Carolina Living Show - Myrtle Beach, SC
Home shows are an excellent idea for vendors and attendees alike. People who are looking to buy or sell a home, begin a major or minor remodeling project, add landscaping, install or maintain a pool or spa or simply make a home a more comfortable, energy-efficient and elegant place to live can learn how by attending a quality home show such as the Carolina Living Show, launched in January 2011 by Carolina Homes & Interiors.
For vendors, the advantages of participating in a home show are obvious. They have the opportunity to present their products and services to people who are already interested in their products and services.
In its first year, the Carolina Living Show has surpassed all expectations.
“I didn’t have high expectations because it was the first show, but I was pleasantly surprised,” said Janice ward, a 15-year home expo veteran and distributor for Phantom screens in Mebane, North Carolina. “The people who came through were interested in what was going on. we are definitely adding the Carolina Living Show to our show schedule. I like that it was at the early part of the season. The timing was good because people weren’t antsy to get outdoors. I’m sure the Carolina Living Show will grow every year.”
The show debuted on Jan. 29 at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center in South Carolina with thousands of visitors.
“It was held at an ideal time of the year,” explained show Director Bill Cool. “Home shows tend to work best in winter, when people are scheduling their ‘to-do’ lists. In the spring, individuals are already outside completing projects.”
“We had an enormous amount of attendees and around 90 exhibitors,” Cool added. “we even had experts giving seminars for home improvement projects and gardening, chiropractors, health care providers and real-estate professionals who gave tutorials on short sales and foreclosures. It’s a great venue for attendees to see all of these people under one roof in a day or maybe two days. You can talk to all sorts of people.”
Providing information about today’s hot topics, along with entertainment, knowledgeable vendors and a great location, all helped to make the Carolina Living Show a success. “our attendees even had a good time watching Cooking with the King, an elvis impersonator who gave a cooking lesson. The entertainment is done respectfully. It’s all in good fun,” said Cool. “we provide the attendees with an educational, entertaining time.”
Jim Arnesen, a veteran vendor of home shows with Carolina solar security in myrtle Beach, agreed with the show’s director.
“We have participated in a variety of venues, but the Carolina Living Show was the best. The marketing was very impressive. Bill Cool was great and interfaced with us a great bit. I wouldn’t miss next year’s show.”
Marketing the show to the proper segment of society helped bring vendors a quality audience.
“I liked the age group that I saw,” explained Roy Fowler, president of advanced Custom Modular Homes in Brunswick, New York, and a vendor at the show. “They were qualified to purchase my product. overall, I liked the show and it captured a good audience. I definitely plan to participate again.”
Most of the vendors agreed that new business owners who want to market their products and reach a large audience should participate in the Carolina Living show.
“If you have a product that doesn’t sell with print advertising, this is a great venue,” said ward. “You need to see, feel and touch certain products, and this allows an important segment of the population to do so.”
Arnesen concurred: “Don’t keep your product a secret because you have to be out there so people know what you are offering,” he said.
Stephanie Adams, a scentsy independent director who has consultants in the Carolinas and Hawaii, offered similar advice.
“Working the Carolina Living Show was a great experience. It will help build a business, not just selling the products but also making contacts. You don’t have to work too hard because the people are coming to you.”
Many vendors from this year’s show plan to return for the 2012 version, when Cool plans to repeat his winning combination of exceptional marketing, a prime location and convenient event dates.
“We pay attention to detail for our vendors. We are also offering digital coupons for our vendors so they can continue generating business well after the show is over and prior to the next show beginning,” Cool said. “We provide pertinent information and great deals, and we back everything up with Carolina Homes & Interiors and Hot Retirement Towns magazines. We bring a lot to the table to help our vendors promote their business and interests.”
“Next year, we will be bigger and better,” he said. “we are adding an evening show on Friday so the entire Carolina Living Show will run two- and- a-half days. It’ll be the first show of the year for the Myrtle Beach Grand Strand. We plan to improve on what we started this year.”