VOL. 117 | NO. 39 | Tuesday, February 25, 2003
Home Expo features latest in goods, technology
Home Expo features latest in goods, technology
By STACEY WIEDOWER
The Daily News
From up-to-the-minute home technology to the latest in
landscape design, prospective homebuyers, current homeowners, curious
passers-by and members of the trade can gather information about all aspects of
home building and design at this years Home Expo, an annual event presented by
the Memphis Area Home Builders Association.
The show, which runs from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday and
Saturday and from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday at Agricenter International, 7777
Walnut Grove Road, features about 200 vendors who will showcase products
ranging from countertops to audio-visual equipment to bathtubs.
We hope that we can cover any persons needs, whether
theyre looking to remodel or just looking for ideas, or even just wanting to
come and see what the latest trends are in home design and products for the
home, said Jessica Brown, MAHBA marketing and development director.
Anything you really want to know about home design or home
building can be answered at our show.
The show has been offered in Memphis for more than 30 years,
and is sponsored this year by local building firm Chamberlain & McCreery.
It kicks off Thursday with Builder Night, a preview event for MAHBAs builder
It gives builder members an advantage, Brown said. They
get to come in and see the latest designs before the public does. And, they get
to see the vendors and talk to them one-on-one before the Expo is open to the
That opening night provides a marked benefit for firms
such as Acme Brick, Tile & More, which gains much of its customer base from
within the home building market, said Kelley Atkins, a residential territory
manager for Acme and chairman of this years expo.
The majority of our business does come through residential
home building, Atkins said. As residential home building goes, so goes Acme
He said the general weekend crowd provides great benefit to
exhibitors, as well.
The weekend brings about 15,000 to 20,000 in attendance,
he said. Thats a huge retail exposure for anyone in the market who does
remodeling or home building or anything of that nature.
Gary Hoefler, co-owner of Home Technology Plus, a home-based
business that offers home control systems, audio-video distribution and
low-voltage control systems, said the expo offers a creative environment and a
place where serious buyers come to examine goods and services.
It gives us exposure to a number of clients who otherwise
we wouldnt get to see, said Hoefler, who has participated in the expo for
The types of products his company displays are a major draw
for the show, as attendees always are excited to see the latest and greatest
high-tech gadgetry, he said.
The industry has evolved from the time when people were
satisfied in homes to be able to have a television in a room and a telephone in
some rooms to now, when wiring structure has evolved and the capacity of the
infrastructure is much more capable in not only speed, but in preparation, he
His company has run anywhere from 3 miles to 25 miles of
low-voltage wiring in homes, and has installed systems ranging from standard
surround sound to high-end digital light projection rooms, he said.
Technology-driven vendors in the past have enticed visitors
with dramatic light and sound, Atkins said.
They have their surround sound going on, and you can hear
them booming throughout most of the Agricenter when theyre cranking up some of
their displays, which often include fully assembled home theaters, he said.
Other vendors displays are equally elaborate.
Bartlett Landscapes booth will include an arbor, fountain
and loads of pictures of projects completed by the design, build, landscape and
pool company, said landscape designer and consultant David McGittigan.
He said the expo provides not only a backdrop for attracting
new residential customers, but also an essential networking tool.
You get to see new ideas and you can say, Hey, come on in
here and lets see how we can work some of your new product into our business,
as well, he said. From a networking standpoint, its very advantageous.
He added that the expo provides access to qualified
customers, and generates a tremendous amount of sales leads.
Generally, what Ive found from the expo is that customers
are on a mission, McGittigan said. Theyre looking for sashes, or theyre
looking for landscape, or theyre looking for countertops.
It just gets people who are direct and know what they want,
who are definitely interested in certain aspects of the home a more qualified
Barbara Spahn, co-owner of sunroom installation firm Rooms
with a View, said the expo and similar events provide the companys primary
source of advertising.
People usually seem to be pretty interested if they bother
to come to the show theyre already in the mood to renovate, or theyre
building, said Spahn, who has showcased her companys sunroom products at the
event for 10 years. They certainly get a lot of ideas, and they get to compare
In addition to building-related firms, vendors include real
estate agents, mortgage lenders, furniture suppliers and other home-related
Atkins said the products and services showcased at the expo
draw a diverse crowd.
All the companies, through technology advances, come out with
new and innovative products that year after year become more creative and
better in general, and thats what keeps people coming back to the show
because there is always something new, he said.