Universal Windows Direct of Dayton's home show display

By Dan Harmeyer, UWD Dayton

When I took over UWD Dayton in 2012, my team and I jumped right into the home improvement show season. With the help of Bill and Mike, our first show did very well. From then on we made it a point to sit down with the show producers at each venue to learn all that we could about sponsorship opportunities and ways that we could improve our presence.

Here’s a secret that many of you may not realize: Every show has deadlines for sponsorship. By jumping in early, you have a crack at becoming the sponsor for the show. Sponsorship opens the door to thousands of dollars worth of additional media above your initial investment that you don’t have to pay for.

By committing early, you relieve the show producers of the stress of trying to find a sponsor, and they commit dollars to promoting you. It’s a winwin.

For the 2014 Miami Valley Home Improvement Show, we were able to grab the show sponsorship position away from a competitor, and all of a sudden we popped. Now we’re a company with standing in the market, and we’re already looking to hire more staff. With the home shows, positioning yourself in a top spot is key, and doors will open to branding opportunities that keep the UWD name out there.

In 2014 we attended 23 shows—four home improvement and the rest fairs and festivals. It’s a huge investment that sometimes is difficult to make, but you have to take the risk. And while exposure is crucial, the single most important thing you can do to guarantee your success at any show is to stick to the scripts. Don’t veer away from what’s been proven. Follow the UWD sales scripts to the letter because the psychology behind them works. Never leave the show early. Talk to every single person who walks by your booth.

Tips you can use:

  • The minute the show is over, start planning for the next year.
  • Ask for what you want. Never take what’s offered to you.
  • Cultivate a positive relationship with the show promoters. Get people to like you.
  • Make the investment. Become a bag sponsor, a ticket sponsor, or a show sponsor. Make sure the UWD logo is in as many places at the show as you can.
  • Have patience. To grow, you have to get out of your comfort zone. But you’ve also got to work the sales process the way it was designed.
  • Be aggressive. Never think like the little guy. Act like the big guy and everyone else will fall in line behind you.

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