What I Learned About Roofing Contractor Marketing From a Ski Expo

This past weekend my wife and I and some friends went to a local ski expo. When we arrived and saw the place we thought we would be in and out in an hour. Four hours later we were leaving with smiles on our faces. What made it a great experience and how can roofing contractors make their home shows more productive and fun?

I have been to many home shows, worked a number of them and helped roofing contractors prepare for them. However, I have never been to a home show that was nearly as much fun as the recent ski show I went to. Now you are probably thinking "of course a ski show is going to be more fun than a home show." Why? Are skiers more passionate about their hobby than homeowners? No, I don't think so. People are just as passionate about their homes, and they spend a lot more money on them than they do on skiing. However, we in the industry tend to think that having fun is not part of the sales equation. I think when it comes to home shows we should try to make it more exiting and entertaining for the homeowner. How?

Here are some of the things vendors were doing to attract attention and have a little fun.

1 - One vendor had a Plinko game going (you know, like the "Price is Right") Fill out an info card and get a try to win prizes ranging from nothing to a cheap keychain to a free lift ticket.

2 - Another had a snow chain installing contest where the fastest installer won a free lift ticket. I am proud to say I won a free lift ticket!

3 - One creative and inexpensive game was a beer pong set up with small prizes like chap-stick or soda can insulators for getting the ball in the cup.

4 - One company had a "horse race" where each person got a number on a horse and they had a kid from the group roll dice and move the horse forward one slot each time the number was rolled. My wife was excited to "win" a $20.00 off coupon.

5 - Many vendors had drawings for prizes if you signed up.

When I have worked home shows in the past I hated how people would come by and just look for the freebie to take without even talking to me. These vendors had games that engaged the customer and we spent a lot of time talking and listening when we probably would not have otherwise.

We also found that winning a chap-stick was a lot more fun and satisfying than just picking it up off the table. So, how can roofing contractors incorporate this into their marketing efforts at home shows? Try to incorporate something fun, a golf putting contest for a free roof inspection, or that key chain or coffee mug that you were going to give away anyway. Something to get the customers to stop and talk instead of snatch and run. I'll bet you'll be the hit at the next home show if you are the only roofing contractor marketing himself in a fun and unique way. Give it a try, you and your future customers will like it!

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