NAHB Turns 2021 Design & Construction Week Into All-Virtual EventOctober 12th, 2020 by Editor
Lingering health and safety concerns along with ongoing travel restrictions stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic has prompted the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA) to redesign the 8th annual Design & Construction Week® (DCW) featuring NAHB’s International Builders’ Show® (IBS) and NKBA’s Kitchen & Bath Industry Show® (KBIS). Instead of planning an on-site event as it has been in the past, the two groups are planning a “robust,” all-virtual event.
Originally scheduled to take place on Feb. 9-11, 2021, at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla., the new all-virtual DCW 2021 will still take place the week of Feb. 8 and feature extended programming.
“Out of an abundance of caution and concern for the safety of our exhibitors, attendees and the thousands of onsite workers who support the premier event of the residential construction industry, we feel the only prudent course is to make this year’s show a virtual event,” said NAHB chairman Chuck Fowke, a custom home builder from Tampa, Fla. “We have plenty of great virtual educational programs, innovative products, services and workshops on tap, and we are very excited about the 2021 show. It’s an opportunity to set a precedent for the industry by producing a dynamic virtual trade show, and we look forward to a very successful Design & Construction Week.”
Registration for the virtual DCW event is free for all NKBA and NAHB members and, as with the in-person shows, attendees will have access to KBIS and IBS exhibitors and programming. The new virtual format will allow participants to see the latest product launches and cutting-edge housing and design innovations, hear from the top leaders in the industry, and take part in online education courses, from wherever they are in the world.
“This difficult decision comes following months of lengthy conversations with NAHB and Emerald,” said Bill Darcy, CEO of the NKBA. “The safety and well-being of our attendees, partners, exhibitors, site workers and staff has always been our top priority. As we now cross the 16-weeks-out mark, it was time to transition to 100% focus on a virtual event. An all-virtual Design & Construction Week will be a different experience, but with it comes new opportunities to reach an even larger audience that would not have been able to participate on-site, for any number of reasons, including on-going travel restrictions. We pledge to transform KBIS into an exceptional show experience for everyone. And we will be back live – bigger and stronger – for DCW 2022.”
Support from the exhibitor community has been solid.
“With safety and well-being of attendees, exhibitors, vendors and trade-show staff as the priority, Kohler Co. applauds the difficult but appropriate decision made jointly by the NKBA and NAHB converting KBIS and IBS, respectively, to being 100% virtual,” said David Kohler, CEO of Kohler Co. “We look forward to the opportunity to connect with our trade customers and showcase our new products and innovations.”
And he wasn’t the only one who understands—and agrees with—the decision.
“We cherish our partnerships with NKBA and NAHB. In our shared commitment to the health and safety of industry colleagues, we fully support their decision to reimagine the 2021 KBIS and IBS events,” said Thomas Yoon, president and CEO of LG Electronics North America. “As trusted partners, LG and Signature Kitchen Suite remain committed to working with these organizations to deliver engaging virtual experiences for the designer and builder communities, while continuing our major presence in The New American Home and The New American Remodel for 2021. We’re optimistic about the recovery ahead, and we look forward to reconnecting in person with industry partners in Orlando in 2022.”
The organizations plan to return to Orlando for Design & Construction Week as an in-person event Feb. 8-10, 2022.
Further details on the virtual offerings will be forthcoming. For more information on the International Builders’ Show, visit www.buildersshow.com, and for information on the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show, visit www.kbis.com.