NAHB podcast shares details behind moving IBS to virtual event

In the National Association of Home Builders’ latest Housing Developments podcast, the organization is providing more information on why the 2021 International Builders Show (IBS) was switched from an in-person expo to a virtual event.

Last week the NAHB, along with the National Kitchen & Bath Association’s (NKBA) Kitchen and Bath Industry Show (KBIS), announced that they would no longer hold an in-person show.

The combined shows, know as Design + Construction week, have now switched from in-person format slated for Orlando, Fla. to a virtual format.

“It was a very difficult decision that our leaders had to make,” NAHB CEO Jerry Howard says in the latest podcast.

Safety concerns and constraints were part of the issue. For instance, Howard said that anyone exiting and re-entering the show would require temperature checks at each occurrence. Concern over COVID-19 also lead to a softening of enthusiasm for the show among possible attendees polled by the NAHB.

According to Howard, when the NAHB wrapped up the previous IBS in Las Vegas this past January, about 450,000 square feet of exhibition space had been sold. But then the COVID-19 crisis hit and sales came to a screeching halt. 

Not only did sales slow down, but soon cancellations began to trickle in. Eventually, with just over 200,000 square feet of exhibition space remaining, the financial viability of pulling the show off came into question.

The full Housing Developments podcast and Howard’s discussion on moving IBS to a virtual event can be heard here.

More information about the 2021 edition of the International Builders Show is available here.