2006 Kitchen/Bath Show Preview

The 2006 Kitchen/Bath Industry Show returns to Chicago for its annual showcase, as it did two years ago. The show is generating excitement, especially with greater numbers of attendees and exhibitors, plus new and returning features that proved successful in previous shows.

“We are expecting greater numbers of attendees than two years ago when it was in Chicago and (expect to) approach the same numbers as when it was in Las Vegas last year, which is about 60,000 attendees,” says Al Pattison, CMKBD, president, National Kitchen and Bath Association. “The show gets better every year, and every year exhibitors put forward new innovations and products that people are looking for.”

The number of exhibitors is up from the last time K/BIS was in Chicago. “There will be over 900 exhibitors covering 595,000 sq. ft. of floor space,” Pattison adds. “We are seeing more international exhibitors and attendees. There are more products that are coming from outside North America. There are also products from North America that are of interest to people from outside North America.”

The Design Idea Center is a returning feature that not only was successful but also has expanded from 2,000 sq. ft. to 10,000 sq. ft. “The theme of the Design Idea Center is capturing the kitchen and bath in a moment in time. Attendees will wind their way through a day of a typical family, starting with the bathroom and ending with a tranquil bathroom suite designed for moments of relaxation and rejuvenation,” Pattison says.

NKBA also brought back the expanded book store run by Barnes and Noble. With improved hours, the bookstore is now open Thu., April 20 through Sun., April 23 and for an hour and a half before and after the show.

To improve this show even further, NKBA expanded its Professional Development Courses. “Attendees can take courses as early as Tue., April 18 through Mon., April 24,” Pattison adds. “This includes half-day, full-day and three-day classes.”

NKBA also added its Industry Trend Marketplace. “This features the hottest products in seven categories: green design, universal design and accessibility, lighting, outdoor living, natural stone, tile and solid surface,” Pattison says. “Our returning feature called Center Stage is at the Marketplace, and throughout each day of the show there will be 20-minute informational sessions targeted toward the seven categories.”

The 2006 K/BIS theme is “Ahead of the Curve” and Pattison adds that kitchen/bath professionals need to attend the show every year just to stay ahead of the curve in the industry. “People recognize that this show is the premier kitchen and bath show in the world,” Pattison says. “This is the fashion show of the industry.”

For more information visit www.kbis.com.