The International Builders’ Show (IBS) has been taking place in the U.S. since 1944 and is put on by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). The Show features mostly residential building products, tools, and supplies and runs for three days. The Show location is currently rotating between Las Vegas and Orlando, and also offers various educational sessions and seminars for attendees.
Having the trade show so close to me here in Florida is great because I can attend even if my schedule only allows one day. Since J.B. knew I’d be attending again this year, he asked me to give my account of the Show as a guest blog, here, for Building Moxie. I’ll be doing individual posts of some of my favorite finds over at blog.rjmbuilds.com over the coming weeks.
Before I tell you about this year, it is important for me to tell you that last year’s show was less than upbeat due to the current status of our industry. I simply refuse to blame it on the “E” word. After all, it is just the current market conditions in down turn (which we’ve all made it through before). I was curious to see if others felt as I do, that things were starting to pick up a little, not a lot, but slowly.
Over 800 companies exhibited at IBS 2012, so I had miles of ground to cover in just one day. This year’s show was missing some traditional heavy hitters like MASCO Cabinet Group and Moen, but the companies that stuck it out, or made their first trip, had great products to show.
Kohler was offering some of their most popular lavatories like the Conical Bell Vessel with a Persian in the new Caravan Collection.
Many of my favorite building product or tool booths had demonstrations installing or using their products, which give visitors opportunities to ask questions and learn way more than we could from any hand-out or glossy catalog.
GAF had their fantastic new line of shingles on display to go with their demo sessions. The Monaco series shingle will be a great alternative to barrel tile roofs here.
DuPont had a demonstration going with actual contractors using their FlexWrap, an extremely awesome flashing option for windows and doors. The flexibility of the product enables the installer to shape it in to openings, giving a water tight barrier with no relief cuts or seams — helping to eliminate another possible source of water penetration.
All the products and services are great, but the Show is also a great chance to meet and talk with peers. Thanks to Mark Johnson and Formica for putting together a tweet up where I had the opportunity to meet several of my virtual friends from the twitter world. While waiting and resting my feet, I had the pleasure of speaking with a custom builder from Tennessee and get his opinion on the state of affairs in the industry. We were/are, it seems, both cautiously optimistic that we are on the beginnings of a rebound. A sentiment which seemed to be a common theme amongst those I spoke with.
The 2012 International Builders’ Show was far more upbeat than last year’s, and I felt like I actually took more from the show than in 2011. My only wish was that I could have had one more day to finish taking in all there was to see. RJM will be back next year in Las Vegas to check out the latest and greatest.
Note from the hosts: All I can say is thanks J for being our eyes and ears and legs and . . . ha! on the ground. You are the man. We’ll be looking for further updates from you on IBS. for the rest of yous, please look for Jeremy’s updates at Florida’s Finest Contractor Blog — RJM Contractors. ~jb