In regards to your question about marketing at a home or trade show, I have some experience in this realm.
20 years ago I designed and installed a small intimate garden exhibit at the San Francisco Garden Show. I had just recently moved to the Bay area and wanted to open my own design practice.
The show was a success for me.
After 5 days of ‘show time’ I had enough work to last over a year and installation budgets ranged from 25K to 475 K for an estate garden in Palo Alto.
I participated in the show for 3 more years and each year was just as successful as the first with the average residential installation in the $ 275K
Fast forward to 2008. I decided to do the garden show again. This time is was mostly for personal reasons rather than business ( surviving a life threatening disease can make you do strange things )
In terms of satisfying a personal desire the show was a success. There was even an added extra bonus in that we were given an award for our efforts.
But as far as generating a couple hundred thousand dollars in sales revenue that did not materialize.
I got several design jobs from the show but nothing in comparison to previous years.
I think it is a much greater gamble of your marketing dollars to invest in a garden/ home / trade show during this extremely difficult economic time.
In my neck of the woods people are being quite conservative in how they choose to spend their money.
A client has to be very committed to their project these days to make it fly.