It’s a Wrap: Home Tech and Energy Hit Big at 2017 IBS

The throngs were thick and the booths were bustling on the exhibit hall floor when NAHB returned to Orlando, Fla., for the NAHB International Builders’ Show (IBS) Jan. 10-12.

Exhibit space was expanded this year to 569,000 square feet—nearly 20% larger than last year—to accommodate a growing number of exhibitors, which totaled more than 1,500 on the show floor and in the outdoor exhibition areas.

“The home building industry turned out in force for this event,” said Geoff Cassidy, NAHB vice president of exhibitions and meetings. “The exhibits were tremendous, and as our already-strong education program continues to expand, we saw many more builders take advantage of some great sessions.”

About 80,000 home builders, remodelers, developers, designers and their trade partners networked with one another and witnessed countless demonstrations from leading suppliers during a show that spanned throughout the Orange County Convention Center.

Here’s what a handful of exhibitors and attendees had to say about this year’s Show:

Solid Foot Traffic —“The traffic has been really, really good. It’s very positive. There is a lot of optimism. People have calmed down after the election.” Lance Premeau, market intelligence manager for window manufacturer Kolbe

Big Demand for Tech — “Builders are really interested in home automation and energy efficiency. Everyone wants to know how to reduce costs for their businesses as well as for their customers. We’re getting lots of questions as builders continue formulating ideas for where their businesses are going. There are a lot more ‘meat-and-potatoes people’ here this year.” Ed Westlove, Florida territory manager for Lennox heating and air conditioning systems 

Valuable Vendor Demonstrations — “The show has changed a lot from when I first started coming 25 years ago, and especially in recent years. The self-promotion has diminished, and now, it’s very focused on just helping [the attendees] improve their businesses. For me, the most valuable part was getting to meet with many of the vendors that we currently work with. It’s been a great way for me to stay informed on what’s new across several different areas of the business.” James Kiefer, vice president of engineering with Traditions Building & Development Group in Cincinnati, Ohio

Insightful Education Sessions — “IBS keeps giving us better and better info every year we come. We bring our whole team and it’s helped us find ways to adjust to [the shortage of] labor and how to work more efficiently. The education sessions gave us a long list of approaches and techniques that we aren’t currently doing, but can and should start doing right away—particularly how we can better manage our finances and our clients’ expectations.” Mike Stevens, president of Mike Stevens Homes in Knoxville, Tenn.

Great Weather — “We love the fact that IBS and KBIS are together, and Orlando is a great spot for this.” (A chilly start with overcast skies on Tuesday quickly gave way to warmer temps and bright Florida sunshine by the Show’s close on Thursday afternoon.) Larry Costello, PR director for Kenmore, part of Sears Holdings

Next year, NAHB will return to Orlando for IBS 2018 Jan 9-11. We look forward to seeing everyone there!

 

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