courtesy TMT Home Remodelers

To draw attendees to TMT Home Remodelers’ booth at the spring and fall home shows it attends every year, owner Mike Davis displays a gift basket filled with scented candles and lotions, which booth visitors can enter to win by filling out a card.

For the past few years the Redmond, Ore., company has displayed a gift basket and asked visitors three questions on the entry card: Do you have a remodeling project coming up? Would you like us to contact you about the project? Would you like to be added to our newsletter mailing list?

The giveaway accomplishes two things, Davis says: The completed entry forms help the company beef up its newsletter mailing list and contacts database, and the giveaway provides the company with another point of contact with the contest winner. “I’ve found that if we can get to a third point of contact with the potential client,” Davis says, “we have an 80% chance of closing the job.”

Holding Back

Davis has found that some attendees are shy or distrustful about discussing their project at the home show. He found the same reluctance with visitors to the company’s project on the remodeled home tour. “In front of others, people are nervous to say something. Also, they want to buy but are afraid of being ‘sold,’” he says.

The contents of the gift basket are chosen to appeal primarily to women, who, Davis says, are highly involved in the remodeling decision-making process. Davis commissions his daughter-in-law to create the $150 to $200 baskets that include knickknacks, candelabras, and candles. “Last spring she made one with a bird cage,” he says. After the two-and-a-half-day home show, the staff draws one winner from the entry forms and notifies him or her by e-mail.

Davis uses other marketing at his home show booth, including a PowerPoint presentation on a large-screen TV, collages of photos, and product displays. Though he appreciates the leads he receives from the show, Davis says his participation in the home show reminds the community that TMT is still in business. “In this day and age, that is a critical item,” he says.

—Nina Patel, senior editor, REMODELING.