Getting the most out of visiting self-build shows
Attending self-build shows and exhibitions can be exhilarating and inspiring. With thousands of products and services cheek by jowl and under one roof they are the perfect place for moving your research on, as well as knowledge gathering through the myriad of workshops and masterclasses on offer. But with so much to see and do, how do you make the most of your visit? Drawing on our experience as seasoned exhibitors this article has been written to help you do just that.
Know before you go
Establish an objective for your visit to the show ahead of time and stick to it. It may be that you want to understand more about different build routes, learn how to build a sustainable home, or identify a number of companies to invite to quote. Whatever your objective, if you plan, prepare and execute your visit around achieving it then you’re less likely to experience a show as a mind-boggling panoply of options and the odds are high you’ll return home with a feeling of accomplishment.
Do your homework
Shows often provide a list of exhibitors on their website enabling you to research them online before you get there. Make a list of those companies you want to meet at the show and if a floor plan is available, download this and highlight the location of the stands you want to visit.
Self-build shows are great opportunities to meet the people behind the companies you’re interested in working with or purchasing from. With exhibitors travelling to shows from across the UK, with one visit you can cut down the miles you have to travel to meet companies face to face. Many businesses set aside time for one-to-one meetings, so instead of waiting around at busy stands to speak to the people you want to, contact them in advance and book a time slot.
Exhibitors are there to meet YOU; don’t be shy! Get stuck in, tell them about your self-build project and find out how they can help you. If you already have plans drawn up, take them with you as they will enable you to get the most out of the conversations you have at shows.
Don’t get weighed down
If you don’t already own a rolling bag (a bag on wheels) then this is something to consider investing in! The temptation is high at self-build shows to collect lots of information to read later and it doesn’t take long before you’re lugging round in excess of 25 pounds and at risk of a sore back, or worse, an injury. Of course, you can always ask for literature to be sent to you after the show or download it online, but, we know, all those glossy brochures are hard to resist…
Be good to yourself
After a full day exploring a self-build show, there’s a good chance you’ll have walked further than you thought possible under one roof, and you’ll have been exposed to so much information it may feel like you’ve been drinking from a firehose. To ensure it all doesn’t start to feel like hard work, factor in some treats to keep you going. Whether that’s your favourite take-away at the end of the day, or regular stops for coffee and cake; don’t forget to reward yourself for a job well done.
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