It's been a tough few years, and everyone from kitchen dealers and designers to manufacturers have been feeling the pinch. So, is it any wonder that trade show attendance has struggled along with the rest of us these past few years?
When budgets are tight, there's a tendency to look at other, more affordable options -- online networking instead of live events, webinars instead of live seminars, web-based product reviews instead of venues with live product displays. Technology gives us options and alternatives that weren't available just a few short years ago, and these can be a blessing when budgets are tight.
Yet even the most technologically connected among us know that there's nothing quite like being there. Seeing, touching, talking and experiencing products and education "live" have tremendous value...and it's sometimes tough to balance this need against the reality of budgetary constraints that have not yet eased, despite the beginnings of an economic recovery.
Both the NKBA and the NAHB seem to have realized this as well. As a result, the two associations announced today their decision to co-locate the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show and the International Builders' Show in 2014, allowing dealers, designers, builders and manufacturers to enjoy "one-stop shopping" at the two biggest industry events in the U.S. The newly dubbed "Design and Construction Week" will be held February 4-6, 2014 in Las Vegas, with the earlier time frame planned to help the industry better prepare for the spring remodeling season.
The announcement was made at the IBS keynote, and NKBA 2013 president John Morgan said he sees great promise in having "two shows, two associations and one place to see and connect with every aspect of residential construction and remodeling." He added, "We couldn't be more excited to deliver this special event for the industry."
Design and Construction Week 2014 is expected to draw more than 75,000 specifiers, builders, dealers and suppliers and 2,000 exhibiting brands, according to the shows' organizers, with each show occupying a separate hall and one pass providing access to both exhibits.
In 2015, Design and Construction Week will expand further with the addition of SURFACES and StonExpo/Marmomacc Americas, Jan. 21-23 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas.
Is this good news for the industry? Both design professionals and manufacturers we've spoken to so far think it's a great idea -- manufacturers cite the high expenses of exhibiting at trade shows, and note that it will provide more "bang for the buck," while design professionals are excited by the prospect of more exhibitors, double the educational programs and a greater attendance base with which to network.
What do you think? If you generally attend one or both of these shows, do you believe co-locating the shows will make the trip more worthwhile? If you don't attend these shows, will this make you more likely to go in 2014? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below!