8 Things We'll Remember About 2020's Design & Construction Week

  • Categories:

    Industry Trends, Marketing Insights

  • Date:

    January 30, 2020

8 Things We'll Remember About 2020's Design & Construction Week

Industry Trends, Marketing Insights

Each year, Wray Ward joins thousands of people from around the globe for Design & Construction Week. This massive event combines the NAHB International Builders’ Show® (IBS), the world’s largest annual light construction show and the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show (KBIS), North America’s largest trade show dedicated to kitchen and bath design.

While everything we saw, heard and learned in Las Vegas will influence our work for months and possibly years to come, here are eight quick, collective reactions from our team members who were there.

1. Strong attendance

      Last week marked another busy, crowded Design & Construction Week. NAHB reported more than 90,000 attendees, reflecting a general sense of optimism within the home and building category to kick off a new decade.

      With 15 team members in Las Vegas, Wray Ward experienced the crowds firsthand. We also had the chance to see 14 clients — all exhibitors at the show — in action.

      2. Experiential booths

        With lots of competition for attention, many exhibitors are getting savvier about how to attract people to their booths and keep them engaged once they arrive. Think powerful display content and eye-catching demos, thoughtful ways of breaking large footprints into smaller sections, relevant how-tos and exciting events.

        Brands like Huber Engineered Woods, Cooper Lighting's HALO brand, Moen and Schluter Systems understand that sometimes, people need to experience a product to learn about it. They worked hard to bring their products to life on the floor, whether that meant bringing in running water or allowing visitors to stand on AdvanTech subflooring. Schluter Systems enhanced their frequent, live product demonstrations, including one by Mike Holmes, by allowing guests to compete in a NASCAR simulator (reminiscent of Schluter’s products, known for being quick to install). Sherwin-Williams allowed visitors to spray water on exterior siding displays, demonstrating the benefits of the brand’s non-streaking, self-cleaning paint. We also loved Elkay’s 100-year anniversary “It’s a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood” activation, complete with a full-size water feature and a pool with a slide in what may have been the show floor’s largest footprint.

        On the flip side, many booths that felt empty likely suffered from their straightforward product displays.

        3. Creative engagement strategies

        Similar to experiential booths, many exhibitors are coming up with creative ways to engage with their prospects through events, podcasts and other opportunities. For example, Huber Engineered Woods hosted its third annual Best of Social Awards, with host Matt Risinger, attracting about 500 busy people to its booth to celebrate and meet the winning builders.

        4. Product innovation

          Large industry tradeshows have always favored and even invited product innovation. Exhibitors at this year’s IBS and KBIS delivered, showcasing everything from smart faucets to smart HVAC systems. The New American Home®, a $5.4-million house in the Las Vegas suburb of Henderson, Nevada, was no different: We found examples of smart home technology like customizable lighting controls and motorized shades that respond to real-time weather conditions throughout its 6,428 square feet of living space.

          5. Focus on wellness

          Healthy home design is increasing in popularity as people consider the benefits of better indoor air quality and increased fresh air and natural light indoors. Want to grow your own fresh herbs and vegetables year-round, regardless of your planting zone? There’s a high-tech, self-watering cooling unit for that.

          Trane® and Greenfiber® partnered for the launch of the Ultimate in Sanctuary®, a new building standard that focuses on quality of life and promotes wellness. The New American Home shined in this area, too, with seamless indoor-outdoor transitions and plenty of natural light from sliding glass doors and VELUX Sun Tunnel skylights.

          6. Spotlight on sustainability

          Like other items on this list, sustainability isn’t new, but if last week’s event is any indication, it’s here to stay — in all parts of the home. VELUX, for example, showcased energy-efficient products that run on solar power. We saw energy-efficient HALO LED lighting indoors and out at the Next-Gen Net-Zero home in Show Village, and water-efficient toilet and electric bidet options from TOTO USA.

          7. Bold colors

          In 2020, bold is better. We loved all of the vivid colors in everything from appliances to furniture, allowing homeowners to express even more creativity, as well as the resurgence of warm metal tones like bronze, copper and gold.

          8. Valuable educational programming

          From design trends to economic updates, speakers at these events continue to hit it out of the park. We especially enjoyed the 2020 housing and economic outlook (presented by NAHB, Nationwide and CoreLogic) at IBS and our own Leslie Gillock’s kitchen and bath customer segments breakdown at KBIS. Leslie spoke to a full house of almost 100 highly engaged industry pros. If you missed her talk, you can download an infographic and request full summary study highlights here.

          Did we miss something important? I’d love to hear what caught your eyes, ears and mind at this year’s show. Email me to share your reactions or let us know how we can help your brand.

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