A collective cheer seemed to go up in January when the National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA) and the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) announced that their popular trade shows would co-locate in Las Vegas beginning in February 2014. Scheduled for Feb. 4–6, The International Builders' Show (IBS) and Kitchen & Bath Industry Show (KBIS) will be the main event during what's been dubbed as Design & Construction Week. Association executives told Remodeling that the feedback about the new setup has been overwhelmingly positive.
"The momentum started as soon as we got together and talked about how do we both serve the industry better," says Bill Darcy, CEO, NKBA. "The answer was to get our people together and get a bigger stage. From exhibitors, we saw an immediate reaction of how to tackle the show from a marketing strategy and many went right into execution. From the attendee side, it's been fascinating. Really, for people who saw great opportunities for both shows, coming together is a no-brainer."
Mark Pursell agrees, noting that exhibitors have been purchasing more and larger booth space than in previous years to provide enough room to showcase products for different markets. "From an exhibitor perspective, the benefit is that if you've been selling to builders, you have a great opportunity to get in front of designers and specifiers, and if you've been going to KBIS, you can get in front of builders," says the senior vice president of marketing and sales for NAHB. "It's a win-win for anyone who supplies product and for their customers. We're talking about the most profitable rooms of the house for builders, and most important rooms of the house for consumers."
Darcy and Pursell add that a number of manufacturers who had pulled out of trade shows in recent years are coming back to take advantage of the expanded audience. Attendees can expect to see American Standard and Jenn-Air in 2014, as well as the return of MASCO's booth, which in past years encompassed brands including Merrilat cabinetry, Milgard windows and door, Behr paints, Arrow fasteners, and Delta and Brizo plumbing brands. (Some of these brands continued exhibiting independently over the last few years.)
In practice, IBS and KBIS will still operate as separate shows, in separate halls at the Las Vegas Convention Center, but will operate simultaneously during Design & Construction Week. One registration gets attendees access to both shows. Considering the size and scope of the event (NKBA, for instance, is offering a whopping 100 educational sessions), attendees may need to consider tag-teaming the show and conference.
"You can't send one person to 200 sessions, so we've been encouraging attendees to bring people with them," Darcy says. "There's going to be a really compelling amount of things to do, and we're wondering if attendees will send some people for the first part of the week and others for the second, or split up the event another way."
Pursell says Design & Construction Week will incorporate education, networking opportunities, and social events that will bridge both associations and their members. "We're bringing together the entire industry," he says. "This will be the place to be if you have any role in the residential construction industry."
With more than six months until the big event, agendas, educational schedules, and exhibitor lists are still being finalized. Learn more at buildersshow.com and kbis.com and follow hashtag #DCW2014 on Twitter. Registration opens Sept. 3.