Editor’s note: Mike Pickel stopped by the RCS booth at the 2020 International Roofing Expo and we captured this video of me interviewing Mike about his trade show strategy. You can watch the video below or scroll down to read the transcript.
Karen: Hi everybody. This is Karen Edwards. I'm the editor here at RoofersCoffeeShop®, and we are at the International Roofing Expo, the 2020 International Roofing Expo in Dallas, Texas and look who stopped by our booth, Mike Pickel, one of our RCS influencers. And the timing's perfect because February's topic is trade shows.
Mike: That's right.
Karen: So, the International Roofing Expo is a pretty big show. There's a lot going on.
Mike: It is huge.
Karen: So how do you make the most of it and maximize your time?
Mike: We plan before we come into the show of vendors that we want to talk to, whether it's a manufacturer or a supplier, technology, whatever it is we've been using throughout the year. We want to talk to them to answer any questions first that we've developed throughout the year using their products or their services.
Karen: Do you attend the educational sessions as well?
Mike: The morning sessions, we hit every one of those. We try to hit the ones during the show, but we kind of hit and miss on some of those. But we look for the ones that we must be at and then we will go to those.
Karen: Do you feel that attending the education sessions and the trade show itself is beneficial?
Mike: Oh, absolutely. I mean, after we get done talking to those that we target, then we go through the show aisle by aisle, and we'll start on one end or the other so we don't miss any aisles to see what new products or technology. I mean, we're paying to come to the show. We want to see how people can help us in our business.
Karen: Great. Now, you're an attendee at an industry trade show today, but you also experience trade shows in the opposite. You're a vendor at some home and garden shows. How do you maximize that?
Mike: We select the shows that we're going to go to that will fit our business. We don't just go to anything just to try and pitch our business. We try to target specifically. Then when we're at the show, we try to make a simple presence, an inviting presence in our booth, and then we don't go into the aisles to attack people and drag them in. We look for the eye contact that we may have piqued somebody's interest, and then we'll see what they want to talk about. They may want to set up an appointment with us, they may want to talk about roof issues they're having, or they just may want to talk about products to see what's out there. We try to listen to them and then serve them however we can.
Karen: Yeah. Great. Well, thanks for stopping by to talk with us about it and enjoy the rest of the show.
Mike: Thanks for having me.
Mike Pickel is co-founder of Texas Traditions Roofing. See his full bio here.