September 3, 2015


While January is still 4 months away, there is no better time than the beginning of September to talk about the show because the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) has special information for you that will save you time and money as well as how to make the most out of your 2016 International Builders’ Show investment!
Today's guest blogger is Tom Swartz, 2015 NAHB Chairman for Conventions & Meetings, with today's emphasis on CONVENTION!

Tom is the third generation owner of J. J. Swartz Co., a company that was founded in 1921.  Annual sales volume is over $4 million.  His company employs 35 field, production, sales and office staff.  The primary business has been residential and commercial remodeling and insurance restorations since 1921. Tom's full, and impressive, bio can be found by clicking here.

"Why I Never Miss the NAHB IBS"
by Tom  Swartz, CGR, CAPS

Tom Swartz, CGR, CAPS
My first "Builders Show" was in 1976, but I started to attend regularly beginning in 1985 when I was the local association president of the Metro Decatur (IL) Home Builders Association (I am now in Naples, FL, and a proud Senior Life Director at the Collier BIA), I was looking for answers and guidance for our remodeling business.  Since 1985, I have only missed one IBS, due to a family health issue.  Why haven't I missed a show since then?  Bottom line is that I turned to NAHB and IBS for the networking and educational experiences that are shared with fellow builders and remodelers, as well as the associate members that support our business.  I truly believe that those experiences paved the way to my success in J.J. Swartz Co, a 95-year-old construction company (now under the direction of the 4th generation, Brad Swartz).

I’m chairman of the 2015 Convention & Meetings Committee, which means I have oversight of the upcoming show in Vegas, January 19-21.  I may be a bit biased, but this year’s show is not to be missed.  Here are just a few of the reasons why:  
First and foremost, the exhibits.  Quite simply, you’ll never get another chance to see more of the most exciting and innovative building products in one place this year – we’ll have 500,000 net square feet of exhibits at this show, with 1,300 exhibitors.  Think of the time you can save yourself!  Plus, IBS is once again co-locating with the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show (KBIS) and the International Window Coverings Expo (IWCE), as well as co-dating with The International Surface Event (TISE).  TISE starts and ends a day later than IBS, so plan your trip accordingly.  Your IBS registration gives you access to all four shows that are part of Design & Construction Week, which adds further value to your trip!

Next, the education.  It’s first class and getting better every year.  The Convention Education Subcommittee has really taken attendee feedback to heart, so you’ll see a lot of new educational programming and speakers this year.  In addition, leverage your week in Vegas with a deep dive into one or more industry topics with NAHB’s pre-show courses.  You can take a course or two for an NAHB designation, continuing education credits or simply because you want more info on a specific topic.  I have to tell you that getting my Certified Graduate Remodeler (CGR) designation was one of the best things I did for my business and career.

This might not be a surprise to some of you, but my favorite part of the show is the networking and special events.  And, this year, we’ve got some amazing special events planned for you.  Headlining the Opening Ceremonies, on Tuesday, January 19 is comedian and all-around nice guy, Jay Leno!  What a great way to start out the show!  That evening, The Official IBS House Party will be in full swing at Brooklyn Bowl Las Vegas, at the LINQ.  Great food and drink is included in your ticket – and you have your choice of bowling, dancing or just hanging out.  There are more events at the show than I can list here, but I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the IBS Spike Concert, featuring Hall & Oates, which will close down the show in style on Thursday night.  

Some of the best networking takes place on the exhibit floor and in the IBS Centrals.  We’ll have six niche Centrals (Sales, Design Studio, 55+ Housing, Multifamily, Custom Building and Remodeling) where you can mix and mingle with other like-minded professionals.  The Centrals are open to anyone with an IBS badge.  Be sure to check one or more of them out – you’ll be glad you did!

Another highlight of the show – and something I’ve had my hand in for many, many years is The New American Home, the official IBS show home.  Quite simply, the house is going to be stunning and anyone who visits will get a fantastic, real-world demonstration of the latest concepts in architecture, construction techniques, new products and lifestyle trends.  Be sure to sign up for a tour early (the tour is complimentary, but you do need a ticket and they do run out); it will be worth your time.  The New American Home is produced annually by the NAHB Leading Suppliers Council, which I chaired twice.

While you can register for the show any time, the very best deals on registration pricing are taking place in September only.  You’ll get $100 off a full registration, which includes access to the exhibit floor plus the education sessions I mentioned earlier AND access post-show to IBS Education On-Demand.  September also brings our FREE Expo Pass offer for NAHB members ($50 beginning on October 1st), that will allow you access to those 1,300+ exhibits I mentioned above – and a free spouse pass ($25 beginning on October 1st)!  And, since we’ll be sharing the city with the other Design & Construction Week shows, as well as other shows around the city, be sure to get your hotel reservations taken care of now, through the official NAHB housing block – you will pay less and have access to the hotel shuttles (which means you’ll be able to avoid long cab lines!) for easy back and forth to the Convention Center.  Register and make your hotel reservations at

I hope you can see why I think every person connected with the building industry should attend the IBS.  Quite simply, those of us that do have a competitive advantage over those that don’t.  Come discover the building universe in Las Vegas this January with me!

No comments: