But Goldberg suggests that, while this may be a good idea in theory, the execution could be complicated by existing contractual agreements. "[The organizers of] KBIS have shown that they are interested in understanding and improving problems via surveys and focus groups (see related story below), but given that contracts for these convention centers are signed so many years out, I'm not sure these efforts can yield the necessary results in a timely enough manner unless enormous amounts of money are forfeited," he explains.
When asked if it would be possible to break venue contracts or what it would cost to do so, NKBA and Nielsen declined comment.
With all of the changes in the industry and a still-struggling economy, what do manufacturers and dealers/designers see as the future of KBIS?
Some, like Hissa, believe the show needs to evolve away from being primarily product focused. She states: "I would really like to see KBIS head more in the direction of a kitchen and bath design showcase rather than a product show. I do not need to travel across the country to see new colors coming out."
Others believe it will be technology that ultimately redefines the show. McGeehan states: "I believe the future for KBIS holds opportunities for expanding the reach through digital technologies like webcasts, podcasts and virtual booth tours," she says.
Rosenberg agrees: "The way social media is working, information is so readily available now. Perhaps the NKBA should look at a virtual show."
Cross believes KBIS can remain influential in the industry as long as it continues to evolve: "All trade shows try to continuously reinvent themselves so that they are relevant and representative of what is happening in the industry. I would expect that industry-leading shows, such as KBIS, would adhere to those best practices."
However, if KBIS doesn't evolve, many believe the show could be in trouble. Leuthe says: "I certainly do not want to see KBIS go away. But I think NKBA needs to take a look at the positive things that made manufacturers come and people want to attend, network and learn."