convert or sales dollars.”

With goals like this, it’s no wonder that so many companies have exhibits that do not have anything to say to the drywall contractor who is walking the show floor. I did find some great exhibits with great messages to the contractor.

Georgia Pacific – Best in Show

Georgia Pacific Trade Show Exhibit

Every message in the GP booth was written to the contractor in simple, straightforward terms that they could understand and value.

Georgia Pacific Intex

Many exhibits make these mistakes with their messages

  1. They list product features with no benefits
  2. The message is not aimed at the show attendee. At this show, I saw a lot of messages aimed at the architect or specifier instead of the contractor.
  3. All about you. No one cares if you’re the largest.

In addition to GP, here are some other great messages to the contractor.

Intex Show Messages

Simpson Strong-Tie – “Smarter easier way to install drywall”

Clark Dietrick – “Connectors, delivered overnight – defend you from project delays” and “Need to get an 18′ stud in an elevator.”

Intex Sales Messages

Groovtec – “Fast flowing – pull beads quickly”

USG – “Simplify your jobsite” and “Makes the job easier and faster”

Trim-Tex – “11 ways to finish a corner”

Lots of Sound Control Companies Wasting Their Time

Sound control is a huge growth opportunity but most of these companies wasted their time and money being at this show. Here’s why

  1. Contractors don’t decide if a building will have sound control, architects, engineers, and owners do.
  2. Contractors don’t decide what sound control products or systems will be used; architects, engineers, and owners do.
  3. Contractors don’t care about how well a product controls sound. They care about things like how easy it is to install. I couldn’t find any messages aimed at the contractor.
  4. Many contractors are in a position to recommend a sound control solution in commercial remodeling projects. Contractors could and should be saying “Mr building owner, do you know we could also add sound control to your building while we’re installing the drywall? A quieter building will rent faster and for higher rates.” I keep looking for someone to see this opportunity.

Quiet Rock – Best in Show For Sound Control.

This was an amazingly effective demonstration at the Quiet Rock booth. You stood under the dome listening to some annoyingly loud music. There was a touch screen where you selected different sound control solutions and it got quieter as you upgraded the system. A very simple, very believable and very effective way to sell sound control to a contractor or an owner.

Goodbye Spinning Wheel Games

It looks like those “Spin the Wheel and Win a Prize” trade show games have now been replaced by giant pachinko games.

Great People Always Stand Out

Biggest Takeaways

  1. Know why you are exhibiting at a trade show?
  2. Have a measurable goal.
  3. Have a message that speaks to the show attendees
  4. Ask yourself, “Is there a better way to spend this money?”

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About The Author

I am the leading sales growth consultant in the building materials industry, I identify the blind spots that enable building materials companies to grow their sales and retain more customers.  As I am not an ad agency, my recommendations are focused on your sales growth and not my future income.

My mission is to help building materials companies be the preferred supplier of their customers and to turn those customers into their best salespeople. Contact me to discuss your situation.