December 1, 2013

"The 60 Day Countdown to IBS 2014 Begins"

As a 28-year member of NAHB, one of the events I always look forward to every year is the International Builders’ Show (IBS), since attending my first IBS in 1998. In all the years I’ve been going to the show, I always find something or someone that will benefit my business in the coming year. It could be a unique new product that was just launched or lessons learned from one of the over 100 education sessions that are offered during the show. But without a doubt, I always come back home thinking that the money spent to attend the show was a wise investment.
And, this year, since I am on the 2013 Convention & Meetings Committee, I am getting to see how the show is run, first-hand.  It’s amazing to see how much work goes into planning for just three days!  But literally, the 2014 show was already being worked on while we were at the 2013 show.

This year’s show is in Las Vegas again, February 4th-6th and one of the things I am most excited about this year in particular is the co-location of the 2014 IBS with the National Kitchen & Bath Association’s (NKBA) Kitchen & Bath Industry Show (KBIS).  I’ve always heard lots of great things about KBIS, but could never justify the budget to go to both shows.  I am just thrilled that IBS attendees will get the benefit of being able to visit the floors of both shows, plus the exhibits of a third show, the International Window Coverings Expo.  This new mega-event is being called Design & Construction Week and will have over 1,500 exhibitors and 600,000 square feet of exhibits.  Wear your most comfortable shoes!
NAHB and NKBA have the vision that Design & Construction Week will become the place where the entire building and design community comes together.  To that end, they’ve invited affiliated industry associations to become “supporting organizations.”  Those groups will help promote Design & Construction Week to their members and the leaders of these organizations will sit down with the CEOs of NAHB and NKBA for the Design & Construction Week Roundtable, where they’ll discuss shared industry issues. This is the first time such a group has been brought together.
In addition to the opportunities that are available to us through the co-location of the two shows, there are also a couple of other can’t-miss things I like to do each year.  One is The New American Home tour.  Every year, I think “Wow, this is the best New American Home yet!”  This year’s home looks to be amazing!  It’s a 6,700 square foot, multi-generational home that has cutting-edge energy efficiency and sustainability with a contemporary desert design.  The tour is free, but you need a ticket in order to get on the shuttle bus.  Pick up your tickets at The New American Home tour booth in the Central Hall Concourse beginning at 7:30 a.m. each day.  Plan to get to the booth early in the day; the tour does sell out each year.
One of the things I’ve learned as part of being on the Convention & Meetings Committee is that NAHB has really made an investment in the education portion of the show in the past two years.  Last year, the NAHB Education Committee whittled down the number of education sessions by half in order to improve the quality of the sessions.  And this year, in addition to the 80+ new speakers they’ve enlisted for the 2014 show, they’ve increased the number of advanced-level Master sessions, added both Spotlight sessions and a Tech Hub, to provide an interactive experience that encourages attendees to “plug in” and participate in the sessions and they’ve expanded the number of opportunities for show floor education.  They’ve also added a new area on the show floor, called the High Performance Building Zone, where you can see live product demonstrations  and a new education track specifically for Material Dealers, Suppliers and Specialty Trade attendees.  That’s important, because this is a key audience for the exhibitors and about a quarter of our attendees.
The final thing I love about IBS is the networking opportunities.  Anyone who reads this blog already knows that I love networking, both social media and face-to-face. IBS is hands-down the best networking opportunity of the year for NAHB members and having fun at the same time. 

Check out some of these special events going on during the show that NAHB sponsors.  That’s a fraction of the special events going on during the show, because many exhibitors also host special events.  Another networking avenue that NAHB opened up a couple of years ago was the Centrals; six building industry niche-specific areas where attendees with similar interests can share ideas and learn from one another.
I am energized just thinking about all the possibilities in just three days!  I hope you’ll consider joining me there and making a wise investment in YOUR future!

Submitted by Michael Kurpiel, CGA, CGP

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

nice job east coast Mike! scott
IBS will be huge again.