Peoria Home Show goes virtual

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PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — For those looking to update a kitchen, or maybe eyeing a new deck for the summer, the annual Peoria Home Show is a one-stop-shop for home improvement ideas.

The show is going virtual this year; it is usually held at the Peoria Civic Center with about 250 exhibitors.

This year, there are just less than 100 vendors participating. The event is free, and attendees can contact vendors from the comfort of their own home and on their own time. It is on-going through Sunday, Feb. 28.

Lisa Scott, Executive Director of the Home Builders Association of Greater Peoria, said they started planning and booking vendor booths for the show last July. They had hoped it would be in person, but a virtual show was their Plan B.

Scott said some were skeptical about holding a virtual show, but with everyone at home all the time, the silver lining is that contractors are very busy.

“If you’ve tried to find a contractor, or plasterer, or painter, or landscaper, you find that they’re pretty backed up because, with people at home, they’re looking to improve their homes and maybe even create a home office space,” she said.

Chuck Gabbert, president of C.T. Gabbert Remodeling & Construction, said face-to-face interaction is a big deal, and they usually have five booths at the show.

In addition to participating in the virtual show, his company is also offering live virtual seminars on its website.

“You can go live, and ask questions back and forth, and they’re about 20 minutes long,” he said.

Gabbert said the showroom is also available by appointment; a nod to how people like to touch materials before making a decision.

Scott said there has been a great response so far in terms of signups, and there are lots of prizes and giveaways to entice people. Everyone who signs up will also receive two free tickets to the fall home show in September, which will be in-person.

And even though the tactile element isn’t there, is still a good idea to attend if you have any home remodeling projects coming up.

“You can get ideas, and you can get to know what the builders are about, how they operate, and see some of the past projects they’ve done,” said Gabbert.

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