Home Expo a festival for flood-weary Calgarians

A friendly and personal experiences are what Calgarians got at the 2014 Home Expo Jan. 17-19.

The show is staged by the Homeowners Association and Calgary region, and was held at the BMO Centre at Stampede Park.

“Calgary is really an international centre for this kind of thing, and we are one of the trades show events that are here,” said show producer Rick Young.

Young has been at his position for more than 25 years, and considers his job is “a great privilege to do.”

“Face-to-face marketing is what [the expo] is really about,” he explained.

The Home Expo gives consumers a chance to mingle with prospective businesses, and gives contractors and business owners a chance to gain a new client base.

“When the times get busy, you have to count on your relationships because everybody wants some of these trades,” said Young.

Calgary’s Stampede Park is able to host the home show, and easily provides space for nearly 200 vendors and hundreds of attendees.

Young explained that the Homeowners Association is grateful for the chance to host the first show of the year.

“People are getting excited about getting things done, and its winter and they have to wait and so on. We are the first opportunity they have to come out and see great products for the home, and to talk to contractors,” he said.

For Larry Dahl, a system design specialist for Basement Systems Calgary, “it has been a very, very busy year to say the least.”

Dahl explains that this was mainly due to the torrential June floods, and it kept the company booked.

He is at the expo as both an exhibitor, and to “meet-and-greet” with renovators, home builders and other establishments that his business may be able to work for or partner with on jobs.

The show ranges in exhibitions from flooring specialists, to general contractors, landscapers and designers. Other displays included cleaning products, cookware and custom art.

Calgary Home Expo 2014
Talking things up: Geoff Gay presenting a big idea to a prospective client, who wished to remain anonymous while at the Calgary Home Expo 2014. Gay works with Smart Systems Technologies, a primarily residential company.

Geoff Gay, a representative from Smart Space Technologies Ltd., showed off impressive electronics which varied from automated home theatre, to shades and lighting, to security systems. Gay says that the company serves mostly the residential market.

“A big driving force this year has obviously been the flood, so a lot of people are repairing and re-doing jobs they had previously,” he says.

“We’ve done the Home Expo for the last three years, but we felt it important to do it again this year because making sure we were visible [to new clients as well as existing customers] was important to us.”

The atmosphere of the convention is friendly, and many people seemed interested and excited, but not all are impressed.

According to a couple who wished not to be named, this year was not worth the money for parking an entrance. When asked how it compared to previous years, the man laughed, saying only “it doesn’t, really.”

Others, such as Penny and Bob Ohlhauser enjoyed themselves.  Bob Ohlhauser joked that he is only along “being chauffer for [his] wife” to shop for decorating ideas, but ultimately, he said they were happy with their purchases.

“The house is new, and now we need ideas for furnishing and decorating things, to make the house a little warmer, and maybe a little more country,” he added.

About Kalisha Mendonsa 5 Articles
As a writing and communications major in the journalism program at SAIT, Kalisha Mendonsa worked as a reporter for The Press during the 2013-2014 academic year.