NAHB’s International Builders’ Show (IBS) has evolved into our industry’s premier showcase for the latest, greatest building products. Feedback from readers tells us that our annual roundup of Hot Products from the show is one they look forward to as they strive to source innovative new offerings, and we look forward to it with just as much anticipation, in no small part because I was honored again this year to serve as a judge for the “Most Innovative Building Product” category in the Best of IBS Awards.
Prior to the show, my fellow judges and I are shown the nominees for the award and asked to evaluate each online. When the show starts, we visit the finalists on the exhibit floor to see them in person. This year, the four finalists included two products by Huber (ZIP System Peel and Stick Underlayment and EXACOR Magnesium Oxide Panels), RDI Elevation Rail by Oldcastle APG, and Barrette Outdoor Living, and the CTI Mobile Carpenter Trailer (which was also a finalist in the “Most Innovative Construction Tool” category). Those four products—along with dozens more—are all featured in our Hot Products roundup beginning on page 52 of this issue, and each one merits a look.
And while reporting on new and innovative products is one of our main reasons for attending IBS, it’s far from the only one—educational opportunities are equally important. Following the opening ceremonies featuring Mike Rowe, IBS offered a full slate of educational sessions. Not only did they give show attendees insights into the pain points and concerns of the builder community, they were packed with information delivered in presentations such as, “Trends, Forecasts & Key Indicators: What Custom Builders & Remodelers Need to Know in 2023,” and “The Outlook: A Complete Guide to Housing Trends, Forecasts & Insights for 2023.”
And let’s not forget networking. As it happens, IBS also attracts a sizable number of LBM dealers and distributors. In fact, in recent years, this segment of the LBM community has been second only to builders in those who attend this event. While that may seem surprising, it makes a lot of sense when you stop to think about it. After all, there is no single event that brings manufacturers together with their current suppliers.
Of the LBM dealers we spoke to, each had their own reasons for attending IBS. For example, one was there with members of his team to primarily learn about new products. Another was there with her team, as well as some of her builder customers, for the networking opportunities. Both are rock solid reasons, which got us thinking….
If you’re among the hundreds of dealers who typically attend IBS, would you be interested in a breakfast, lunch, reception (or some other type of networking event) that would bring you together with your fellow dealers and LBM Journal readers? If yes, let me know. Next year, IBS will be back in Vegas from February 27-29, and if you want to connect with your tribe while there, we’d love to help make it happen. After all, we’ve seen what happens when LBM dealers get together at our LBM Strategies conference, and it’s a powerful thing. Why limit it to a single opportunity?
— Rick Schumacher
Executive Editor & Publisher