Builders' Show Heads Back to Florida

Weak market still likely to weigh on NAHB event
January 5, 2011
Meetings & Events | Products, Segments

Coming off two years in Las Vegas, perhaps a change of scenery will do some good for the International Builders' Show.  The annual trade show hosted by the National Association of Home Builders returns this year to Florida, where it's set to run next week at the Orange County Convention Center.

Last year’s IBS was more compact, but also seemed busier and more upbeat than the 2009 edition.

The last time it was in Orlando in 2008, IBS drew more than 90,000 attendees and filled two buildings with more than 1,900 exhibitors. Those numbers were off from previous record years, but the full impact of the housing market crash did not hit the NAHB show until it moved to Las Vegas in 2009.  That year saw a big fall-off in attendance, with about 60,000 people in attendance, a number which declined again in 2010 to about 55,000, organizers report. 

Similarly, the number of exhibitors has tumbled since the last time IBS was in Orlando.  At the housing market's heights, this show featured more than 2,000 exhibitors.  For 2011, NAHB says more than 1,000 companies will be exhibiting, a drop that will be clearly evident in the fact that the show will be housed in only one of the Orange County Convention Center's two buildings, not both, as in the past. 

The downturn in exhibitors over the past several years has definitely included window and door manufacturers. Among those that have dropped out over the past several years are Atrium, Jeld-Wen, Loewen, MI, Semco, Therma-Tru and Weather Shield. A look at the 2011 list (as of press time) suggests some companies may be getting more optimistic, with Atrium and Therma-Tru returning.  There are still big names missing, however, and Hurd and Pella join that list for 2011. 

Running from January 12-15, IBS remains a huge show, however.  Next week's event will cover more than 500,000 square feet. The window and door industry will also continue to be well represented in Florida.  More than 80 window and door manufacturers and suppliers of related products are scheduled to be on hand. Among the large manufacturers, Andersen, CMI, Kolbe & Kolbe, Marvin, Masonite, Milgard, PGT, Plastpro, Ply Gem and Velux will be exhibiting at the show. 

The list of industry exhibitors, available for download on WindowandDoor.com, also includes many smaller manufacturers, including Amsco, CGI, Gorell, Lincoln, Neuma, Simpson, Taylor Doors and Florida's WinDoor, Inc., which is exhibiting at IBS for the first time. Industry suppliers scheduled to exhibit include Centor, EDTM, Endura, Hoppe, ODL, Phantom, PPG, Quanex, Royal and Schlage.  Many Canadian companies will also be exhibiting, including Bonneville Windows, Inline Fiberglass, Mastergrain, MQ Windows, and Omniglass. 

Download Window & Door's Guide to the International Builders' Show, featuring a list of industry exhibitors, including window and door manufacturers and suppliers of related products, along with booth numbers and a map of the hall.

Greater Optimism
Despite a smaller size, last year's event did feature a more upbeat atmosphere.  Exhibits seemed busier and the mood of attendees and exhibitors alike had improved over 2009, with many expressing relief that while the market may not yet be growing, at least it was not still moving downward. With market forecasts for housing growth in 2011–albeit from low levels–those sentiments are likely to be expressed again in Florida. 

As far as product trends evident at last year's show, energy performance levels were definitely on the upswing in numerous manufacturers' booths.  Andersen launched its new A-Series composite product line, which the company said was its best-performing line to date.  R-5 performance and beyond was being trumpeted in the booths of Inline, Kolbe & Kolbe, Owen-Corning and Ply Gem. Last year's event also featured some new electronic offerings of note.  Eagle Window featured a new electronic system that communicated to home security systems whether windows were open, closed and/or locked. Schlage was featuring the latest edition of its electronic locking hardware, which could now be locked and monitored with a mobile phone app. 

The Las Vegas show saw a number of manufacturers highlight products offering R-5 and higher energy performance levels.

Those trends are likely to be evident again in Florida.  Also likely, given the location, will be greater focus on storm- and impact-resistant products. A special section of WindowandDoor.com also features a more in-depth look at many 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.