Award recognizes the swift growth of KBIS

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The Kitchen & Bath Industry Show was recently named the top fastest-growing event in North America by Tradeshow Executive Magazine. The announcement was made in May at the magazine’s annual event in Chicago to honor the 50 fastest-growing events in North America for 2014.

The 2015 KBIS drew 33,119 visitors and about 500 exhibitors.

The show received top honors for the fastest-growing show in attendance by both percentage and numbers. The show was recognized to be among the trade shows that grew faster than 99 percent of the trade shows held in the U.S.

Produced by Emerald Expositions and owned by the National Kitchen & Bath Association, KBIS posted a 65.3 percent growth in attendance from 2013 to 2014. The 2015 show drew 33,119 visitors and about 500 exhibitors.

Brian Pagel, vice president of the kitchen and bath group for Emerald Expositions, says the show’s cabinetry and surface categories are the fastest growing.“For custom woodworkers, with KBIS serving the mid to high-end market, there are a number of opportunities for them to not only network and engage with people who are like-minded, but we think there are a number of opportunities for them to really show their custom wears and the interesting component with all of this is the connection with homebuilders.”

Since 2014, KBIS has run concurrently with the International Builders’ Show at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

“One of the key findings we had after that first year of the combined show was the sheer number of builders that were endemic to the IBS event that made their way over to KBIS, so really what that does is open up the opportunities exponentially,” Pagel says.

He said the merge has also helped KBIS draw familiar brands.

“For a number of years, attendees have wanted more products and more brands. This collaboration has grown the scope and scale of the show and we are getting key brands that have been infrequent or never participated before.”

In the wake of the economic downturn, Pagel says show management is continually trying to do things differently to bring buyers and sellers together to make the show a positive experience.

“We’re focused on looking ahead and not behind. Certainly the mid-2000s were awesome and everyone was really quite successful. Obviously the bubble burst and life changed dramatically. What we are working with is a professional that is a bit more battle-tested, they’ve learned the hard way in a lot of instances and I think they’ve persevered as a result. It’s now time to look ahead where can we grow and make your business more successful.”

Next year’s KBIS is scheduled for Jan. 19-21 in Las Vegas. For information, visit www.kbis.com.

This article originally appeared in the July 2015 issue.

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