It's that time of year when everyone's back to school, and your thoughts return to that renovation project you've been mulling over. It's easy to stay in this stage of preparation - for years! But a great way to really propel your project forward is a trade show. There are plenty to choose from throughout the year; we highly recommend the upcoming Homebuilding and Renovating Show at the ExCeL centre in London on the 21st -23rd September.
If you've never been to a trade show before, it can be rather overwhelming so here are our top three tips for making the most of your visit:
Make a bee line for sign ups
The Homebuilding and Renovating Show hosts some great resources; among them is the Planning Clinic. You can sign up for a free 15 minute planning consultation with a leading expert. This is perfect if you haven't yet met with an architect but you want some feedback on whether what you imagine - is in fact possible! It's a broad brush but will definitely give you some direction.
Make a list
There are over 1000 different exhibitors which is an amazing opportunity but from experience, it's very easy to get distracted! Have a clear agenda of who you want to visit.
If you are at the stage where you want to specify the type of windows and doors to your new extension - target these suppliers. You can see the profiles of the doors and handles, talk through the different options available to you in terms of glass protection / UV protection etc., and get all the literature you need.
This visit can be invaluable for product selection, as competitors are all under one roof, making your job slightly easier. But don't forget to stay focused!
If instead you are at the stage of mulling and dreaming, then opt for popping round the architects & designer stalls to get some inspiration! There’s also a number of stages with free seminars covering multiple topics, so if you are at the start of your project maybe plan to catch one from the “Design inspiration” series like “how to add wow factor to your home” or “how to create beautiful interiors”. These will definitely leave you with bags of ideas!
Make time for a coffee
A crucial part of the day is to make sure you have some time to digest everything you have been told, all the information you've been given and flick through the literature you've picked up. Parking yourself somewhere for half an hour and having a moment to collect yourself might be our top tip infact! It's so easy to run around (literally like a headless chicken) and mentally be making a list of lots of intentions and things you want to research more and people you want to follow up on and then you go and catch the train home and back into life you go! I guarantee you that taking this time to scribble down a few decisions, a couple of thoughts and ideas will make the whole day worthwhile - and it'll be the thing you keep coming back to!