Back on Track in Vegas

Las Vegas – In a city that continuously reinvents itself, it seems fitting that the National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA) and the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) will join forces and co-locate their respective shows in Las Vegas.

The highly anticipated mega-event, dubbed “Design and Construction Week,” combines the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show (KBIS), which is owned by NKBA, and the International Builders’ Show (IBS), the world’s largest annual light construction show, into one trade show, which will be held February 4-6, 2014, at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

The city and individual trade shows took hits from the recent recession, but all are back on track to a brighter future. Gamers and tourists are making a return the city and growth is anticipated at the Design and Construction Week event as well, with an estimated 70,000-plus industry professionals and media expected to peruse the more than 1,500 exhibitors – nearly 500 of which will be on the KBIS show floor – within 600,000 square feet of shared exhibit space.

Both shows will remain separate events with separate conference programs, but attendees can access both show floors with one ticket, thereby exposing them to more exhibitors, products and information and more networking opportunities with not only kitchen and bath professionals, but also homebuilders, architects, remodelers and others involved in home design and light construction.

“The biggest and most significant benefit of co-locating the show is that attendees will be able to purchase just one hall pass, and yet they’ll still be able to enjoy two-for-one access to the show,” says John A. Petrie, CMKBD, president, NKBA and owner, MH Custom Cabinetry, Mechanicsburg, PA. “It will be an opportunity for them to discover and learn, to identify new revenue streams, and then obviously continue to network with their industry peers.

“The other significant benefit – depending on what side of the aisle you are accustomed to being from, whether that be the NAHB home builder side or the KBIS kitchen and bath side – attendees will be exposed to literally hundreds of new and/or different products they can gain knowledge of, and perhaps use in their designs, to take back to their clients.”

The KBIS show floor will be open from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. all three days.


Nearly 100 Educational Programs

As always, education – for all segments of the industry – remains a main focus of the show, with sessions beginning on February 3.

This year, NKBA University offers nearly 100 different programs, with more than half of them carrying continuing education credits, which customarily have only been available through NKBA courses. The sessions are designed to help attendees sharpen their skills broaden their outlooks and advance their careers.

The “Voices from the Industry” conference series, new last year, will comprise 85 sessions, with 54 of them being peer-training sessions offering CEUs. According to the NKBA, the hour-long programs enable attendees to learn from their colleagues across a wide variety of current topics and trends in four different conference tracks, or “Learning Paths:” Design and Inspiration; Focus on the Customer; Business Management; and Sales and Marketing.

NKBA University is also offering 12 extended, professional development sessions, each ranging from two to four hours. Additionally, three keynote speakers, one for each day, will focus on business-related topics relevant to the industry.


30 Under 30

Another highlight of this year’s event will be recognition of the 2014 30 Under 30 group. In its second year, the program is designed to capture the voice of the next generation of kitchen and bath professionals, according to the NKBA. “The group scours the show floor for innovations, trends and new technologies, as well as sustainable business practices and emerging business models and then shares these insights with attendees,” explains Petrie.

They will share their findings during a featured speaker presentation on February 6.

“It’s going to be a very exciting show,” he continues, reiterating the benefit of being able to access both the builder and designer sides of the business. “Attendees will be able to go beyond their traditional processes and products to include those they maybe weren’t accustomed to from the KBIS or IBS side. Now they’ll have the opportunity, because of the single pass for both shows, to explore both. I think that’s just going to be significant.”