FLINT, MI — More than 1,000 people hopeful for the arrival of spring showed up March 29-30 for the annual Home and Garden Show at Perani Arena.
“We’re anxious for spring. We’re here to get some ideas for our garden, outdoor gardening,” said Terry Mortier, of Grand Blanc, looking over items Sunday. “Just getting ideas of pond stone and new plants to put outside. It’s nice that it’s in one place and you can get a lot of information quickly so that you can figure out what you want to do.”
Perani Arena and Event Center now runs the show in-house after it was previously led by Chuck Lambert for more than 70 years and by the Building Industry Association of Southeastern Michigan from 2010-2011.
“It is a long-running show and a pretty successful event. We’re
trying to re-grow the show as far as the number of vendors and how many people
come to the show,” said Jeremy Torrey, director of operations for Perani. “So we’ve had some success over the last couple of years
re-building the show.”
In chatting with some of the show’s more than 60 vendors in attendance, Torrey said, “I’ve heard from a lot of our vendors that business is
starting to pick up a little bit so that’s a good sign and hopefully they’ll
have a big spring and summer season.”
With the economy improving, people are definitely starting to
put money into their homes again, said Justin Salzano, a
salesman at DW Windows Sunrooms in Davison Township. He noted sunrooms and acrylic bath
wraps are popular this year.
“This show is probably one of our best shows that
we do as far as home and garden shows. This is our target market right here. It’s
nice because people are coming directly to you basically,” said Salzano. “There are no real
sales-y things that have to happen because they’re coming to you for the home
and garden show. So you know they’re truly interested and you’re not wasting
your time. It’s an easy market for us as far as that goes.”
Brand recognition and networking were the main goals for the
vendors in attendance.
trying to get out and meet people from the community and get brand awareness.
We will come (every year) from now on,” said Wayne Lake, general manager of Two Men and a Truck. “We’ve had quite a few people that were
interested in moving and they’ve had questions that we were able to answer. Put
a face with the name, you know. There’s definitely a lot of local moving still.”
Vendors providing a variety of services including security
systems, pool sales and maintenance, windows, dish network, water purifying
services, moving companies, outdoor landscaping and many more attended the
event that serves as a launching point for their sales season.
“They get started on business
for the year here. It’s always proven to be successful for them. They always get
a lot of business out of the show,” Torrey said. “The main reason that we decided to do the
show is because, in our view, it’s important to the economy here and it’s important
to our local vendors. And if we can help them generate business and improve the
economy here, then we want to do that.”