I'm doing a 3 day super show

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Forum topic by PhillipRCW posted 12-29-2015 12:43 AM 838 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View PhillipRCW's profile


383 posts in 687 days

12-29-2015 12:43 AM

So I went full time with my woodworking this week. What better way to sign up for one of the biggest shows that comes to town the entire year? I’m going to be doing the 2016 Oklahoma Home+ Garden Show. I picked my booth right next to the wine booths so I can try to ride on the wine crowd and sell a bunch of smalls to them. This crowd is different than your typical craft show though. This is an expo that giant companies present at and the crowd comes prepared to spend money.

I have three weeks to round out my inventory on larger items. Cutting boards are easy, wine racks are quick, the random smalls are time consuming, but easy to batch out. Three days and 35,000+ people is potential like I won’t see in the next year though.

I know this has been rambling so far, but my main question I’m wanting feedback on is, Should I gamble and put out some really big items for the show? I’m thinking a few modern looking live edge dining tables, a few counter top samples to show off to builders, and maybe a parsons dining table. I have the time to get them done. Just a huge investment in money on top of the initial booth fee for such a big show.

-- Phillip- Measure twice, cut onc.... Hey look, it's rustic.

7 replies so far

View Betsy's profile


3336 posts in 3318 days

#1 posted 12-29-2015 01:39 AM

Depends on your risk tolerance. Also, when you applied to the show did you say you were a cabinet/table maker as well as a cutting board/kitchen gadget maker? If it’s a juried show and you didn’t submit any cabinets/tables, the show may not like that.

You could use one of your tables as a show piece to put the CBs on – so you’d be showing your product for sale on top of a product that could be sold.

Just some random thoughts.

Good luck at the show.

-- "Our past judges our present." JFK - 1962; American Heritage Magazine

View finns's profile


99 posts in 2539 days

#2 posted 12-29-2015 02:22 PM

Hey Phillip. I’ve sold furniture at H&G shows in the past. You are definitely going to want to bring big items as well as your small items. Presentation is key here so make sure your booth, brochures and business cards reflect that of a professional woodworker. There will be a bunch of tire kickers there as well so don’t be discouraged by “just looking” comments. Most of the folks who attend H&G shows are just looking, very different crowd mentality then that of an arts and crafts show. Just make sure they leave with your brochure/contact information.

I’ve had many people contact me months down the road inquiring from the show. Whatever you don’t run out of brochures or small items. Overbuild in this case as you can sell it later. Because these are expensive to exhibit at, my goal was to sell enough at the show to cover my expenses and obviously the exposure. Sorry for the preaching but I’ve seen too many small business owners make really simple mistakes that cost them lost revenue. Best of luck and let us know how it went for you.

View PhillipRCW's profile


383 posts in 687 days

#3 posted 12-31-2015 05:15 AM

Betsy, I was actually approached by the promoters of the show asking if I was have a booth there to bring something different to the show. They know that I will have everything from small candle holders to large pieces of furniture and that I also do custom work primarily. I was thinking about using the tables as pieces to show and sell like you described. My dream would be to sell everything in the booth and not come home with anything, but I doubt that will happen lol.

Finns, i’m hoping I can make booth rent back, but it’s pretty expensive lol.

-- Phillip- Measure twice, cut onc.... Hey look, it's rustic.

View bearkatwood's profile


1173 posts in 434 days

#4 posted 12-31-2015 01:04 PM

The small cheep stuff will make your money back for the booth, but to draw them in you need something eye catching that can be seen a bit off. A nice tall cabinet that can be behind you, something that can’t be touched and messed up, but visible. Best of luck.

-- Brian Noel

View Woodbum's profile


717 posts in 2488 days

#5 posted 01-01-2016 01:08 PM

Phillip: I plan to try and attend the show and stop by and visit your booth. I have never been, so I will stumble around until I find the proper section. Are you going to be in the Modern Living Building??

-- "Now I'm just another old guy wearing funny clothes"

View Knothead62's profile


2581 posts in 2383 days

#6 posted 01-01-2016 03:30 PM

Good luck! Let us know how things went for you. And, what seemed to sell best or generate the most interest.

View PhillipRCW's profile


383 posts in 687 days

#7 posted 02-05-2016 01:51 PM

I forgot to post during the show, but it went a lot smoother than I thought it would considering I was running it by myself. My booth was a few feet smaller than it was supposed to be so I had to adjust my display on the fly. All in all though, I would say I had a successful show. It did get a little depressing only selling a few items, but I got a ton of leads and over a thousand cards handed out. Phone calls and emails are already coming in each day.

I was extremely excited at the prospect of going full time in my woodworking, however I had a company contact me about setting up a department in their company doing what I did before. I couldn’t turn down almost double my salary and getting to travel to Hawaii, NYC, Vegas, and the Bahamas several times a year.

I will still keep making the push on woodworking. I love it way too much.

On a very cool note, Matt Blashaw from HGTV was at the show and I didn’t notice him sneak into my booth while I was working with a customer. I turned around and he had opened my sketch book and was going through all of my designs. I got to sit and talk with him for about 20 minutes going over design theories and he genuinely wanted to know a lot about my ideas. It was huge to have a great designer tell me I’m on the right path. He even has followed up with me on Instagram about a few ideas we were sharing.

-- Phillip- Measure twice, cut onc.... Hey look, it's rustic.

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