A few comments, meanderings, and observations over the last few weeks that might be of interest to the industry.
I was in Portland last week for the opening of the “Street of Dreams Event” organized and sponsored by the Greater Portland Home Builders Association. This year the event showcased 6 energy efficient, well appointed homes priced from $ 670,000 to $ 1.2 million USD. Each home was unique in its design and featured innovative products with a strong focus on utilizing green products throughout the home.
In discussions with Nancy Haskin, Director of Member Services and Events for the GPHBA, it is expected that over 45,000 attendees will walk thru the houses over the month of August. The demographic includes builders, architects, designers, and a large percentage of the general public looking at new and innovative designs for their own homes.
Of interest to the Industry should be the potential marketing opportunities that come from participation in “Street of Dreams” events in Portland and other markets in the Western United States. Here is how it works: BC manufacturers who supply product to the residential construction markets approach the local Home Builder Association who is the organizer of the upcoming Street of Dreams event. The Association connects the BC supplier with the appropriate builder who then negotiates a price for the supply of product into the home. Commonly, the builder will want to supply the product at cost in exchange for the exclusive right to showcase the products over the duration of the event.
Who should look at this and why? BC manufacturers of exterior and interior building and finished products used in residential construction. Of particular interest to builders are, millwork and finished products including doors, windows, flooring, mouldings, and cabinetry. Also, exterior products, such as, siding, fence panelling, and decorative trim have strong interest. Participation at these events provides an excellent venue to showcase your products to thousands of potential customers at a relatively low cost.
The one caveat is having a distribution network in place prior to exhibiting in a “Street of Dreams” event is a must. The event will create plenty of interest in your products but the value of that will be lost if you cannot easily get your products into the hands of the end user.