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Top 5 Takeaways From The 2018 International Builders’ Show

The 2018 NAHB International Builders’ Show does something few tradeshows can accomplish – connect 60,000 visitors with 1,500 manufacturers and suppliers. This event is not just about putting eyes on products. It’s about making meaningful connections with the people who install, sell and enjoy everything related to homes. Here are our Top 5 IBS Takeaways.

1. Home Technology Is Winning
Innovation is alive when it comes to customizing homes with integrated gadgets that turn lights on, flush toilets, start dinner, open doors, send your grocery lists to the stores and more. “Home technology is making a much bigger play at the show with products that we haven’t seen before. This goes well beyond Google Home, Nest and Ring.” says Chris Baldwin, principal of True Digital Communications.

2. Commodity Products Are Building Their Brands
There’s no such thing as an everyday building material. Commodity products are putting their marketing dollars behind campaigns to earn the loyalty of builders with strategic points of differentiation. For example, various engineered wood products touted USPs ranging from brute strength to weather resistance. Some manufacturers even connected with consumers on an emotional level such as Norbord’s #ThankAFramer ads.

3. Everybody Goes Wide And Narrow
There’s definitely a formula for attracting visitors who know nothing about a product, and at the same time finding a way to connect with existing customers who know everything about a product. It’s the magic mix of casting a wide net to attract people with flashy demonstrations, a mic’d up spokesperson or loud music. Once that person is in the booth, their focus is narrowed in on hardworking tools such as visualizers or savings calculators. The result is an experience that amplifies sales efforts on every level.

4. Wow Me
Many booths were packed with entertainment that serves a purpose, gamification that educates and interactive displays that trigger trial usage. Exhibits featured waterfalls pouring on house wraps, pro cooks stir frying on appliances and VR product experiences that had visitors falling out of their seats. All that excitement gets phones out of pockets and had people sharing pictures with their online friends. Let’s check in on those post-show awareness metrics.

5. People Come Together
Between all of the scanning of badges, emailing brochures and digital networking, people made time to talk to people. Yes! Real-life interactions occurred. It’s hard to deny that the building industry was founded on relationships. Although the method of communication may change, this industry will continue to grow one handshake at a time.