This is the Canadian construction industry’s trade show season. The shows are scheduled from November to March when construction work tends to slow down in winter weather, and in some cases companies have budgets to send representatives to events at exotic warm locations south of the border. I am stuck with the cold destinations for now.
My trade show season kicks off with two events on Nov. 12 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. The one-day Wood Solutions Fair starts in the morning, and then in the evening Win-Door 2013 kicks off. These two events lined up perfectly for timing and location and allowing me to network with two different crowds of potential clients.
Both of these shows are truly specialized and, before I joined the company, management thought they would not be worth our investment. I had to show the revenue generated would outweigh the costs, and indeed, the shows have proven to be worthwhile.
The success resulted from two important discoveries. First, I developed relationships with the associations and companies producing the shows and second, we started publishing specialized theme issues based on these events, that now provide a consistent annual revenue stream.
I am now working on connecting with U.S. based trade shows to allow me travel to the warmer locations, fingers crossed.
Next up for me will be Construct Canada, the nation’s largest construction trade show, from Dec. 4 to 7. This will be my seventh year attending the show, which serves a diverse group of exhibitors ranging including concrete, residential construction, property management and commercial construction. Construct Canada is a one-stop shop for meeting new clients, developing new industry contacts and reconnecting with past clients.
For our business, it is often not the people who attend the shows that we connect with and generate business from. Our business comes from talking with the other exhibitors who, like us, are there to attract new customers. They already understand the value of direct marketing in a great social setting and can be easily encouraged to expand their show investment to an extended media plan with ad placement and editorial coverage.
What trade shows and industry events are you attending or recommend we check out in the next few months?
Chase is the director of marketing and client relations for the Construction News and Report Group as well as the associate publisher for the GTA Construction Report, Ontario Construction Report and the Canadian Design & Construction Report. He currently sits on the Niagara Construction Association’s board of directors and is chair its Young Leaders Committee. If you have any recommendations or suggestions on changes you would like to make for the publication please contact him at (905) 228-1151. You can also email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.gtaconstructionreport.com.