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Forum topic by nate22 posted 01-23-2012 02:00 PM 1090 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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475 posts in 2872 days

01-23-2012 02:00 PM

I am thinking of doing a home and garden show around where I live next year. I would do it this year but it is like in a month and I don’t have anything ready for it yet. I live in Northern Indiana and the show is the biggest in the area. Any of you LJ’s that live in ohio, michigan, indiana might of heard of it or been to it. It is in Fort Wayne, In. anyways I had a couple of questions. Is it worth doing and what kind of things should I take to something like that. I just don’t want to end up paying $900 for a booth and not have the right product there. What are some of the things you took if you have done one or thinking of doing one. What I make is a variety of furniture like livingroom, kitchen, office, and bedroom furniture. Should I take more of the little things that don’t cost a lot or the bigger things or a little of both. Any suggestions or ideas would help. And I have heard and read like 50,000 people come to it every year.

Thanks for any comments. God Bless

-- Gracie's wooden signs. Middlebury, In.

4 replies so far

View RandyM68's profile


693 posts in 2314 days

#1 posted 01-23-2012 03:30 PM

I think it would be hard to sell big furniture at a show like that. People may buy something that’s small enough to carry. Most of the vendors for the big stuff are just passing out brochures and hoping people call them later. It’s mostly about the advertising. I think it would be very hard to even get your $900 back. Good luck.

-- I can explain it to you, but I can't understand it for you. I'm sorry,thanks.

View Milo's profile


869 posts in 3316 days

#2 posted 01-24-2012 03:58 PM

$900 bucks? I didn’t pay that when I was in the biz doin furniture repairs. Ugh. I’d contact the organizers and try to see what their volume of visitors is, AND what types of vendors they have had in the past. If they don’t cator anywhere NEAR furniture, people aren’t going to be there LOOKING for in, and might pass you right by. See if you can get a 1st timer discount or something.

-- Beer, Beer, Thank God for Beer. It's my way of keeping my mind fresh and clear...

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

20476 posts in 3102 days

#3 posted 01-27-2012 02:49 AM

Nate, you have to look at your chance of getting your $900 back. How much of your product would just pay your entry fee and are you able to deduct it as a business expense? if you cannot deduct it, it is a big IF you can sell more than that to break even.

I sell some big items by word of mouth advertising. when I do show, items in the $20 range seem to sell best. I avoid shows with a larger than $50 entry fee- that is just my position on shows. I like to come out with a profit if i get into a show…........Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View huff's profile


2828 posts in 3281 days

#4 posted 01-28-2012 04:32 AM

Nate, I haven’t been on lumberjocks for quite some time now, but just happen to see your post and found it very interesting. I’ve been doing custom woodworking for over 25 years and have done many home and garden shows over the years. A couple of things to look for when doing a home show.
1. The best thing you could do for now is to just attend the one that’s coming up; not as an exibitor, but just to attend the show and see what’s there. How the show is run, is there anyone there that woud be selling anything like what you have, etc.
2. Since I do only custom work, I didn’t go to the shows to sell as much as I went to get leads and appointments. I would sell an item once in a while, but I really had to rate my success of a show over a 3 to 4 month period based on the number of contracts I could close after the show.
3. I did most of my home and garden shows in Raleigh, NC (which had a great show both in the spring and in the fall each year). Attendance was between 25,000 to 30,000 for a 3 day show. I usually did a double booth which seemed quite expensive, but then again I could book 3 to 5 months worth of work from one show.
4. The home and garden shows usually bring people that are looking for ideas for either building a new home or remodeling the one they have. Usually kitchen manufacturers have big displays so I never displayed anything to do with kitchens, but always had my portfolio showing that I did do cabinets. (A lot of times I would end up with a kitchen job, even without showing anything). I never saw many woodworkers selling smaller things at the home and garden shows, because most of the people that are attending are not looking for gifts, etc. I’m not sure about the show at your home, but that’s why it’s good to attend a show to start with.
5. I found to be real successful for a home show is to have not only products that are unique, but have a very professional display. That’s why it’s important to go to one of the shows first and check out how things look; not just the products that are on display, but what kind of booth they have. What catches your eye and why? Why would you stop at a certain booth or why you wouldn’t. A lot of times it’s not as much to do with what they have, but how the booth looks or how it’s laid out.
6. Home shows are a lot of work, but I always enjoyed just being able to get my work in front of so many people. I moved my business to Myrtle Beach 7 years ago and tried the small home show here, but not many vendors and even less buyers…................I sure miss the Raleigh Home and Garden show.
I would be glad to share more on doing a show, so feel free to contact me if you have any questions.
You can check out my home page here or on my web-site if you would like to see what I build.
Good luck.

-- John @

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