K/Bis 2001: Shining in Orlando

K/Bis 2001: Shining in Orlando

By Eliot Sefrin

ORLANDOAfter a stop in the Windy City of Chicago last year, the Kitchen/Bath Industry Show and concurrent National Kitchen and Bath Conference (NKBC) have returned to Orlando, creating a stage for fun, sun and a slew of innovative new products.

The 20th annual K/BIS still the industry's leader in showcasing products and services targeted for the kitchen and bath market is expected to draw some 40,000 kitchen and bath industry professionals from the U.S. and Canada, as well as exhibitors and visitors from Europe, Asia and South America. And, of course, the event will boast myriad product displays and demonstrations, educational seminars, interactive roundtable discussions, networking opportunities, social activities and special events geared specifically for the kitchen and bath industry.
K/BIS 2001 will take place April 27-29, while the NKBC will run April 26-29, both at the Orange County Convention Center.

Products of note
A wide variety of kitchen and bath products will once again be a central focus of this year's K/BIS, with some 625 regional and national suppliers showcasing their wares across 370,000 square feet of exhibit space, according to show co-sponsor NKBA.

A wide variety of product categories will be on display, including kitchen and bath cabinetry, solid surfacing, laminate, ceramic tile and related countertop materials, whirlpools, tubs and plumbing fixtures, appliances, kitchen and bath sinks and faucets, decorative and functional hardware, flooring, kitchen and bath accessories, CAD-CAM software, storage products and interior fittings, lighting products, related building products and more.

K/BIS exhibit hours are scheduled for Friday and Saturday, April 27 and 28, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday April 29, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Educational program
This year's educational conference will include 35 seminars, as well as pre-conference programs and sessions addressing an array of topics targeted specifically toward the kitchen and bath professional. 

Seminars, once again, are divided into five tracks: Design, Business Management and Finance, Sales and Marketing, Installations, and Personal and Professional Development. Seminar topics vary from environmental design, interactive design process ideas, tips for handling workforce challenges and showroom design to suggestions on setting goals for kitchen and bath businesses and suggestions for handling stress. 

K/BIS will once again be offering its lunchtime roundtable discussions to provide a forum for networking on a smaller scale, while discussing timely issues to the kitchen and bath industry.

Roundtable discussion topics will include merchandising and customer service ideas, design trends, job scheduling tips and industry partnering techniques, as well as legal issues for dealers and designers, team building ideas and suggestions for overcoming sales objections.

Pre-conference programs
Following are just a few of the pre-conference programs and special events scheduled for this year's show:

  • Created for the advanced designer, the 'Kitchen and Bath Signature' program will analyze the work of master designers from a historic and contemporary perspective. Instructed by an NKBA Professional Training Coordinator, this program will take place Thursday, April 26, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • The 'Kitchen and Bath Sales' program, to be held on Thursday, April 26, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., has been created for kitchen and bath industry professionals both industry veterans and those new to the kitchen and bath arena and will give them an opportunity to develop sales techniques and qualify potential customers using the DiSC method.
  • Created for beginning design professionals (those with up to six months' experience), the KitchenStarter program will introduce designers to basic product knowledge, kitchen planning skills and hand layouts. Also discussed will be ideas for avoiding common design errors, which can lead to delays, cost overruns and customer dissatisfaction. Instructed by an NKBA Professional Training Coordinator, this program will take place Thursday, April 26, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Created for design professionals with up to six months' experience, the BathStarter program will introduce designers to basic product knowledge, bathroom layout skills and basic plumbing systems. Also discussed will be ideas for avoiding common design errors, which could lead to delays, cost overruns and customer dissatisfaction. Instructed by an NKBA Professional Training Coordinator, this program will take place Thursday, April 26, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • The Societies Annual Business Meeting & Breakfast Program will look at the characteristics of successful retailers, as well as effective ways to design the showroom as a marketing tool. Hosted by Richard Moss, consultant editor of Bathrooms & Kitchens magazine, this event will be held Saturday, April 28 from 7 a.m. to 8: 30 a.m.
  • The Wholesale Distributors Program, to be held Saturday, April 28, from noon to 2 p.m., will focus on the myriad technologies being used today in distribution, such as: proper use of bar coding; electronic data interchange; electronic funds transfer; purchase cards; electronic catalogs; imaging; telephone and CD-ROM training tools; and uses of the Internet, Web sites and electronic commerce.

For additional information about the 2001 Kitchen/Bath Industry Show, or to obtain information about future shows and conferences, contact the National Kitchen & Bath Association, 687 Willow Grove St., Hackettstown, NJ 07840; Telephone: (908) 852-0033.

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