Every year, for as long as I can recall, we have had a booth at the Wichita Home Show. Sometimes, we’ve had large, stand-alone booths. Other times, we’ve just had a 10×10 or 10×20 space in a row with other vendors. We’ve done giveaways of promotional items of all sorts; from balloons to bags, pens to stress balls. There’s also been a raffle or three and discounts off of services for finding us at the show.
There are times I wonder why we do it.
I say this because there’s a lot of work involved with being a part of a Home Show. There’s planning each year’s booth and literature, preparation of the booth, set up time (which is two or more hours for at least two people), the time spent working it (which we spread among six people) for four days and then takedown. That’s at least six days of time, plus the monetary expenses for space, booth, literature, and more.
Again, why do we go to the Home Show?
I’m sure the first response is “to increase sales,” and yes, that’s nominally the reason. But if we account for the costs AND hours to make it happen…let’s just say our industry doesn’t have the price tags to make that answer as clear-cut as I would like it to be.
Then there’s the fact that our services are of a “one and done” nature — to steal a phrase from college basketball. In other words, two of our three primary services (insulation and air sealing) is needed once per house and then not again at that location.
Factor in that the average homeowner lives in a home for 11 to 15 years and we’re pushing the logic in doing the show for economic purposes.
So, with all these negatives, why do we still do it?
There are a couple of pros to these cons. The first is creating or maintaining some amount of “Top of Mind Awareness” — a.k.a long-term branding reasons. When people do need our services, they’ll hopefully remember our name or logo because they saw or spoke to us at the Home Show. These needs are all fine and good, but it’s not the real reason we keep doing it.
No, we keep doing it because we like helping solve people’s home comfort, health, safety, and energy efficiency issues. Even if the solution is something we don’t install or work with, we like being able to point people in the right direction.
If you peel all the rest of it away, we just like being a resource or a guide to people having better structures around themselves. It’s why we picked the name NorthStar years ago. It wasn’t just because we could use a cute bear — that was just a bonus later on!
So, with all that in mind, we hope to see you at the Wichita Home Show next year!