Mama I’m Coming Home

How’s that little project coming along?

National Home Show Slogan

I visited the National Home Show in Toronto the other day and had a few thoughts on how it could be better, or at least more useful to someone like me.  If you are looking for someone to: sell you a fridge, build your kitchen cabinets, sell you a hottub, slicer, dicer, mixer or ladder, give you a quote on a $10000+ reno project, or, oddly enough, sell you a car, then you should’ve gone to the Home Show. If you wanted to check out new and innovative products, green solutions, examples of new home construction and landscaping, then you were likely going to be disappointed.  Now I realize that the event is going to naturally be filled by companies who believe they can drum up business out of their booth, which likely scares off some of the more cutting edge products, but even the auto show, faced with potential extinction still found a place for an exhibit on the green car, and a lot of groups working on alternative fuel solutions.  Aside from a “garden” exhibit that featured more decks than plants, and the odd exhibitor with a unique and new product, the entire show was decidely underwhelming.  Even if I was a homeowner looking for ideas/products for my home, I still would’ve found a trip to the Home Depot or Lowe’s a better use of my time.

The stated goal of the National Home Show is: This is your last weekend to find new ideas and inspirations, get expert advice and find the lowest prices on home improvement products and services from more than 700 retailers. They certainly acheived the last of those, and I suppose the stages provided the expert advice often enough (we didn’t stick around to watch any seminars), but in the first two I think they failed.  There weren’t a lot of new ideas or inspirations, just a lot of companies peddling products that have been around for years.  From what I saw, the most cutting edge ideas were composite deck materials, and rubber foundation wrap.  Not exactly the stuff of science fiction turned fact.

How could they improve the show?  Well I think it begins by providing an area for showcasing innovative ideas and products, including those dreamed up by grad students, outside of the “dream home.”  I know they want to make money by selling booths to random retailers like the book people, but perhaps they could save some space, maybe even in the entry area for those types of displays. Perhaps they could even sponsor a design competition, a landscape competition (which I thought they used to), and some kind of contest for green technologies.  I think it would make for a much more well rounded show.

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