Laying the Foundation for the Future

(Editor’s note: In the run-up to Design and Construction Week Feb. 4-6, Emerald Expositions Vice President Brian Pagel is reporting weekly as his show, KBIS, collocates for the first time with IBS in Las Vegas.)

Over the last several weeks I have tried to offer my perspective and some insight into the much-anticipated Kitchen and Bath Industry Show (KBIS) collocation with the International Builders Show (IBS). Much of my commentary has revolved around the very practical aspects of preparing for, coordinating and staging two large independent events under one roof.

Much of what has kept me up at night over the last nine months is not necessarily unique to this collocation, but the challenges are all certainly amplified as we attempt to create a seamless show experience for two distinct groups of buyers while still remaining true to what makes each event truly unique.

Fortunately, we have a top-notch team from NAHB, NKBA and Emerald Expositions, all working to ensure that we don’t just meet, but exceed market expectation. This is critical as we all understand that we have one chance to make a good first impression.

While the 2014 show is just one week away, I am sure many of you can appreciate that some of our attention is already shifting to the 2015 event. From the KBIS perspective, preliminary budgets are in, 2015 sales are already underway and we are adjusting our approach based on early insights gathered from the marketplace. However, if we are going to continue to nurture and expand on the early successes of 2014, we need to continue to grow our market engagement.

In order to best accomplish this, both KBIS and IBS have plans to conduct significant survey research of our respective audiences on show site to make sure that we clearly understand the market response to the physical event. Ultimately, did “Design and Construction Week” live up to the hype?

From the exhibitor perspective, did we deliver a highly qualified audience of homebuilders, residential remodelers and kitchen and bath designers? Did we create an effective platform

for brands, large and small alike, to launch products, meet with customers and gain access to key press outlets? Was this expanded format a good value for the dollar?

On the attendee side, did we do an effective job in attracting the top brands showcasing the latest products? Did we deliver those forward thinking brands that are driving market innovation? Were the adult learning opportunities and networking events worth the price of entry? Did we bring back the showfloor buzz and wow factor?

Of course, there will be a post-event analysis and further research on virtually every aspect of the event experience but, ultimately, were we effective in taking this collocation from concept to completion? Did we meet the wants and needs of the marketplace? Where were our key successes and how can we adapt our approach to improve in the future?

This intelligence gained in the coming weeks will become a critical aspect of our future strategies and will serve as roadmap for the future of “Design and Construction Week.”

Brian Pagel is a vice president at, where he runs The Kitchen and Bath Industry Show. Since re-joining Emerald Expositions (formerly Nielsen) in 2001, Pagel has also served as a vice president in the Decorated Apparel Group. A 15-year veteran of the publishing, convention and exposition industries, Pagel has produced over 75 events, championed several strategic collocations and is a frequent industry speaker.

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