OCEAN CITY – As both the housing market and the weather start to improve the attendance at this year’s Ocean City Home, Condo and Garden Show is expected to be among the best ever. Venders come from all over the country for the opportunity to showcase both their work and their wares.
“It’s the biggest, best attended, most highly advertised home show on Delmarva,” said Mick Wicklein, of Ocean Promotions. The reason it’s so highly attended is because so people like the notion of being able to plan for their spring projects without having to go to each of the vendors.
Since the show has nearly 250 vendors, people understand that it’s a weekend of convenience. Rather than having to spend days comparing price, availability and quality among a particular vendor, attendees get weeks worth of comparison’s completed in only a couple of days.
“They put on a really good show and there’s always a good turnout,” said Nikki Tyler of Tyler Building. She said that people who come through who may have just come to see the craft aspect of the event might top to chat and pick up a card.
“We’ve had people call us three years later,” she said.
For people in the highly competitive building market, she said, the cost of a space compared to the amount of business it generates has always been worth it.
George Phippin of Phippin’s Cabinetry makes the better part of his living by selling to people who’re interested in upgrading their homes for resale value as much as for personal satisfaction. Just as he tells his customers that the investment in countertops and cabinetry makes even more sense in a down economy, he thinks investing the time and money it takes to be part of the Ocean City Home, Condo and Garden Show is worth it.
“We get quite a bit of business off it,” he said. “I’ve been doing business there since I started.”
Randy Warden, who owns Boat Lifts of Ocean City feels like going to the Ocean City Home, Condo and Garden Show gives him a competitive edge. “Once you’ve made face to face contact and shake a potential customer’s hand you have an advantage,” he said. A lot of businesses in his line of work, which ranges from bulkhead replacement to porch and deck work as well as boat lifts, rely primarily on making phone calls to potential customers. By making a personal impression he generates not only jobs, but contract work.
This year he’s taking the opportunity to debut tikimundo.com, a line of artificial tiki bars and huts that hold up better than those of actual grass and bamboo. The reason he’s doing it at the Ocean City Home, Condo and Garden Show is that the show draws a significant number of people who’ve recently purchased homes in the area and require his products and services.
“These people are here to buy,” he said.