Top Tips From the Show Organizers
Whichever trade show you’ll be attending, these tips will help ensure that you show up best prepared and leave satisfied.
1. Pre-plan. Both shows have info-packed websites with schedules, educational and social events, exhibitor lists, floor plans … you name it. And it’s well worth your while to settle in and take a deep dive. “With so much to see, great programming planned etc., the key is to plan ahead,” says Suzie Williford, executive vice president and chief strategy officer of the National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA), which owns KBIS. “Take a look at the floor plan and create your own personalized navigation, hitting areas of interest, areas of discovery, making time for key events and programs.” And since there will be hundreds of exhibitors and brands at IBS and KBIS, consider noting must-visit vendors so you don’t get swept along randomly with the tide. Plan for some downtime too — you don’t need to hit everything! Download the show app to get all the info you need at your fingertips, updated in real time.
2. Ask yourself, “What do I want to get out of this show?” Since you can’t see and do everything, focus on priorities. Do you want to network, get a jump on emerging products, learn about industry trends or just come home with a whole lot of new inspiration? It’s worth taking the time to figure it out. Also ask, “What solutions does [the show] need to solve for my business?” says John McGeary, who handles marketing and business development for the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).
3. Come visit Houzz! We’ll have a big presence at both shows. Meet our team, hear from experts on panels and get a demo of Houzz Pro, the all-in-one software solution for everything from marketing and lead management to estimating and creating proposals. And if you are a Houzz Pro subscriber, you can sign up for the Houzz VIP list for a free floor pass plus the chance to win some great giveaways.
“I start by visiting KBIS.com to see which vendors are exhibiting, understand what learning opportunities I would like to attend and register for the must-see events of the show,” says expert show attendee Kerrie Kelly, fellow and former board chair of the American Society of Interior Designers. “At the same time, I book my flight and accommodations, using the discounted rates and recommendations the website offers.” While she builds her itinerary to include must-do events, “I also leave small blocks of time between events to catch up with industry friends and colleagues over coffee throughout the day,” she says. And comfy shoes are a must for Kelly: “I now pack ‘tennies’ for the exhibit floor and party shoes for the dance floor — the balance keeps me energized throughout the entire show.”
Now let’s look at each show individually.