NH STATE HOME SHOW GSA ORIENTATION NOTES
Overview of Event
This is the 52nd annual NH State Home Show. The Home Show is organized by the New Hampshire Home Builders Association (NHHBA), a non-profit association of industry professionals dedicated to providing quality housing opportunities through education, vision and advocacy for the betterment of our communities.
Our primary contact with NHHBA is Karen Lamontagne, who is the volunteer coordinator for the Home Show. She herself is a volunteer, and will be in charge of the non-GSA volunteers at the event. All of the other volunteers are members of NHHBA. If you have any questions during the show and can’t find Emily, Karen is the person to ask.
There are more than 300 vendors at this event, and it takes up the whole hotel. There are exhibits in the South Hall (Expo Center), Concourse (the area directly outside of the Expo Center) and the North Hall (the Ballroom and Armory.)
Other special events this year include the Junior Lego Build for kids
improvement topics throughout the weekend
Things to note:
- Opening ceremonies will be held on Friday at noon in the lobby lounge of the hotel, and are open to the public. The Mayor of Manchester is expected to attend.
- Instead of a silent auction at the show to benefit Hammers for Veterans (http://builderscarenh.com/bcnhf-programs/hammers-for-veterans/), This year they will be selling tickets to be entered into a raffle to win a solid wood canoe kit. This should be on display at the show for people to see. They also are selling a set of cabinets and of course will take general.
- If you are asked where to check in for the Lego Build, the answer is at a separate table for the Lego check in in the north hall entrance, near the ticket booth. (Armory/Ballroom side of the hotel). Participants were to have pre-registered, and the folks there will have a list and can answer questions. There will be a separate table for the Lego check in in the north hall entrance, near the ticket booth.
- There will not be a $50,000 giveaway. This year there was an “ugly”door contest online before the show and the top three doors will be displayed at Belletetes Booth for the public to vote on. The door at the end of the weekend will receive a $1600 door package from Belletetes and Masonite. There is also a complete smart home display in the Armory section of the hotel. This is an 800 sq ft show home built on site showcasing the latest and greatest technology.
- There will be no newspaper coupons this year.
Friday, March 8: 1 – 8 p.m.
Saturday, March 9: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Sunday, March 10: 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Weekend Pass: $15.00
Seniors 62 and over: $7.00
Under 12: FREE
With Military I.D.: $6.00
Exhibitors get in free with their name badge, and they must stop at the exhibitor check-in booth
every day during the show to get a badge.
- Guests may receive $3 off of their admission by either bringing in non-perishable food or toiletry donations for Harbor Homes. This discount is applied to whatever price they would have paid without it – for example, a senior who brings canned goods only has to pay $3. They will be given a ticket from the harbor homes table.
- Some guests will have complimentary tickets, they are printed on cardstock and in color.
- The information booth is located just inside the entrance to the South Hall, next to the show office. The person stationed here will provide directions to vendors and attendees, help with parking validation, and generally answer questions and help out. If you have any questions here you can ask the Home Show staff in the office just behind the booth.
- Attendees and exhibitors can get discounted parking in the garage ($6) at the information booth in the South Hall or at the NHHBA booth in the North Hall (It’s just inside the doors)
- The NHHBA has generously offered to pay for GSA parking in the garage, you may bring your ticket in to Emily to be validated. If you’re familiar enough with the area, please consider parking in the street when it’s free – parking for 50 plus volunteers at $6 each will add up quickly.
- On street parking is free on Saturday (everywhere except Elm St.) and Sunday.
- Show management is asking that if volunteers, exhibitors and staff must park in the garage that they park on the top level, to create more space for attendees.
- There are a number of parking lots nearby, including the lot behind TD Bank between W. Merrimack and Middle Streets that are free on Saturday and Sunday.
Where to Check In When You Arrive
No matter which end of the hotel you’ll be working in, please check in with Emily near the entrance to the South Hall/Expo Center. Emily will be there beginning about 15 minutes before each shift. We’ve built in time for you to check in, get the information you need, and walk over to the North Hall if necessary.
What To Do With Your Coats and Bags
Please leave large handbags and valuables locked in your car. There will be coat racks outside of
the Expo Center and Ballroom where you can hang your coats, or if you’re at the ticket booths or
popcorn booth you can have them with you under the counter or on the back of the chair.
Bring water! Most positions will have a place to stash a small water bottle out of sight, and if
you are walking around we can figure out a safe place for you to leave it while you’re out on the
We do our best to make sure everyone gets a break on the shifts that are longer than 3 hours, and if
you know you’ll be hungry you can bring a small snack (that fits in your pockets or waist pack) to
eat during that break. The DoubleTree also sells sandwiches and other lunch type foods (they’ll be
open 11-6 on Saturday, and 11-2 on Sunday), and you can get snacks and drinks for $1 each at the
PLEASE DO NOT EAT WHILE YOU ARE ON DUTY
What to Wear
Full GSA uniform (GSA logo shirt or plain green shirt, khaki pants/skirt, name tag, and
No large bags or pocketbooks (waist packs are okay.)
PLEASE NO CELL PHONES OUT WHILE ON DUTY! If you need to take a phone call, please notify someone and step away from your position. Even if you have downtime, please do not use your phone while on duty.
If you plan to visit the show either before or after your shift, be aware that if you are in uniform, you might be asked to help an exhibitor and watch their booth. We ask that if you don’t want to be available for this, that you either bring another shirt to change into, or a jacket to cover up your uniform. If you’re in uniform, please help them if they ask! You can let Emily know afterward how much extra time you spent helping, and she’ll make sure you get hours credit for it.
Please plan to be on your feet for your entire shift!
Emily will be the GSA event manager there for the entire show. If you need to get off your
feet for a moment (or run to the restroom, or get a drink of water) please ask! Especially if you are
doing one of the 4-hour shifts, it’s totally fine if you need to take a 10-15 minute break partway
through. There are also a few positions with chairs, such as some of the traffic/security volunteers,
and at the ticket booths.
How to Help Guests/Exhibitors with Issues
It’s important to remember that we are representing not just NHGSA, but also the Home Builders
Association. If an exhibitor or a guest is having a problem, do your best to help, but please try not
to get too involved in the situation. 99% of the time your answer will be: “I’m sorry you’re having
trouble with that, I’m a volunteer, let me find someone from management who can help you.”
Then take their name and booth number and send over the appropriate person.
The best place to get help is at the Information Booth (just inside the door of the South Hall/Expo Center) or in the North Hall, at the Home Builders Association’s booth.
In the event of an emergency:
There will be a Manchester Fire Marshal on duty during the show who will walking around or
near the information booth/show office in the South Hall.
If s/he is not right there, any of the Home Show staff can help – they will be wearing green vests or
sweatshirts, and carrying walkie talkies. They have a phone number for the firefighter.
In the event of a big emergency that requires evacuation of the building, stay safe and do as
directed by emergency personnel. Once you’re out of the building, GSAs will meet at the
Manchester Information Center across the street from the hotel.
Ticket Sales/Wrist Bands:
- Each position will be staffed by two people, usually one GSA and one NHHBA member. One person will collect money and coupons, and the other will put on wrist bands and pass out magazines/programs. Either of you can do either job – if you have a preference please let the GSA manager know when you arrive.
- This year they are trying to track attendance by having the wrist bands bundled in packs of 50, so please only open one at a time. If you have to replace a wrist band for any reason (put it on too tight, it tore when you opened it, etc.) please save it.
- They accept cash, credit cards, and complimentary passes. They do not take checks. Cash Registers (Sharon from the NHHBA will train on this) will be at each of the ticket booths that will be emptied periodically. If you have a lot of large bills, or need change, ask the traffic/security volunteer near your booth to have someone from the show office (info booth) come and help you.
- They have a new credit card system this year, and only NHHBA volunteers will be processing credit cards.
- There are some complimentary tickets that were given out to sponsors and Exhibitors. Take the complimentary tickets and give them a wrist band. There are no refunds for donating food with the complimentary tickets.
- There will be a sheet at the ticket booth that lists the people who are allowed to take cash from the registers, and another with pictures of all the acceptable coupons and tickets. Please save coupons that come in to the ticket booth. The NHHBA will use for analysis of attendance.
- Children under 12 are admitted free of charge. They don’t have to have a wrist band, but many children like to have one, and it’s fine to give them one.
- Always put the wrist band directly on the attendee, don’t just hand it to them. When putting on a wrist band be sure that it’s not too loose or too tight. The easiest way to make sure it’s just right is to keep your first two fingers under the band as you’re putting it on.
- If a patron would like a receipt for their ticket, send them to the information booth.
- Since the show is so large, it does take a couple of hours to see everything. They charge full price for tickets right up through closing time. If someone comes in after 5 p.m. on Friday or Saturday and is making a scene about not getting enough time to see everything, send them to the information booth/show office.
- You will have a list of exhibitors in alphabetical order and another in numerical order by booth. This list is the most up to date available – it may be slightly different than the printed program, because changes can happen in the two weeks between sending the program to the printers and show weekend.
- This volunteer will be posted near one of the entrances, and will be checking to make sure that guests have their wrist bands, and exhibitors have their printed badges.
- Just politely ask to see their wrist band, and if they don’t have one direct them to the ticket booth. (Or exhibitor check in if they are working at a booth.)
- The North Hall especially is vulnerable to people trying to sneak in. Don’t be afraid to ask someone to see their wrist band, and if they tell you that they paid but didn’t get one at the South Hall they are trying to pull one over on you. All attendees entering any of the exhibit areas must have a wrist band.
- Please direct anyone who doesn’t have a wristband to the ticket booth to purchase one. Exhibitors who don’t have their badges can get them from the computers at the exhibitor check in booth near the ticket booths.
- It’s very unlikely that anyone will give you a hard time, but if someone is insisting they paid or otherwise being stubborn, you can walk them over to the information booth in the South Hall to talk to event staff. There are usually enough other volunteers around that someone can cover your position. Remember, you’re a volunteer, it’s not your job to handle those tough customers, just to make sure they get to the right person to help them.
- If someone pushes past you, just let Emily or someone from the show know.
Vendor Check-In/Online tickets
- Check that anyone entering through the exhibitor entrance has a wrist band or exhibitor name tag.
- Exhibitors will need to print a new name tag each day.
- They can print their tags by using the touch-screen computers at the exhibitor check in booth.
- You will be stationed near the touch-screen computers, and show exhibitors how to use them if they need help.
- A common question from exhibitors is about wifi availability – they were given the opportunity to purchase wifi access directly from the Radisson, and if they did they should have received a password. If they need any help with this, send them to the info booth.
- Run the popcorn and coffee makers.
- Sell both (plus other snacks) to attendees.
- All popcorn booth items cost $1, cash only.
- You will have a cash box with change. If it gets too full let Emily or Home Show staff know, and someone will come and empty it for you.
- Last shift of the day please tidy the booth, empty the popcorn machine, and rinse out the coffee pots.
- Checking competitors in
- Setting up the tables
- Helping the competitors
- Clean up after the competition.
- Sundays event is for children ages 8-10.
If you need to reach Emily by phone, her cell is 244-0757. Please call if you are running late or won’t make it for your shift. Texts are fine, too, but please identify yourself in the text.
THANK YOU AND HAVE FUN!