The International Builders’ Show wrapped up last week in Orlando, Fla., but it’s still with me in one way – the blisters on my feet that have just begun to heal.

It was my fourth trip to what’s dubbed the largest annual light-construction show in the world, and I think I broke a personal record for miles walked in three days – 24, according to my fitness tracker.

So why so much walking? For one reason, the show was huge — the biggest one in recent years. There were 85,000 attendees on hand at the Orange County Convention Center, according to the National Association of Home Builders, and more than 1,500 exhibitors in 583,000 square feet of space. (There was also the ongoing issue of two exhibition halls that are literally about a half-mile apart, but that’s another story.)

So I wasn’t the only one with sore feet. It seems everyone was stepping it up in Orlando for 2018, and that’s a good thing.

The main reason so many people were moving so much was because a ton of business was being transacted. The continuing rebound in the housing market means greater demand for doors and windows, and changes to the tax code will soon be putting more money into the bank accounts of all kinds of businesses.

Everyone I spoke to is bursting with optimism for the new year. Not a single person expressed doubts about the economy or the prospects for their businesses. All reported busy booth traffic and lots of high-quality leads.

How long has it been since we’ve heard that?

Here’s hoping that 2018 lives up to the promise provided by thousands of tired feet.

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