Easily generating the most buzz among attendees and exhibitors at the 2013 International Builders’ Show (IBS) was the announcement that the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and the National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA) are co-locating IBS and the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show (KBIS) beginning in February 2014.
Professional Remodeler recently interviewed 2013 NKBA President John K. Morgan to find out how the KBIS show will be impacted in 2014 when it’s co-located with IBS, how this new mega-show will influence both attendees and exhibitors, and finally what’s in store for next month’s KBIS 2013, April 19-21 in New Orleans, the last year it will be a stand-alone event.
Professional Remodeler: First of all, why was the decision made to co-locate the KBIS show with IBS in 2014?
John Morgan: We could not pass on the opportunity to have KBIS be a cornerstone of the largest yearly gathering of professionals in the design, building, and remodeling industries.
This is truly transforming KBIS and creating a wide-open future of new opportunities for our members.
PR: What does the co-location of KBIS and IBS mean for attendees?
Morgan: With an overall expected attendance of more than 75,000 in 2014, Design & Construction Week is already proving to draw more exhibitors to participate. More exhibitors offers more for attendees to see. Expanded learning opportunities during the week are also a great opportunity for attendees to learn and better their businesses. Today, every attendee is looking to make more money in more rooms in the home. Being able to move freely between KBIS and IBS creates the opportunity for exposure to more products to help them achieve that goal.
PR: What impact will the co-located shows have on exhibitors, such as Kohler, that typically exhibit at both shows? Will they be required to have two booths?
Morgan: We have been overwhelmed by the response and support of the exhibitors, and I would not be surprised to see many exhibitors working to have a strong presence in both shows. It is not a requirement, but I bet many will see a benefit in doing so.
PR: How will the show be set up in terms of exhibition space? Will there be a separate hall for KBIS?
Morgan: Absolutely. KBIS is still KBIS, and IBS is still IBS. KBIS will have its own hall, and IBS will be right next door in its own hall.
In 2015, Design & Construction Week will continue to grow with SURFACES | StonExpo/Marmomacc Americas joining us in Las Vegas and using Mandalay Bay’s convention space. That will bring us to more than 100,000 design, construction and remodeling professionals in one city at the same time for the same purpose. Who knows who may join us next?
PR: What will be different about the show now that it’s co-located with IBS?
Morgan: In 2013, we are in year two of a three-year strategic plan to transform KBIS. The co-location in 2014 completes that and allows us even more opportunity for transformation in the future. The concept of being the single place for kitchen and bath professionals to join together to learn and better our businesses will be enhanced by the increased exposure to more exhibitors, the expanded opportunity for learning sessions, and the ability to walk next door to see other products to enhance our kitchen and bath remodeling projects.
PR: Returning to the 2013 KBIS Show scheduled for April 19-21 in New Orleans: What are some of the highlights and activities planned for this year’s event?
Morgan: There is one event that I am most excited about: the Design Competition Awards. We have dedicated a special night for this and are holding it at one of the most unique venues NKBA has ever used, Republic. This will be a night for all to remember, and it appropriately spotlights and celebrates our best in design and designers. We see this as just the beginning and expect this event to become bigger and more exciting with each year.
I could go on and on, but let me mention one more, and that is our 30 Under 30 program. At KBIS this year, we are providing
opportunities to some of our young professionals to learn, present, and then share their experiences in New Orleans.
We opened up a self-nomination process last fall and had nearly 300 young professionals nominated. It was a difficult process, but we now have our 30 individuals, and we are looking forward to carrying this forward throughout the year.
PR: What about the Conference Program is different for KBIS 2013 when compared to previous show?
Morgan: I believe the most important highlight to every attendee will be the expanded conference sessions. Not only have we expanded them from just a handful in 2011 to more than 80 in 2013, but we also expanded their focus. Attendees can now find conference sessions to help all aspects of their businesses.
We are taking a true, 360-degree approach in supporting kitchen and bath professionals. Want to know about design? We have those sessions. Need to become better at collecting money from clients? We have an accounts receivable specialist hosting a session to help you. Need to learn about hiring an employee… and on and on? The expanded sessions are there to support you in every aspect of your business.
PR: Are you concerned that attendance will be impacted at the 2013 event, the last time KBIS will be a stand-alone event?
Morgan: We could not be more excited about KBIS 2013 in New Orleans. We were already looking at a great show, and the recent 2014 announcement has charged it up even more. In the field, our members are excited to be returning to New Orleans. The culture, food, and the added “fun factor” has had our pending attendees planning what they’ll do and where they’ll go for months. It’s fun to see their excitement about attending.
Plus, our industry is growing again, and everyone is champing at the bit to get back out, be together and find ways to improve our businesses at the show.
Because the co-location announcement for 2014, we have been overwhelmed with the number of exhibitors clamoring to be on the floor in 2013. This is the perfect complement to the many new events that we have planned. PR
How will the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show fit into the 2014 International Builder’s Show in February 2014?