The International Builders’ Show: A Newcomer’s Perspective

What’s it like to attend IBS for the first time? Sue Ridgeway, Director of Marketing at Lita Dirks & Co., shares her experience.

We made it through February, but not without spending almost a week at the National Association of Home Builders’ International Builder’s Show (known as IBS ‘in the biz’). There was so much to take in: from the educational sessions, to the awards ceremonies, to the (literally) thousands of exhibitors on the exhibit floor, to say it was overwhelming would be an understatement. But saying it was “a good trip” or “time well-spent” would also be completely underselling the experience. IBS was an all-encompassing induction into the home building industry, and I loved it.

Lita Dirks, CEO of Lita Dirks & Co., outside the Las Vegas Convention Center at the 2019 IBS

As a newcomer to the world of home building, attending IBS was invaluable to my understanding of the industry and the role an interior design/merchandising company like Lita Dirks & Co. plays in it. I was able to see first hand how builders, developers, architects, and interior designers interacted. I was able to see the relationships and teamwork in action. Even walking through the halls trying to fight my way through the crowds to the education sessions was enlightening. The desire for collaboration and shared success was unmistakable.

Granted the economy is strong right now, and the housing sector – always a prime indicator of the state of our economy – is healthy. All of which definitely helps to buoy the atmosphere. However, the overwhelming feeling was a sense of partnerships-as-a-means-to-prosperity. It was as if everyone got the memo: we need to work together. 

Seeing the interactions between architects and designers and builders and marketers was so inspiring. Everyone seems to know and understand that they can’t go it alone and they need to be a part of a strong team with diverse skills to be able to build, create, and design communities that people want to live in. 

Further, seeing the work that the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) puts into this conference is humbling. Coordinating the literally hundreds of educational sessions, of seemingly endless topics, arranging a myriad of networking opportunities, and hosting just-for-fun events was impressive.

I look forward to cultivating the relationships that were started (or enhanced) at IBS. And, I look forward to next year’s IBS. Hopefully it won’t snow.

Post courtesy of Sue Ridgeway, Director of Marketing at Lita Dirks & Co., an interior design and merchandising firm based in Greenwood Village, Colo.

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