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This year in Orlando, the International Builders' Show (IBS) will revolve around the idea that “All Homes Start Here.”
Each year, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) brings together manufacturers and suppliers to network and learn about the newest products and latest methods that could help their businesses.
“It’s a combination of everything really. Our intention is to try and provide a comprehensive offering. Respect to not just exhibits, but to education that will help builders be more successful. Certainly, technology plays a big role in that — whether it's technology in the business or the technology involved in what our builders are building.”
IBS will take place at the Orange County Convention Center, Jan. 9-11, in conjunction with the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show (KBIS). The exhibit floor for the 2018 show is “just shy” of 600,000 square feet, with 1,400 exhibiting companies displaying their innovative products.
With so many different categories, it may be hard to find everything you’re looking for, so IBS has made it easier by sectioning off areas focused on specific products.
One segmented area is nextBUILD, which will be located in the West Hall and will focus on technology.
“It’s not just about widgets or siding or windows. It’s also about technology and services and products that could help you run your business better,” says Geoff Cassidy, senior vice president, Exhibitions and Meetings for the NAHB.
nextBUILD will highlight the latest advancements in home and business technologies that will help companies grow in the future.
Also taking place in the West Hall, making its return to IBS after being introduced last year is the Cedia Technology Solution Pavilion. While nextBUILD will focus on technology that will help businesses, Cedia is for people who are looking for technology specifically in their homes.
“Technology is expanding and changing every year that technology-oriented products are introduced within the home,” Cassidy says. “The connected home has almost become the expectation for today’s consumers, providing more technology when you turn the key and walk into the home for the first time. Those are the products builders need and want to see and begin to understand more. Find out what those options are.”
The West Hall will also feature the High Performance Building Zone, where attendees can get the latest on best practices for improving efficiencies throughout the home.
In the South Concourse, attendees will be able to check out the DCW Outdoor Living Pavilion, featuring the latest outdoor and backyard products, and IBS Live, which will step inside the home and discuss the future housing products, processes and people. The South Concourse will also feature the all-new Impact Design Pavilion. Powered by ASID, this area will feature brands showcasing products and services focused on health wellness and sustainability within the design industry.
IBS will also offer outdoor exhibits with 16 additional exhibitors and an additional 13,000 net square feet. The highlight of the area will be the Professional Builder’s Show Village, with three manufactured homes. The Show Village’s homes are targeted toward different income levels and life stages: the Atrium Home, LaBelle Home and Modern Home.
When people want to step away from the latest products, they can take advantage of the educational opportunities with eight different themed education tracks taught by industry professionals. The tracks include, 55+ Housing; Home Technology and Performance; Business Management and Operations; Custom Building and Remodeling; Design, Land Development and Community Planning; Financial Strategies, Market Forecast and Legal; Multifamily House; and Sales Marketing and Customer Focus. All together, there will be more than 100 building knowledge sessions and a little more than 140 education seminars.
While technological advancements will be on display across the show room floor and discussed during the sessions, IBS also has one that could fit inside your pocket — your very own show app. Cassidy says that it is becoming a more standard operating procedure for shows to have their own app.
The app allows users to digest information in two ways.First, attendees can register as a guest. In this mode, they can scout information on programs, events, exhibitors and start to get a sense of when and where things are happening. Cassidy says this mode “takes the website and makes it more accessible.”
For a more comprehensive experience, users can register their last name and conference ID number into the app. By doing so, the show can send you real-time alerts while in Orlando. Those alerts will help keep attendees connected to things going on last minute. In this mode, users can also favorite exhibitors they want to see and create their own conference schedule. A new feature in the registered section of the app will also give you the ability to find out when the next shuttle bus will be arriving at your hotel, if you are a part of the show’s hotel block.
Aside from the technology, the heart of this show still centers around networking.
Centrals, which are rooms that will host roundtable discussions and product tours focused on a specific area in the home building industry, are a big component of the networking at the show. Centrals to choose from are: 55+ Housing Central; Custom Building Central; Design Studios; Multifamily Central; Remodelers Central; and Sales Central.
Another networking opportunity, which debuted at last year’s conference, is the Production Builders Executive Club. This is where some of the largest production builder company executives can meet and talk.
IBS will kick off with the opening ceremonies on Jan. 9. Everyone will have the chance to hear from National Football League Hall of Famer Terry Bradshaw.
This isn’t Bradshaw’s first time at IBS.
“We have great experience with Mr. Bradshaw,” Cassidy says. “He is a very fun, dynamic and engaging speaker. He works very hard to make his message relevant to our audience. That is all within the context of his experience and his Hall of Fame career. We’re very excited to have him kick off our time in Orlando in an energetic and fun way.”
That same night will be the IBS House Party at Mango’s Tropical Café. More than 1,500 people will be in attendance for this portion of the show, which has quickly sold out.
After all the seminars and product displays are wrapped up, IBS will host the IBS Spike Concert, which honors Spike Club Members — a recruiting/membership development program within the NAHB — and the NAHB directors that helped put the show together. The show will close right where it kicked off, with the band Chicago playing for members of the building community.
“We start with a bang with the opening ceremonies on Tuesday morning and end with a bang Thursday evening. Send everyone home with good thoughts of what they learned and experienced,” Cassidy says.
To learn more about the International Builders' Show, visit www.buildersshow.com.