As someone somewhat new to the kitchen industry – definitely new to the bath – I felt a little overwhelmed in the weeks before my first KBIS show. A lot of planning went into what we at K+BB planned to cover in the magazine post-show, and there were a lot of other fast-moving parts and pieces that needed to slow down. But such is the planning of a major trade show, the beginning of a new career and the launching of a bigger and better magazine. The momentum is ever present.
Surprisingly, the night before I left for KBIS, I was as calm as a cucumber. I was ready to take on my new role and hit the ground running at what I knew was going to be an extremely successful show for both the industry and for me as the new editor of K+BB.
The energy at KBIS was apparent on the very first day I set foot in the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. It was hard to believe that less than 24 hours later, booths that were just being put together would be chock full of the latest kitchen and bathroom products – all set against shiny, new backdrops filled with smiling people to answer all of your questions.
The day the show opened, I was able to attend the opening session and was enlightened by Gary Vaynerchuk’s presentation on how social media can foster a successful business. I was also present for Tammy Erickson’s discussion on the “Influence of the Generations on the Kitchen and Bath Market.” She provided extremely useful information on how to attract and retain the best talent from the Baby Boomer, Gen X, Gen Y (or Millennial), Traditionalist and Gen 2020 generations. More info to come on that session on our website and in the pages of K+BB.
When I wasn’t attending a presentation, which was a good part of the time, I spent my time meeting kitchen and bath industry experts, introducing myself and learning more about this dynamic industry. I asked their opinion about the co-location of KBIS and IBS next February in Las Vegas, and the result was resoundingly positive – they have been waiting for this for a long time, and it’s going to be the must-attend event. When asked about the state of the kitchen and bath design industry, everyone I asked had a good attitude about what is to come and feel it is positioned for a definite comeback.
I spent an entire day with a photographer trying to capture as many new products in as many booths as our schedule could handle, and I have to tell you, there are some really awesome innovations out there. Among some of the notable products I noticed included storage for hiding trash bins and cleaning products, mobility for hard-to-reach shelves, self-cleaning toilets, laminates that mimic just about every other material known to man, concealed drainage systems and energy-efficient water heaters. And those were all in the first aisle!
When all was said and done, and it was time to leave KBIS and return home, I was shocked at where all the time had gone. I spent so much quality time getting to know people and learning all there is to know (in four days) about the kitchen and bath industry (and eating really great seafood and even enjoying some New Orleans jazz one evening), I didn’t even realize the show was coming to a close.
I guess you could say with all sincerity, “it was a really great show.”