Builders' Show Returns to Florida

With slowly improving market conditions, NAHB is optimistic for annual event

Window and door manufacturers may not be convinced, but organizers see positive signs for this year's International Builders' Show, scheduled for February 8-11 in Orlando, Fla. With the housing market showing signs of modest improvement, the National Association of Home Builders reports pre-registrations are 25 percent ahead of last year's pace and exhibit space sales have remained strong for the annual trade show.

 
 Several companies introduced new multi-panel door systems at last year's show in Orlando.

This is the second year in a row for IBS in Florida. Last year, the event attracted about 50,000 people, a significantly lower total than the last time it was in Orlando in 2008, and a small decrease from the 2010 event in Las Vegas. Attitudes at the 2011 show, however, were fairly positive. Most window and door industry exhibitors emphasized a focus on the long term. Several noted that there were fewer attendees than in the past, but those at the show were there to do business.

Products highlighted included numerous multi-panel door systems, including new offerings from Custom Window Systems, Kolbe, Marvin and PGT.  Several manufacturers highlighted expanded packages. Ply Gem, for example, introduced its Designed Exteriors collections of windows, siding, and other exterior products. Therma-Tru was highlighting design combinations possible with its combinations of entry doors and Fypon trim products. 

There were fewer window and door manufacturers at last year's show, however, and that appears to be the case for 2012. The number of overall exhibitors at IBS is down significantly from the heights of the housing boom. The show once hosted more than 2,000 exhibitors in two buildings at the Orange County Convention Center. For 2012, NAHB expects about 800 companies, with the show once again housed in one hall.

 
 

Download Window & Door's Guide to IBS, featuring a list of industry exhibitors, along with booth numbers and a map of the hall.

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, Hurd, Loewen, MI, Pella, Semco, and Weather Shield. According to the 2012 list of exhibitors (as of press time), two more big industry players–Andersen and Milgard–have opted out of this year's show.

Some companies that passed on previous IBS events, however, have returned. Therma-Tru, which exhibited in 2011 after missing several years, will be back again. Jeld-Wen is also coming back for 2012 after missing several years at IBS.

Expected to cover more than 400,000 square feet, NAHB's annual event remains a big show, and the window and door industry, despite fewer exhibiting, will still be well represented in Florida. Among the larger manufacturers exhibiting are CMI, Jeld-Wen, Kolbe, Lincoln, Marvin, Masonite, Plastpro, Ply Gem, Therma-Tru, Velux and YKK. Smaller manufacturers include Caoba, CGI, Fakro, Glasscraft, Inline, Lanai, MasterGrain and WinDoor.

 
 Many window manufacturers at last year's event highlighted products offering both high performance and design options.

The list of industry exhibitors, available for download on WindowandDoor.com, also includes several suppliers of window and door components and accessories, including Brio, Endura, Grafco, Hoppe, Meshtec, ODL and Quanex.  The following pages offer a preview of some of the window and door industry products to be featured at IBS.  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.

"Housing has been hit much harder by the downturn than any other sector of the economy, and we are very pleased that so many manufacturers and suppliers have recognized the value of exhibiting at the IBS and continue to participate each year,” states Bob Nielsen, NAHB chairman. “No other event provides such exceptional education and networking opportunities and such a superb showcase of top-quality products for the home building industry."

In addition to the trade show, NAHB notes that the event will feature nearly 200 educational sessions for building industry professionals. Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke will speak, addressing efforts to improve both the housing market and the economy as a whole. More information about the Orlando show, including details about show hours, registration, seminars, and accommodations, as well as a complete list of exhibitors, is available at www.buildersshow.com.