Roofers Coffee Shop - Where The Industry Meets!
Coffee Conversations LIVE!
English
English
Español
Français

Maximize Your Return from Trade Shows

Wendy Marvin Tradeshow Strategy
March 3, 2021 at 9:15 a.m.

RCS Influencer Wendy Marvin says that whether exhibiting at a home show or attending an industry trade show, planning is key to success.  

Editor’s note: Watch the video to see and hear what Wendy Marvin has to say about her trade show strategy. You can read the transcript below or watch the video below.     

Megan Ellsworth

Hello. We are back with a February influencer topic with Wendy Marvin from Matrix Roofing. Hi Wendy. 

Wendy Marvin

Hello. So nice to be here, thank you. 

Megan Ellsworth

Glad to have you, yes. Glad to have you here. So this month's topic is what is your trade show strategy? We've heard lots of different opinions so far, and I'm excited to hear what yours is. So let's just dive right in. 

Wendy Marvin

Interesting. So we don't do a ton of trade shows, to be honest with you. I'm a big believer in high payoff and low input. And we've got some trade shows in our area that you end up having to spend a nine-hour day, seven days a week for three weeks or two weeks. It's our big events and stuff. And no, we're a smaller team. So maybe as we grow, that would change. But we have sought out and focused on a couple really advantageous ones, which one of them is our Home and Garden Idea Fair. 

Megan Ellsworth

Oh, cool. 

Wendy Marvin

[crosstalk 00:01:09] but source that one because it's a weekend. So it's a Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and you're done. It's daunting to do that, but what we've found with this particular event is just that it is really focused on people who want to know what you have and if they need a roof, they're coming to see you. And the other thing is the cost of trade show. This particular one is $1,500, where sometimes you can spend eight to 10,000 sometimes per booth [crosstalk 00:01:39]. 

Megan Ellsworth

Oh, wow. 

Wendy Marvin

So, yeah. [crosstalk 00:01:42] We focus on lower cost and shorter groups. I don't know. You want me to launch right into trade show, what we do while we're there? 

Megan Ellsworth

Yeah. 

Wendy Marvin

Okay. 

Megan Ellsworth

Let's do it. 

Wendy Marvin

So, I'm an old trade show person. I worked for Kaiser for years, which is kind of a weird side note. And so [crosstalk 00:02:03] there. And I think I'm a bit of a hard nose when it comes to when you're doing a trade show. I don't like barriers between us and the customers. So I don't like sitting at it. If you want to be the kind of trades person that you're going to plant your butt in front of a table and have your phone out while you're sitting there, that's not going to work. 

Megan Ellsworth

Right. 

Wendy Marvin

So we don't have tables. We typically set up to where we have engaging, bring them into the booth situations. You want to have just reasons for people to visit you. And it's not always freebies, although people love that. So we have giveaways and different things that we do, which obviously everybody does that. 

Megan Ellsworth

Yeah. 

Wendy Marvin

But educational, what is it about the trade that they care about and why do they care? And so when is the trade show, is a big one. Ours is in spring. So we talk about your first roof cleanings. We educate people about what roofing warranties are. Of course we have sample boards and different things for them to discuss their specific projects with, but it's just not about that get as many leads as you can, and then hardcore follow up on people. It's really about engaging and giving some form of benefit to people maybe who even don't need a roof but might think of you later or know somebody that does. 

Megan Ellsworth

Yeah, that's smart. Yeah. The word-of-mouth kind of community that way. I like that. 

Wendy Marvin

Yeah. Yeah. I think a lot of our industry thinks of people as one-offs. If I'm going to do your roof, Megan, I would come and do your roof and then you're never going to need a roof again. So why do I care kind of thing? And that's just not the case. 

Megan Ellsworth

Yeah. 

Wendy Marvin

I probably have about 30% of our business that is repeat business. And it's not only people who have bought a second home. And we've been in business 13 years or pushing 14, so that happens in that amount of time. 

Megan Ellsworth

Yeah. 

Wendy Marvin

But it's also that if we do your house and we do a good job and we stay friends, then maybe when your mom needs a roof, she'd call us. Or maybe when your friends need a roof, because people buy roofs a lot of times the way they buy other difficult services is, "Oh my God, I love Megan. Her roof looks great. Who'd she use?" And then we want you to have the tools that you need to be able to tell people or something to give to people. So that's what we [crosstalk 00:04:36]. 

Megan Ellsworth

That's brilliant. I think that is the smartest thing to do in this industry from an outsider's point of view. I think that is really your golden ticket. And so I love that you guys kind of support that and use that to your advantage. 

Wendy Marvin

Yeah. 

Megan Ellsworth

When you attend trade shows, maybe the bigger ones as an owner, what do you do going in to say Western states? Do you have a strategy? Do you go to classes? What's your networking look like? Tell me a little bit about that. 

Wendy Marvin

So we typically have a couple meetings prior to the events and talk about what's working really well for us, what's not working well for us. What do we want to keep? What do we want to save? What do we want to grow, is what we talk about. And so, then the things that we talk about keeping, we'll just try to connect with the people while we're there. We're a GAF mastery lead so we always connect with those people. 

Megan Ellsworth

Love it. 

Wendy Marvin

And try to just plug into the people that we know. But then when we're shopping, I just try to be really specific. Some of the trade shows are very overwhelming. 

Megan Ellsworth

Yes. 

Wendy Marvin

[crosstalk 00:05:51] Right? You could walk the shows forever. 

Megan Ellsworth

Yeah. 

Wendy Marvin

And I don't necessarily want our whole team to be there from beginning to end. We want to be really targeted and solve the problem that we're having while we're there and then be done kind of thing, and then use it as a time to celebrate other things. So, yeah we focused on... We were looking at fleet vehicles at the last. It seems like years ago, doesn't it? 

Megan Ellsworth

Yeah. 

Wendy Marvin

At the last [crosstalk 00:06:22]. And I think it was IRE that I was targeting people with Ford booths because we typically have Fords. We have a Ford mechanic on staff. 

Megan Ellsworth

Oh. 

Wendy Marvin

And so I scheduled out two hours in one of my days to make sure that we spent time at the Ford booth and we sourced a lead and we've got a fleet manager that's national, that's helping us locally. And yeah, so just really specific about what it is that we're trying to accomplish. I think one of the dangers there is that if time is no matter to you and you can just go and have fun, then it really doesn't matter. You can talk to anybody. But I think that you can also bring back a lot of things that are overwhelming and that can lead people to think that maybe you aren't happy with what you have when you really are. 

Megan Ellsworth

Right. 

Wendy Marvin

And [crosstalk 00:07:14] have information, but it's not really good to have so much chaos swirling around some of those things. That's kind of why we try to be a little more targeted of what we're looking for and who can solve it. 

Megan Ellsworth

Yeah. Going in with a plan, having an idea of what you need, what you don't need and kind of going in with, yeah, a target idea. That's great. I think that'll be really helpful to some people. 

Wendy Marvin

Yeah. And then we also try to throw two hours in there somewhere throughout the weekend. And it can be at the beginning or the end where we're just looking at new products. We found an amazing thing called a [goat 00:07:53]. It's basically just a huge long hook that you throw up over the ridge of the house and then they use it as an initial climb to set anchors for the first climb on. 

Megan Ellsworth

Oh. 

Wendy Marvin

And I'd never heard about it. Everybody tries to reach us in the industry, but sometimes things don't. And so that is an opportunity to source out new things and we found them there. And I think the other one we found that we've been in conversations with is the shrink wrap roof. So instead of doing tarping- 

Megan Ellsworth

Okay. 

Wendy Marvin

[crosstalk 00:08:25] Australia and they were hilarious to hang out with, so there's always innovations to find too, but we try to be strategic about, okay, as I was walking around booths, we circled at booth 355 is the whatever. I'd like to go talk to them because I'm not really sure what that is and I'd like to hear more kind of stuff. 

Megan Ellsworth

Well, thank you, Wendy. That was super informative. I love that. Going in with a plan, being prepared, setting time. That's great. 

Wendy Marvin

Sounds good. That's it. 

Megan Ellsworth

Yeah. Well, thank you. I will see you again in March and hear what you have to say about the next topic. 

Wendy Marvin

Forward to it. Thanks, Megan. 

Wendy Marvin is CEO of Matrix Roofing. See her full bio here. 



Comments

There are currently no comments here.

Leave a Reply

Commenting is only accessible to RCS users.

Have an account? Login to leave a comment!


Sign In
Cotney Attorneys & Consultants - Banner Ad - 2022 IRE Speaking Engagements
English
English
Español
Français

Sign Up for Our E-News!

Join over 18,000 other roofers who get the Week in Roofing for a recap of this week's best industry posts!

Sign Up
Equipter - Sidebar Ad - Rent Me Campaign Ad
General Coatings - Sidebar Ad - Get Your Info Now
ICP - Sidebar Ad - APOC Professional Protection
IKO - Sidebar Ad - ARMOURZONE
RCS_Trends_Report_Sidebar_Ad_250x265
EVERROOF - Sidebar Ad -  Branding Campaign

English
English
Español
Français

Sign Up for Our E-News!

Join over 18,000 other roofers who get the Week in Roofing for a recap of this week's best industry posts!

Sign Up
NRCA Roofing day 2022 Sidebar
RCS_Trends_Report_Sidebar_Ad_250x265
EVERROOF - Sidebar Ad -  Branding Campaign
IKO - Sidebar Ad - ARMOURZONE
S-5! - Sidebar Ad - Snow Guard
Estimating Edge - Sidebar Ad - Danny Boyle