Attending home and design shows can be simultaneously exhilarating and exhausting! There’s something to be said about embarking on a brand new renovation project, and home shows present the perfect opportunity to both pull design inspiration, and gain some much needed insight from industry insiders coming from a wide array of specialities!
On the other hand, while it may seem as though it can only be helpful to have leading experts at your fingertips, home shows can also result in a little bit of information overload!
We know you’ve been there. Coffee in one hand and tradeshow ticket in the other, while sheepishly overlooking the somewhat daunting convention centre, lined with a seemingly endless row of booths upon booths.
Trust us… we get it… and we know it can be enough to make your head spin!
So to help alleviate the stress that may come as a by-product of attending these types of events, we’re sharing 5 simple tips to help you navigate home and design shows!
After all, they’re meant to BRING you clarity… not confusion!
5 Tips to Navigating Design Shows
1. Research Vendors Beforehand
This is an incredibly important first step! Prior to attending home shows, be sure to have a look at their online exhibitor directory and begin researching vendors that peak your interest. Create a list of these vendors, note any questions you may have for them, and ensure that you make it a priority to visit each of their booths at the show! This will help save an incredible amount of time and energy, eliminating any guess work you would typically have to do upon arrival.
You only have a limited amount of time [and patience], so make your experience a productive and positive one!
2. Wear Comfortable Clothing
Home shows are [regrettably] neither the time nor the place for stilettos and high fashion. You’ll likely be on your feet for a couple of hours at minimum, so it’s better to opt for something a bit more casual and comfortable. We’re thinking leggings, and either flat boots or sensible running shoes will be the best option to stay comfortable during the design hunt process.
Bloomsbury Tip: If you happen to be attending a home show in the winter, try and park underground so that you can leave your coat in the car! Nobody likes having to lug around their winter coat through crowds, and it can get rather warm in convention centres… so wearing your coat isn’t much of an option either! Not to mention, now you get to skip the coat check line!
3. Bring a Tote Bag & Note Pad
Vendors almost always have marketing materials or business cards to distribute, so it would be helpful to bring something along to store these items in, or to note any vendors you’d like to follow up with. A tote bag and note pad are two simple items that will help you stay organized, and keep track of some of your favourite design spaces.
For productivity’s sake, be sure to bring photos or design inspirations along with you… for that matter, measurements aren’t a bad idea either! This will help give the vendor or designer an idea of what you’re looking for, what they’re potentially working with, and allow them to better direct any questions they may have for you, in order to give you the space you want and deserve!
Bloomsbury Tip: Home shows and vendor booths tend to get a little busy, so if you feel comfortable with the designer you’re speaking with, book a follow-up appointment in the showroom where you can have dedicated one-on-one time to discuss your project in further detail.
4. Eat Beforehand
You’re going to need some fuel for all of that cardio you’ll be doing! Not only does eating beforehand give you some much needed sustenance for the long and exciting day ahead, but it also means that you don’t have to wait in lengthy lines at food vendors!
Keep your eye on the prize… or that beautifully framed kitchen!
5. Have Fun!
This is quite possibly THE most important tip! Renovating your home is an exciting time, and brings about many incredible moments and memories. Your home is a space of love and happiness, and embarking on a design journey to enhance this space with a company that will make this an easy and seamless process, is definitely a milestone that should be treasured!
So, above all, enjoy every bit of the process!
Sincerely, The Bloomsbury Fine Cabinetry Team