Alexa Doiron Contributing writer
The 2017 Spring Home Show had a successful 47th year this past weekend.
The Home Show is put on annually by the Roanoke Regional Home Builders Association (RRHBA) in order to promote businesses and make connections in the community. The event spanned over three days of the weekend and featured events from wine tastings to pet adoption from the SMILES Forever Animal Rescue.
Various business owners set up booths both inside and outside of the Salem Civic Center in order to promote their company and services. On the outside were small local businesses that sold items such as cast-iron lawn decorations. Inside, bigger businesses mingled and presented their services to guests.
Director of Marketing, Rena DeBerry, works the Spring Home Show each year and helps to keep the show organized and the businesses happy. Her work is part of what makes the Spring Home Show flow smoothly and allows for guests to be directed to the service in which they are searching. DeBerry explained that there are four goals of the event: advocacy, collaboration, volunteerism and education. The theme of the show this year was “Paying it Forward,” which was presented through the pet adoption services and the Let’s Do it Clinic and through collaboration with the Burton Center for Arts and Technology.
The businesses in attendance were broken up into three subcategories: the associate advisor counsel, builders and remodelers and associate members.
Fred Corbett is an associate member and owner of South River Contracting along with his wife. He primarily deals in stand-by generators but also is involved in other aspects of the business. Corbett has been coming to the Spring Home Show since 2001 and stays all three days to speak to members of the community and fellow business owners.
“This event puts a face to people’s names,” said Corbett. “I don’t come here to sell anything, I come to plant seeds.” Corbett mentioned a previous client who had met him at the Spring Home Show and kept one of his magnets on her fridge. After three years, the woman still had the magnet and needed his services on a project.
Corbett owns his business alongside his wife, which makes their business classified as a small women’s minority-owned business. This aspect of the business helps to create diversity in a field where there are few women business owners. Corbett and his wife attend the show every year and make sure that their booth is in the same place. In doing this, Corbett says that people will more easily remember his consistency and business.
Chris Moore from Senior Remodeling Experts also had a booth. The company focuses on remodeling parts of homes to make them accessible to the elderly and to people with disabilities. This type of businesses is growing rapidly as more people begin to age and need a more accessible home. The challenge of this field, though, is the resistance that people have to giving in to the pitfalls of aging.
Moore has been coming to the Spring Home Show since 1994. He continues to market his service at the home show because he finds that it creates a long-term approach, which can be a large help when a business such as his is working in a field out of the mainstream.
“The home show is helpful in planting the seed today, for fruition tomorrow,” said Moore. Similarly to Corbett, Moore’s experience at the Spring Home Show is one that has created long-term clients and close relationships.
Another special touch of the Spring Home Show this year was featuring three local female painters in a room of their own. Margaret Sue Turner Wright, Karen Carter and Sue Furrow had a gallery room setup to display their art for people’s homes. The paintings were presented in a way to give guests an idea of how to incorporate works of art into their homes. Furrow even went so far as to create a Room Book, which was a compilation of photos that featured her art in various different rooms and styles. In taking this extra step, guests were able to further visualize the value of having art in their homes.
“If you have something in your home that inspires you and you get to see it every day, it can be uplifting,” said Wright.
The Spring Home Show is an annual event that allows the community to learn more about the businesses in the area as well as participate in interactive events.