Okay, this post is going to be a bit more industry-related as I had quite a few professionals asking me to report back. I’ve attended a lot of shows over the years, and I have to say that combining both the kitchen/bath show with the building show was smart smart smart. Apparently I wasn’t the only one who thought so.
From the official press release of the NAHB (the National Association of Home Builders who put on the IBS show):
More than 75,000 builders, remodelers and suppliers packed the aisles at Design & Construction Week, which ends today at the Las Vegas Convention Center. For the first time, NAHB’s International Builders’ Show, the Kitchen and Bath Industry Show (KBIS) and the International Window Coverings Expo co-located to offer an unparalleled exhibition and education program for all facets of the residential construction industry.
IBS exhibitors filled 440,000 square feet of exhibit space with everything from millwork to marketing services, a significant leap from last year’s total of 355,000 square feet. In all, Design & Construction Week offered attendees more than 650,000 square feet of exhibit space.
Yes, my feet felt it.
According to me:
- On Tuesday when the show opened, I could barely move through the crowds. That has not been the case for some years. The booths were packed to the point that there was no point getting closer to some of them, but that was okay. Both attendees and exhibitors were very enthusiastic. “I brought enough cards and brochures for three days,” one of the exhibitors told my designer mother. “The first day isn’t even over and they’re all gone.”
- Being naturally chatty (have you figured that out yet?), I talked to a lot of people. What was interesting was that I met quite a few first-time attendees this year, ranging from a contractor in the Appalachians to a high-school vocational teacher in Montana (we talked a long time. Our industry needs the next generation of young blood to get in here and stir things up. Otherwise, we won’t have anyone to install your fancy new designs in a couple of years. NAHB did a good job of encouraging students from all walks to participate.)
- For contractors and builders, I think if you haven’t got your accounting and cloud design in place, checking out the corner of the IBS where all the design/accounting applications are, should pay for the cost of attending.
- For me working in a design build firm, the combination of the building show + the kitchen and bath was what I looking forward to. I took away some innovations for windows and doors, the next wave of electronic and phone apps, some fantastic new cabinet and door hardware, and some new finishing details.
- Vegas Baby. That alone is worth the trip. Shows, spas, and good food. I’ve got a whole post planned on the sights and architecture of Las Vegas. It changes every year I visit.
Learning opportunities are everywhere
Even if you simply come to the show to gab with other folks, eventually everyone talks shop. I always take away some tip or detail, whether it’s from contractors, builders, designers, sub-trades, or architects. So, Ken, Pete, Mark, Jorge, Tim, and rest of you who wrote? Yes, it was worth it. Will it be worth it to you? You tell me…next year.
Tips for next year
I don’t like that it’s in January, but hey, they didn’t ask me. Okay, the tips for next year:
- Plan on attending day 2 and 3. Day 1 is a madhouse. Day 3 — you can walk anywhere and talk to anyone.
- Before you go, sit down with a map and plot out a rough idea of a) what you want to see b) what you might like to see or c) surprises. Again, next year will be bigger than this year.
- Your feet will kill you. I took muscle relaxants this year (yes, welcome to those years, yippee) and I needed them.
- It’s pretty dry. Drink lots of water.
- If you’re planning on meeting friends, coordinate hotels as close as possible, or even better, stay in the same hotel. It takes a lot of walking, or taxis just to get from one place to another. A Las Vegas block is staggering. If you don’t believe me, time yourself on how long it takes you to walk along the street besides Caesar’s Palace.
Until next time,