Time to think about the trade show

Posted April 06, 2011, at 7:57 a.m.

Although the weather heralding the start of spring has been decidedly mixed so far, the longer days, (generally) milder temperatures, and first sightings of spring blooms tell me that the time has come to stow the snow shoes and get out the garden tools and paint brushes. Expect to see me in a hardware store near you.

For Chamber members in the construction, landscaping, home furnishing and related businesses, spring is also a time to think trade shows, with the culmination and crowning event of the show season returning once again in the form of the Maine Home and Design Midcoast Show at Point Lookout in early June (a scant 10 weeks away). The show brings together architects, builders, landscape designers, interior designers, kitchen suppliers, artists, food purveyors and more under one roof.

Along with the Maine Contractors and Builders Alliance (who originated the show several years ago) the Chamber has been involved in this iteration of the show for a few years now, and I’ve noticed an interesting phenomenon each year I’ve attended. Over the course of the show weekends, I’ve noticed that some booths were mobbed, while others were less so. It didn’t seem to matter where the booth was located or what time of day it was, but there was a definite difference in energy and atmosphere between the busy and less busy vendors. In order to help all exhibitors crack the code of a busy booth, the CRL Chamber, A.E. Sampson and Son and Maine Home and Design are teaming up to bring a special trade show seminar to Camden: “How to work a home show for fun and profit.”

The seminar will take place 8-9:30 a.m. Wednesday, April 13, at the Knox Mill, Washington Street, Camden. The price for CRLCC members is $10, $15 others. The session will answer the question “So you have bought the booth space, now what do you do?” Participants will learn about the five key elements around creating an impact with your booth and display; how to take the hassle out of arrival and set up; how to work the show to maximize the return on your booth investment; post show tips for generating the most business from your leads; and more!

Register by calling 236-4404 or email me at dbookham@camdenme.org. Space is limited, so call or email to reserve your spot early and avoid disappointment.

The Maine Home and Design Midcoast Show itself will take place at the Point Lookout Resort on the Northport-Lincolnville line over the weekend of June 11-12 (mark those calendars now). Tickets are $10, free to children under12.

The show is open from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday. It’s a great way to get out and experience Maine’s creative economy. This show is a must for people interested in any aspect of building, remodeling and enjoying their homes. For more information on either attending or exhibiting at the show, call our friends at Maine Home and Design and ask for Jodi Priest at 772-3373 or email jpriest@themainemag.com.

Dan Bookham is the executive director of the Camden-Rockport-Lincolnville Chamber of Commerce. Call 236-4404, email dbookham@camdenme.org, or visit http://www.visitcamden.com for more information.

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