As Mark Twain famously quipped, “The rumors of my death are greatly exaggerated.” A similar exclamation can be made about industry trade shows apparently. Following the staging of a successful CES 2022. the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show (KBIS), owned by the National Kitchen and Bath Association, and the National Association of Home Builders International Builders Show (IBS) were held this week as one of the largest events to be held since the pandemic.
The two events, which have been co-located for the past nine years, are called Design and Construction Week (DCW), and this year’s event in Orlando featured 1,200 exhibitors, occupying 750,000 net square feet of exhibit space. and 70,000 attendees, representing all areas of the new construction and residential remodeling industries in the Orange County Convention Center, February 8- 10, 2022.
The blended KBIS and International Builders’ Show (IBS) floor experience aims to foster increased crossover traffic as custom builders, remodelers and project builders discover new product options with KBIS exhibitors and vice versa.
“There is no question our industry is alive and well,” says Suzie Williford, executive vice president, industry relations and chief strategy officer, NKBA. “The numbers tell the story. We were so pleased to welcome 70,000 attendees, including guests from Germany, the UK, Spain, Italy and more. After two long years, it was pure joy to meet people in person and get down to business with a little fun thrown in. Design and Construction Week is a leading indicator of industry strength and clearly confirms the value of in-person events.”
KBIS, owned by the NKBA and produced by Emerald Expositions (owners of CE Pro and CEDIA Expo), is the largest North American trade show for the kitchen and bath industry. KBIS 2022 featured 375 exhibitors – 85 of whom were first-timers. The ratio of attendees to exhibitors was up 9% over 2020, the last and one of the strongest in-person KBIS events pre-pandemic. Of the KBIS attendees, 48% were brand new to the show.
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“There is no question DCW surpassed all of our expectations,” says Jason McGraw, group vice president and show director for KBIS. “We knew we had put everything in place to create a safe event. We knew the exhibitors committed to the show would bring their “A” game.
“We expected a strong showing of attendees. But when we beat our attendance plan, we knew we had a winner.” adds McGraw. “The business done at this show will drive the industry for the balance of 2022 and beyond. And we are poised for a super 2023 event with 83% of exhibit space already sold.”
The event featured 40+ conference panels and sessions on various stages at KBIS. NKBA also held more than 70 educational sessions.