A look back at IBS2011

by WOHe

Hardwick General Contracting talks to builders on Custom Home Tour

It’s Monday after a long week of the International Builders’ Show. I’m slowly making my way through the amount of work that piles up when you’re gone from the office. Last week was a great week for myself and the magazine. It was great to reconnect with readers, colleagues and the industry in general.

The first day of the show gave quite a few people the nervous twitch; the East Coast and Atlanta were hit with a major storm that canceled and delayed flights. But attendance appeared to pick up by the afternoon. I heard a few exhibitors say it was higher quality of interest among attendees. Let’s hope that’s a sign of good things to come.

In regards to exhibits, there were a lot of cool, innovative products launched at the show. And I can’t tell you how many exhibitors had iPads in hand to take their products to the next level. For example, the NanaWall rep who gave me an overview of the NanaGlass used his iPad to show me the product installed. It’s was a great marketing tool.

There was a lot of talk at the show about the possibility of eliminating the mortgage rate deduction. The Wall Street Journal today reported on the massive push back President Obama will face from builders and the National Association of Home Builders. After attending the Custom Home Tour put on by the Custom Builder Symposium and talking with custom builders, it’s clear that eliminating an incentive for people to buy homes is definitely not something the industry needs right now. Though some markets may be seeing improvement, there were still quite a few custom builders who are still struggling.

The last time I attended IBS it was still in both halls at the Orange County Convention Center. Though I had noticed then that I was able to move about the show floor without bumping into people as I had in previous years, it was nothing compared to this year. I heard numerous people give the same comparison but coupled it with sayings, “It will never be 2005 again.” Nevertheless, people are still seeing value in attending the show – 47,000 people actually – and manufacturers are investing in new product development. Though it’s not 2005, it is 2011. I heard enough excitement at the show to make me have hope for successful things to come this year.

What do you hope for in 2011? Share your thoughts by adding a comment, or send me an e-mail.

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