In New Jersey, a good idea for a show

Somerset, N.J. -- For an LBM show in its third year of existence, the IDEAS Lumber and Building Material Trade Show held here at the Garden State Exhibit Center is doing pretty well. 

There was a waiting list for exhibitors, and some 800 dealers, architects, contractors, installers, builders and tradesmen of any stripe were pre-registered to attend. And that’s not counting the sizeable walk-in traffic for the May 2 event. 

“We have some momentum going now, which is great,” said Keith Coleman, one of the show’s organizers and the president of Hamilton Building Supply. “Just about all exhibitors will be back next year. It’s cost effective and a good return on investment.

IDEAS are initials for Independent Dealers Education Association Series. The show is heavily supported by the Eastern Building Material Dealers Association (EBMDA) and the NJMDA.

The third IDEAS show broke the exhibitor record -- 116 companies with about 140 booths.

The success of the young event certainly wasn’t hurt by the fact that the building industry is percolating again after an historic housing downturn.

“There’s a healthy anticipation of what’s to come,” Coleman said. “It really hasn’t come yet in this region. We’ve lagged the rest of the country. But it’s around the bend. You can start to feel it. We’re hopeful.“  

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