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March 5, 2008
 

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Even In Tough Economy, Builders Flock To Largest Industry Show
Despite lower attendance numbers than the previous year’s show, the 2008 International Builders’ Show® (IBS) marked another successful year with its expansive product showcase and highly attended education sessions. The National Association of Home Builders’ (NAHB) show, considered the largest industry event of its kind, attracted just over 92,000 attendees and over 1,900 exhibitors spread across more than one million net square feet of exhibit space.

Closing out its four-year run at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla., the show hosted builders from across the country against a backdrop of dramatically slowing new-home sales.

“Builders came to this year’s show with a renewed sense of purpose and got straight to work learning about the latest products and trends and how to differentiate themselves from the competition,” said NAHB President Sandy Dunn, a home builder in Point Pleasant, W. Va., who was installed Feb. 15. “They’re doing what they need to do to get back on track in a slower market.”

While attendance was down 11 percent from last year, show exhibitors were pleased with the sales leads and customer interactions with key decision makers this year, noting that there were fewer “tire kickers” and more builders looking for detailed information about the products displayed.

“The traffic is down, but the quality is good,” said Jeffrey Feld of Jeld-Wen, a window and door manufacturer. “When you have people waiting three or four deep, you don’t have time to really speak with them. That’s not true this year.”

“I had already gotten more leads by yesterday than I usually get for the whole show,” said Laura Barrington, a representative from Lennox heating and air conditioning systems. “These are serious builders, truly interested in learning about our product.”

Interest was especially strong in the green product category, from more energy efficient tool batteries at DeWalt to tankless water heaters on display at the Propane Education and Research Council.

NAHB celebrated Green Day on Thursday, Feb. 14, as the association launched the NAHB National Green Building Program and introduced the Certified Green Professional educational designation. Attendees packed the rooms for a full schedule of green building-related seminars, and an introduction to the highly anticipated NAHB National Green Building Program boasted standing-room-only crowds. “Green building is the next big thing, and we are certainly ready for it,” Dunn noted.

After spending four years in Orlando, the International Builders’ Show moves to Las Vegas, Jan. 20-23, 2009. “As the housing industry regains its strength in 2008, I predict a great show next year, too,” Dunn said.

Source: NAHB, February 19, 2008

 

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Brought to you by the Steel Framing Alliance (SFA) on the first Wednesday of each month, Framework Online arms you with the latest news and commentary on the steel framing and construction industries. In addition to industry headlines, trends and project profiles, Framework Online provides information and ideas that will better enable members to increase their participation in the residential and commercial construction markets.