Builders' Show Looks to Recover Also

Expectations for a better year boost expectations for Las Vegas event
January 11, 2010
Meetings & Events | Channels

With the housing market expected to begin a tepid recovery in 2010, exhibitors and attendees alike will be looking for signs of life when they gather for the International Builders’ Show. The National Association of Home Builders' annual show runs January 19-22 at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

Attendance itself will serve as a barometer. Last year’s event drew about 60,000 people, down from 90,000 in 2008. The decrease came as no surprise, however. During the show itself, the government announcing that housing starts had hit a 50-year low, and most expected the numbers to go down further. With the housing market now bottoming, NAHB is looking for some improvement in attendance, hoping that more builders will be coming to help position themselves for the recovery.

While traffic was down last year, attendees still made their way to window and door manufacturers' exhibits.

The downturn in attendance was matched with a downturn in the number of exhibitors at the 2009 show as many building product suppliers looked to cut costs. Down from highs of more than 2,000 companies during the boom years, last year’s show featured only 1,600 exhibitors. Among those not coming were numerous window and door manufacturers—including some that previously were among the show’s largest exhibitors. Jeld-Wen, Therma-Tru, Loewen, MI and Atrium passed and are not on the 2010 list (as of press time). They will be joined this year by Semco and Weather Shield, two more traditional large exhibitors that are not on this year’s list.

IBS remains a huge show, however, and the industry will still be well represented in Las Vegas. More than 100 window and door manufacturers and suppliers of related products scheduled to be on hand. Among the large manufacturers, Andersen, Kolbe & Kolbe, Marvin, Masonite, Milgard, Pella, Plastpro, Ply Gem and Velux will be exhibiting at the show.

The list of industry exhibitors, available for download, also includes numerous regional manufacturers, such as Cascade and PGT. Once again, a strong Canadian contingent will be on hand, including Allsco, Inline Fiberglass, Innotech Windows, Mastergrain, and Omniglass. Hardware suppliers, including Centor, Emtek, G-U, Hoppe, Schlage, Siegenia-Aubi and Winkhaus, will be well represented as well.

Download a list of industry exhibitors, including window and door manufacturers and suppliers of related products.

Product Trends
Despite the subdued nature of last year’s show, the event did highlight some product trends. Wide-opening door systems gained new prominence, as they were showcased by both established manufacturers bringing out new designs and new manufacturers entering the business making their way to the event as well. Pella, Kolbe & Kolbe, Andersen’s Eagle Window, Windsor Windows and Weather Shield were among the large wood window and door makers showcasing new lift-and-slide systems, including pocket systems in which the panels could retract into the walls. Showing even larger doors, including both folding and sliding systems, were numerous companies specializing in these products, including Fleetwood, Nana Wall, Panda and Weiland and a handful of other producers, most of which appear to be returning for this year’s show.

Another trend evident last year was an uptick in composite and fiberglass products. Andersen Windows featured its 100 Series builder line, manufactured with the same Fibrex wood plastic composite used in the company’s Renewal line. On the fiberglass window front, manufacturers were highlighting more new options, reporting that demand for these products continues to grow. Milgard Windows was showing a new mahogany veneer option on its Woodclad line of products. Marvin was highlighting expanded SDL options, as well as a new black exterior for its Integrity line. Weather Shield also officially introduced its new fiberglass window and door line last year.

A special section of WindowandDoor.com features a look at some of the window and door products to be featured this year's event. More information about the show itself, including details about show hours, registration, seminars, and accommodations; as well as a complete list of exhibitors is available at www.buildersshow.com.