Will The Real Home and Garden Show Please Stand Up?

These are trying times for Clevelanders.  It seems that last year and this year, we were faced with a challenging situation! A situation that forced us to long for the good old days when there was one Home & Garden Show, and one Remodeling Show. Yes, they were simple times. It appears now that there are several shows, and they tend to occur frequently throughout the year.  This is challenging for not just our local consumers, but for exhibitors as well.

In a difficult economy, exhibitors reach to snag every possible lead. In a difficult economy, consumers struggle to limit their expenses.  With Home & Garden Shows averaging $30.00 for a couple plus at times parking fees ~ it’s difficult to attend more than one. For families, it’s even more challenging. Tickets must now be purchased for 4-6 people plus where there are children ~ there are growling tummies. Yes, Home & Garden Shows are pricey. Are they worth it? If you have the plans to remodel your home or yard this year ~ yes. A consumer is able to locate several contractors to interview for their project. They see the quality of their products, and can compare those products in person all in the same place.  Additionally, if a company can afford booth space and manpower to work it ~ you can feel confident that they’re financially stable to stand behind their work for years to come. In a difficult economy, that means everything! When dealing with items in the home improvement industry ~ up close and personal still holds a lot of merit. Not only do today’s modern home improvement, and home and garden shows play host to the top competitors in their field ~ it also provides feature stages which present speakers that are considered to be at the top of their game in their respective fields. Lastly, for those of us in Northern Ohio, how wonderful is it to simply escape to somewhere warm with colorful flowers, beautiful dream homes and experts discussing orchids? In so many ways, the modern Home and Garden, and Home Improvement Shows give us just a little therapy that is so badly needed in our cold northeast lives! The challenge? Which show to attend? Which show to exhibit at? Consumers can’t possibly afford to attend all of them, and exhibitor’s can’t realistically afford booth space at all of them. So will the real home and garden show please step forward?

As an exhibitor, we’ve been challenged for two years to decide, and restrict where our money would go. We’ve been exhibitors at the Home & Garden Show at the IX Center for at least 25 years. We’ve also been involved with the Remodel Ohio Show organized by PRO at the IX Center for years as well. These are solid, well-organized shows. We’ve enjoyed being a part of it, and they’re quite well attended by consumers. So if there are  two really nice shows at the IX Center, why does Cleveland need another show? Well, as exhibitors we are privy to a little information on this issue. The following is information that has been provided to us by the show organizers and the IX Center. In 2009, to the best of our knowledge, the contract was ended with the company (Expositions Inc) that had organized the Home & Garden Show at the IX Center for years. The contract for 2010 was awarded to Marketplace Events. Marketplace Events had to change the name to the Great Big Home & Garden Expo since Expositions Inc. owned the other name. So the answer to a question that I’ve fielded for a year now, ‘Why on earth did they change the name?’ That’s why. Now, why an extra show? Unfortunately, Expositions Inc did not take losing the contract lightly. So they planned an alternate show at the same time to compete with the IX Center. Regretfully, there is a show that has been placed in the crosshairs so to speak in the war between Expositions Inc & the IX Center. This show is called the Remodel Ohio Show, and has a long-standing reputation for high quality, local contractors. It’s a wonderful show which is managed by PRO (Professional Remodelers of Ohio). The Remodel Ohio Show is all business ~ you will not find anyone selling sunglasses or the next best mop. Remodel Ohio sticks to what consumers want most. Award winning remodeling contractors. Local companies that have consistently produced quality products for years. They have impressive feature homes with outdoor fireplaces, and an Ultimate Mancave that would make any hubby drool. The Remodel Ohio Show is worth a consumers time and money. This show runs January 21st – January 23 at the IX Center. When you stand back, and take a look at this scenario, it certainly appears that they’ve placed Remodel Ohio right in the middle of this civil war by running on the same exact date. Expositions Inc did not have a lot of locations to choose from for their new show. They chose the old Kmart at the Euclid Square Mall. This is being called the Great Lakes Expo Center this year.

There was a lot of confusion last year for consumers, and exhibitors alike. Exhibitors had to gamble as to which show to exhibit at. Consumers, had to gamble on which show to spend their money at. I encountered a lot of customers that did attend the show at the old Kmart in Euclid (Great Lakes Expo Center). Regretfully, the experience was sub par. Their response? I’m never attending another Home & Garden Show again. For exhibitors – this is a tragic opinion which hurts companies showing at all of the shows. The complaints that we received over and over again ~ there were no restrooms, only porta-potties; the lighting was dim, and it was difficult to see the displays; the gardens were less than impressive. Many of our customers also expressed that they felt uncomfortable with the location in general. Over and over and over again I was asked ~ why did they move the show? Well, they didn’t move the show. There is still a Home & Garden Show at the IX Center. They just gave it a new name.   It is now called The Great Big Home & Garden Expo. That show runs from February 5th-February 13th.

As exhibitors, we were apprehensive last year. No one likes change, and we felt a bit like we were diving in head first, but trusted the long-standing reputation that IX Center has. These initial concerns were unnecessary. We were blown away at the sheer size of the gardens. They were twice the size as years past. They were more creative, and cutting age. There were more of them, and they were gorgeous. We’ve exhibited and attended these shows for years, and last year’s gardens were the best we’ve seen. The exhibitors there were top in their field, and the speakers were some of the best available in the United States. As the show shapes up for this year, the gardens are lining up to be amazing, and the speakers are superstars in their fields. So if a home and garden show with no restrooms and lots of Sham Wow displays is what you’re looking for – then head over to the Cleveland Home & Flower Show at the old Euclid Kmart (Great Lakes Expo Center). If you want a home improvement show that delivers contractors with high quality creative products then head to the Remodel Ohio Show at the IX Center, January 21st – January 23rd.  If a home & garden show with drop dead gorgeous landscape displays, amazing water features, and expert after expert on hand then head to the Great Big Home & Garden Expo at the IX Center, February 5th-February 13th.

Show times, speaker schedules and discounted tickets can be purchased on each company’s website. For $3.00 off the ticket price to Remodel Ohio go to www.remodelohio.org. For discounted online tickets to The Great Big Home and Garden Expo, use Promo Code ELYRIAFENCE for $4.00 off ticket prices, www.greatbighomeandgarden.com.