As with any trade show taking place amid COVID-19, or at any time for that matter, it’s hard to predict what attendance numbers will look like. But one thing is certain: show organizers and exhibitors are ready to come back after an online-only event in 2021.

Despite the circumstances, the International Builders’ Show returns to the Orange County Convention Center February 8-10 in Orlando, Fla. Approximately 18 door and window companies plan to exhibit—fewer than the 24 seen in pre-COVID years. At the same time, big names, such as Andersen, Jeld-Wen, Marvin and Sierra Pacific, are missing from this year’s list.

“Most people I’ve spoken with were excited to see many of the people they see each [year at the] show, but now I’m hearing, ‘My plans may change.’” Those were the words of Matt Thomas, marketing manager for Nana Wall Systems Inc., of the expected turnout, when [DWM] spoke to him back in December 2021. Nana will be one of the companies in attendance looking to gain interest in their latest products.

[DWM] reached out to others in the past few weeks to gauge industry sentiment.

“At this point, Kodiak will have several people in attendance, but we are concerned with COVID and its impact on overall exhibitors and attendees,” said Paul Hylbert, chairman, Kodiak Building Partners.

And some people won’t be there but it has nothing to do with COVID—they’re simply too busy.

“We are fully vaccinated and wear masks when/where appropriate,” says Ty Schwartz, chief happiness officer and partner, Zen Windows Carolina. “We are just pretty busy and I am working on hiring another person – we grew over 60% in consecutive years – so just a lot going on.  It’s just tough getting away. But if we were fully staffed (hired) I would probably go.”

If you are planning to attend here’s what you need to know in terms of COVID-19 precautions. Show officials say they’re proceeding on current recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the state of Florida and local Orlando health authorities, further declaring, “We will continue to monitor their recommendations and will update relevant information as needed.”

All registered attendees are required to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test within five days of attendance, including either a polymerase chain reaction (PCR, also referred to as diagnostic or molecular) test or a rapid antigen test. For those unwilling or unable to provide test results, show officials say proof of full vaccination will suffice. Per the CDC, U.S. residents are fully vaccinated if they have completed two doses of Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or one dose of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine.

A CDC vaccination card, or a photo, photocopy, or digital documentation of such a card, is acceptable, as are government issued vaccination records in English.

Everyone is required to wear a face mask when riding on an official show hotel shuttle and when indoors at the convention center, from the time of move-in through move-out, as well as at other show-related venues.

Look for an upcoming story on the products exhibitors will showcase.

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