The Kitchen & Bath Industry Show (KBIS) is world’s largest international trade event where the National Kitchen & Bath Association hosts over 500 exhibitors to showcase the latest kitchen and bath products, trends and technologies. Beyond the trade show floor, KBIS provides its tens of thousands of attendees with invaluable opportunities to network and hone their industry acumen through events and educational forums.
So how do you make the most of everything KBIS has to offer in just three days? To help attendees prepare for their trip to Orlando in January, we asked NKBA K+B Insider Karl Champley, AKBD — who has attended 200 trade shows over his 32 years in the industry — to share his tips and tricks on how to make the most of the experience.
Plan for KBIS like you plan a vacation
Do your homework up front — check out the exhibitors, learning opportunities and must-attend networking events on KBIS.com. The more prepared you are upfront, the more you will gain while at the show.
Download the KBIS app
In years past I’ve mapped out my areas of interest at the show by hall, checking off my must-see exhibitors and panels as I walked the show floor. The new KBIS 2017 Mobile App provides a centralized location for fast access to the trade show map, special events and learning opportunities. The app even has an agenda tab that allows you to input your events over the course of the show.
Attend panels that align with your 2017 goals
A good place to start building your itinerary is by identifying the programs you want to attend that best align with your 2017 business goals and further your understanding of the industry. Have a team attending the show? Divide and conquer to maximize each learning opportunity. Take note that many programs are held January 9, the day before KBIS officially opens. This year NKBA will host 70 Voices from the Industry sessions, led by influencers from different industry segments.
Network, network, network!
KBIS is a great opportunity to build new connections with like-minded folks. It’s also a chance to connect face-to-face with those in other markets who you’ve connected with over social media, or those who you’ve met at KBIS in previous years. To make the most of it, let your network know you’re attending #KBIS2017 and make plans to grab coffee or attend a program together. It’s also important to be ready for impromptu introductions to potential partners, vendors or clients, so come ready with lots of business cards and a positive attitude. And after you’ve returned home from the show, remember to send a follow-up to solidify the meeting! For additional opportunities to connect outside the convention center, don’t miss The Bash on Wednesday, January 11th — it’s a festive way to celebrate the show, and the success that lies ahead for the new year!
Wear comfortable shoes
I’m talking walking shoes and dancing shoes. This goes for both ladies and gentlemen. As many industry professionals head straight from breakfast to the show floor to dinner and events, it’s important to dress the part. Wear shoes that will last as long as you do!
Karl Champley is an Australia native and award-winning Master Builder, Karl’s residential and commercial masterpieces have earned him well‐deserved notoriety in the building industry in both the USA and Australia. Karl also frequently appears on DIY Network and HGTV, most recently winning “Ellen’s Design Challenge” on HGTV with Ellen DeGeneres that reached the highest ratings HGTV have experienced. Karl is also a radio host, home inspector, author, philanthropist and environmental building consultant.