This month, KBIS will once again join forces with the National Association of Home Builders and the International Builders’ Show for Design and Construction Week — the largest annual event geared toward design and construction industry professionals with more than 2,100 exhibitors combined. Design and Construction Week, held Jan. 9-11 in Orlando, Fla., helps contractors give their customers better kitchens, baths and connected homes by developing new partnerships and discovering the latest in home automation. 

The Kitchen & Bath Industry Show 2017 saw an increase in attendance of more than 15% from 2016. It was the fifth consecutive year of growth for the show, and the trend is expected to continue into 2018. As of Aug. 1, exhibitor commitments are up with more than 405,000 square feet of show-floor space sold.

Terry Bradshaw, the four-time Super Bowl champion, former Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback and current award-winning broadcaster on Fox NFL Sunday, will kick off the 2018 show at the DCW Opening Ceremonies.

“This will be the fifth year for Design and Construction Week, and the industry continues to prove it is a must-attend event. The response from our members and the entire industry after our first year in Orlando was outstanding. The 2018 show is shaping up to continue this momentum and be even bigger,” says Suzie Williford, vice president of industry relations for the National Kitchen & Bath Association, which owns KBIS. The NKBA offered free KBIS show floor registration to all of its members during the month of August.

The 2018 show brings a diverse mix of programming designed to showcase the latest design trends and topics in kitchen and bath. Champagne & Cupcakes, sponsored by LG Home Appliances and Signature Kitchen Suite and hosted by Modenus, will kick things off with an annual toast to a new year for the kitchen and bath industry.

Other programs returning include DesignBites, the Hard Hat Media Tour sponsored by Elkay and two coveted awards programs: the Best of KBIS Awards sponsored by Meredith publications and the Innovative Showroom Awards sponsored by LIXIL Water Technology Americas, the business unit comprising kitchen and bath brands American Standard, DXV and GROHE. Additionally, KBIS is proud to host the Impact of Design Pavilion Powered by ASID, the first pavilion by the American Society of Interior Designers on its show floor.

IBS’ nextBUILD explores innovations for improving and streamlining business operations. nextBUILD brings customers the technology they want and need in their high-tech homes. More than 80 exhibitors in more than 30,000 square feet will display the latest in structured wiring, automated energy, entertainment centers, security systems and more.

Attendees will also be able to learn more about state-of-the-art business software solutions, back-end office, design and personal technology tools. nextBUILD not only showcases what’s next, but what capabilities exist in the here and now. Direct interaction with vendors and their products gives attendees the knowledge to leverage technology and build a more efficient and profitable business while appealing to increasingly tech-savvy customers.

The NKBA will launch KBIS 2018 with its much anticipated Opening Party featuring the 2018 NKBA Design Competition awards held at the Rosen Centre. During the show, the NKBA will present the annual 30 Under 30 program on the KBISNeXT Stage and host the Voices from the Industry conference.

The Backyard will also return. The outdoor area outside of South Hall will host a selection of outdoor product brands, as well as indoor kitchen appliance brands that want to showcase full product capabilities with live fire and cooking demonstrations. The event will host a grilling contest and other programming and events, and food trucks and entertainment will be available throughout the show.

“Our first year in Orlando was a huge success,” Emerald Expositions Senior Vice President Brian Pagel says. “All indications suggest that 2018 in Orlando will be even bigger with several big name brands returning to KBIS or increasing their booth size from last year.”

The DesignBites program gives exhibitors the opportunity to “speed date” with industry VIPs introducing their brands’ most innovative new products. It is held from noon-1 p.m. on days one and two of KBIS.

DesignBites takes place on the NKBA presents KBISNeXT Stage sponsored by HomeAdvisor located in the South hall. A total of 14 exhibitors will be selected to conduct a three-minute presentation followed by a two-minute question-and-answer session. Presentations are divided into kitchen day on Jan. 9 and bath day on Jan. 10.

“DesignBites is a favorite among our KBIS exhibitors and attendees alike,” Willford says. “We love that our exhibitors value KBIS as the place to debut new products, and DesignBites adds even more excitement to an already exciting week for our industry.”

“In its third year at KBIS, DesignBites has quickly become a can’t-miss program for our design industry VIPs,” Pagel says. “Industry influencers can quickly learn about the latest and greatest from leading kitchen and bath industry brands showcasing new products at KBIS.”

For the second straight year, the IBS show floor will feature the CEDIA Technology Solutions Pavilion, designated specifically to showcase exhibitors who specialize in technology solutions for the home.


Ticketed tours

Attendees can see the latest in design trends, product innovations, smart home technology and green building techniques when they participate in the ticked tour of the official show homes of IBS 2018: The New American Home and the New American Remodel.

The New American Home 2018 is located in the Bella Collina Golf Community on the outskirts of Orlando. Designed in a modern “Tuscan” style, the home features a floor plan with two levels, each designed to have a unique identity. The design-build team from Legacy Custom Built homes used a variety of earthy textures to create a sophisticated comfort for elevated everyday living.

The New American Remodel 2018, located nearby downtown Orlando, demonstrates the countless possibilities for a 1930s home that has been transformed using today’s products and building techniques. The two-story, traditional-style home maintains much of its original design while the remodeling team from Farina & Sons integrates a comprehensive renovation to enhance the home’s beauty, comfort and efficiency.

Another ticketed event was the Green Home Tour. Attendees can see the latest single-family and multifamily green homes around Orlando. These homes will showcase the latest sustainable design trends and high performance building techniques that builders are using in this growing market. Learn from the builders how to incorporate green features and practices that consumers want in their next homes. Each home featured on the tour is designed and built to be certified to the National Green Building Standard. 

At the Custom Home Tour, attendees can see the latest Orlando design trends and techniques that custom builders are advancing in this tour of an evolving market, featuring spectacular homes with craftsmanship and elegant finishes that you’ll want to apply to your own projects. Each home is designed to take full advantage of the amenities that the area offers with both indoor and outdoor living spaces. 

Check out our videos from the show floor by visiting Plumbing & Mechanical’s Facebook and Twitter pages. You can also search social media using #LiveWithPM.


A peek behind the curtain: The KBISNeXT Stage program

On Oct. 26, 2017, KBIS announced its schedule of programs and events set for the NKBA presents KBISNeXT Stage sponsored by HomeAdvisor. The stage will host design experts, celebrity hosts and young professionals, all sharing insights into the industry’s need-to-know topics to educate, inspire and connect members of the kitchen and bath industry. Programming takes place over all three days of KBIS, held Jan. 9-11 in Orlando at the Orange County Convention Center.


Day One: Jan. 9

Fire and Ice: Nancy Fire and Vanilla Ice talk trends, taboos, and talent: 10:30-11 a.m.

Nancy Fire, founder and design director, Design Works Intl and HGTV Home, gives a sneak peek into 2019 design trends and throws questions at Vanilla Ice, rock star home-improvement expert, about design — what’s smart, what isn’t and how he approaches kitchen, bath and outdoor living design challenges. A short meet-and-greet session will take place immediately following the discussion. The audience will be invited to participate in a Q&A session with Nancy and Ice. 


DesignBites, Kitchen Day: noon-1 p.m.

DesignBites gives exhibitors the opportunity to “speed date” with industry VIPs introducing each brand’s most innovative new products. A total of 14 exhibitors over two days will be selected to conduct a three-minute presentation followed by a two-minute question-and-answer session. Jeff Devlin, host of DIY Network’s Stone House Revival and HGTV’s Ellen’s Design Challenge, will host day one and get the crowd of industry VIPs and media energized to see the newest kitchen innovations of 2018.


Secrets of Smart (Tech) Remodeling: 1:30-2:30 p.m.

This panel will discuss ways in which the mass-market adoption of smart home technology is impacting home remodeling, with a focus on kitchen and bath remodeling projects. Dan DiClerico, home expert and smart home strategist at HomeAdvisor, will lead a panel of experts from the installation, design and manufacturing sides of the smart home industry. Among the questions they’ll consider are:

  • What smart home technologies are consumers most interested in now, and what are the hottest trends coming down the pike?;
  • How can designers and home technology professionals collaborate effectively?;
  • What are some strategies for upselling smart technology on a remodel?; and
  • What are the pitfalls to avoid when integrating smart technology into a remodeling project?  


Innovative Showroom Awards Panel and Ceremony: 3:30-4:30 p.m.

The Innovative Showroom Awards celebrate existing showrooms in the kitchen and bath space that are doing an outstanding job of engagement, creating an unforgettable experience and educating customers. The program, sponsored by American Standard, DXV and GROHE — the brands that comprise LIXIL Water Technology Americas — culminates with the awards ceremony announcing the 2018 winners. Recipients are selected by the Innovative Showroom Awards advisor board, a group of six leaders from various industries and design backgrounds, who firmly believe in the importance of the showroom experience to the kitchen and bath industry.


Day Two: Jan. 10

The Globalization of Kitchen Design: 9:30-10:30 a.m.

How does globalization affect the future of kitchen design? As business is rapidly operating on an international scale and looking beyond borders to develop new markets, what areas of the world will see the most change as future trends come to fruition? Join our international panel as we explore differences, similarities and how the kitchen will play a role in social development and change. This is an important, forward-thinking discussion for those looking to buy/sell/design internationally.


The Good Home: 10:45-11:45 a.m.

This program talks about how to integrate wellness and environmental solutions into a home from the ground up. Examples for this can be anything from fitness to work spaces, ergonomic kitchens and baths, kitchens that support recycling and healthy living. Panelists will include an expert who can speak to relevant research in those areas plus a designer, manufacturer and/or product designers.


DesignBites, Bath Day: noon-1 p.m.

DesignBites returns for day two of KBIS with Kevin O’Connor, host of This Old House and Ask This Old House. O’Connor will host seven participating bath brands as they introduce their 2017 innovations. Participating brands will be announced in late fall 2017.


NKBA 30 Under 30 Presentations: 2-3 p.m.

The NKBA is adding a fun element to this year’s proceedings. Prior to KBIS 2018, the newly inducted 30 Under 30 honorees will be assigned into six groups of five, with each team collaborating on a “Product of the Future.” Teams will present their creations on the KBISNeXT stage on Jan. 10 at 2 p.m. These are sure to be eye-opening presentations showcasing what these rising young professionals view as important developments in the space, what’s missing and what can be improved.


Best of KBIS Awards: 3:15-3:30 p.m.

As the kitchen and bath industry’s most prestigious awards, the Best of KBIS awards recognize the most innovative new products of the year that debut at the show. The process of selecting each year’s winners is done by a board of industry expert judges, with awards presented on day two of KBIS.


Day Three: Jan. 11

Designing Kitchens and Baths for Airbnb’s: 10-11 a.m.

Ever have a client ask about redesigning or remodeling their principal residence specifically to rent as an Airbnb but also to still use as their principal residence? Baby boomers are finding the market less than desirable to sell their primary residences while millennials are looking for flexibility while also trying to find ways to buy and keep a primary residence. The solution: Redesign their homes to be easily transformed into income-generating property at the flick of a switch or turn of a lock.

Hear from designers who have discovered a unique niche, remodeling and designing principle residences, with an emphasis on the most heavily used spaces — the kitchen and baths — specifically for short- and long-term renting while also keeping the integrity of the property intact.


K+B Design for Alzheimer's: 11:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m.

Designing for a household where someone has dementia can be easier when you know the solutions to solve their day-to-day frustrations. Design and specific products can reduce stress and increase the likelihood of staying at home longer. We’ll talk about the colors, materials, products and innovations that can truly help your clients as they navigate the progression of Alzheimer’s.