Tips for promoting your lawn care business at trade shows.

Have you been trying to find ways to reach out further in your service area and attract more lawn care customers? Local home & garden trade shows can be a great way to meet and talk with home owners in your area. Here are some suggestions members of the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum offered to help you get the most out of your trade show presentation.

One lawn care business owner said “trade shows put us on the map. They can be very expensive but the key I learned is to look bigger than you are. Know your stuff inside out, and be very professional. Image, knowledge of your offerings in lawn care are key to success. You have to produce results.

Have your gear at the booth. The cost of a previous trade show that went on for 3 days was so high that I wanted to balk but I ultimately gave in. The benefits we reaped were far beyond my wildest dreams. We are now fully booked from mid April to the last week of May which is great, I think trade shows are an excellent marketing tool.

At the most recent home and garden trade show I attended, the excavation, yard care and lawn mowing booths were tired rented booths, where nothing stood out.

If I could offer advice to others on how to maximize returns on their marketing dollar, I would set a piece of my gear in the booth. Have a very nice polite lady handing out fliers. Laugh if you want, but it works. I have done many shows where we hired models, I realize this is over the top for us but you really should consider trying it. As the lawn care business owner, I would work my butt off in the booth, answering questions and have a few well dressed staff who knows their stuff. Once again it’s presentation and image.

If you are looking for a real cheap way to make an impression at a trade show yet don’t have the money to rent a booth, consider this. Once all I had was a truck and trailer with a new 2520 and chipper on the trailer in the parking lot as I was too late to get space. I got there really early and parked in the closest parking spot. On my truck I had signs and a business card dispenser. I picked up around 27 small to medium sized jobs in April. That was before word of mouth had kicked in and then all hell broke loose. I haven’t been able to keep up since.”

Another shared “with all the other marketing options a lawn care business owner has at their disposal, trade shows are still important and can be an effective way to get business, but that you need to “do them right”. Trade show exhibiting can be very expensive and one can lose a lot of money quickly if you don’t know what you are doing.
But I think the most important message one needs to remember is to build personal relationships and treat people like humans!

It pains me to walk down the aisles at a lot of trade shows as it reminds me of going to a used car lot. I am suddenly pounced on by all sorts of people popping out of their trade show booths (sort of like gophers popping out of their holes in my lawn) wanting to sell me something! All these gung-ho sales people would do well to not be so pushy. To look to make contacts and not sales.”

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