Posted January 12, 2018

Builders’ Show draws large, enthusiastic crowd

2018 Show attracts 60,000 attendees. 

An optimistic home building industry filled the exhibit halls of Orlando’s Orange County Convention Center as your association hosted one of the largest turnouts in recent years at the NAHB International Builders’ Show (IBS) Jan. 9-11.

Home building professionals from around the world attended this year’s IBS — the biggest component of the annual Design & Construction Week, which also includes the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show. The combined events drew more than 85,000 attendees. Of that total, about 60,000 were IBS registrants.

“I’ve been to countless other conventions, and none of them are as high quality as [the International Builders’ Show],” said Bobby Wellons, president of Wellons Construction in Dunn, N.C. “There’s an annual bankers convention I’ve gone to several times and they try to do a similar program like [IBS], but by lunchtime everyday, everyone has left to go golfing. In contrast, I know when I come to IBS, I have access to a wealth of new and relevant information.”

“Each and every year, a tremendous amount of work goes into making IBS an extremely valuable, can’t-miss event for anyone in residential construction,” said Geoff Cassidy, NAHB senior vice president of exhibitions and meetings. “And once again, the Show was an incredible success with a palpable enthusiasm reflective of the momentum in the home building industry.”

Exhibit space for IBS also expanded from last year’s 569,000 square feet to this year’s 583,000 square feet, where more than 1,500 exhibitors displayed the latest in building products and technology. In addition, KBIS featured another 700 exhibitors and 420,000 square feet of exhibit space. Many of the exhibitors noted the increased foot traffic this year.

“The Show is back and we were extremely busy all week,” said Vicki Frye, director of corporate marketing for Ply Gem, a leading manufacturer of vinyl, steel and composite siding. “People are eager to know what’s new, so we had a lot of fun showing them a wide variety of real products for real projects, from entry-level and do-it-yourself to higher price point homes.”

In addition to meeting suppliers and seeing product demos throughout the three-day show, attendees networked with peers and attended any of more than 140 education sessions led by industry experts on a wide range of industry topics.

“As soon as we landed at the airport and from the moment we walked into the convention center, it felt like this year’s show had even more excitement than in previous years,” said Jason Romair, president of Romair Homes in Destin, Fla. “Coming here and feeling that energy, learning from the speakers and making connections with other attendees has really helped me and [my business partners] figure out what our next steps should be as the company continues to grow.”

“It’s a bit of a sacrifice taking time off to get here, but it’s definitely been worthwhile,” said Walt Schumm, a custom builder and president of C.D. LLC in Crestwood, Ky. “I attended just two [education] sessions today and already found exactly what I came for. And I’ve made several new connections and I think we’ll strike up business relationships with a few of them. Plus, it’s really interesting to see a huge presence from Asian and European vendors. The products they’ve got on display are just unbelievable — high quality and at a small fraction of the price of some of the other products we typically use.”

Next year, IBS and Design & Construction Week will be held in Las Vegas Feb. 19-21, 2019.

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