15 Feb What You Missed at IBS 2022
Last week, I made my annual trek to Orlando to attend the 2022 International Builders Show (IBS) and 2022 Kitchen and Bath Industry Show (KBIS). I and 75,000+ builders, remodelers and kitchen designers attended to keep our fingers on the latest building industry trends and new products.
If you weren’t able to attend the show, below are some observations that may help your business.
1.) In-Person – Attendees seemed to revel in being together in one place with their peers. The 2022 show schedule was replete with in-person learning events, coffees, luncheons and after show parties.
Upshot: IBS 2022 strongly reminded of the importance of adding back “in-person” to sales and marketing mix. The real question is how to do this cost-effectively and meaningfully? Most of our clients are grappling with this right now after profiting from enormous cost efficiencies provided by virtual meeting technologies.
Consideration: Find out what’s important to your customers and channel partners. Ask them to prioritize things such as trade shows, industry events, association networking, in-person sales calls? What is their desired frequency of contact?
2.) Trade Education – Educating new and existing trades persons never been more important given job transition figures. Ever changing codes, emerging technologies, multiple new product launches and other factors are difficult to keep up with for business owners, staff and resellers.
Upshot: Trade education is more than tried and true learning management systems, continuing education units, webinars and the like.
Consideration: Schedule your team to speak at industry events to create thought leadership. Consider instituting some a certification program that include different levels. Connect the dots about how certification can advance careers.
3.) China – This year manufacturers from China were front and center throughout the show – not just in the international booth areas. I’ve attended the Builders Show every year since 1993 and have never seen a bigger Chinese presence at IBS and KBIS.
Upshot: Product quality and supply chain concerns previously were effective barriers that kept demand and profitability for American-made building and kitchen products high.
Consideration: Focus on innovation and how to do it cost-effectively. Focus on collaborations with applied research orgs or government labs. Our in-house engineers and scientists regularly collaborate with applied research organizations such as the Gas Technology Institute, the Electric Products Research Institute, Argonne National Laboratory, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and other organizations to help them commercialize new technologies that American manufacturers can license.
4.) Efficiency – Manufacturers have sharpened their efficiency messages. Efficiency of operation. Energy, water and carbon efficiency. Efficiency of installation and maintenance. Efficiency of supply chain. All are important messaging points used to drive booth traffic by savvy exhibitors.
Upshot: How can you refocus your efficiency messaging? How can you focus on metrics and claims that are unique to you?
Consideration: Develop a matrix of all known competitor efficiency claims to identify market gaps. Identify which claims are most meaningful, defendable and memorable. Test claims with your channel partners. Develop and execute an internal and external communications plan.
For more information, contact Mike Reiber at firstname.lastname@example.org.