Tips for the 2020 International Builders’ Show Education RFP

The deadline to submit for the 2020 RFP is April 22 – less than three weeks away. Refer to the list of helpful tips and documents below before you submit.

1. Read everything – twice

The official 2020 RFP document contains details on the IBS audience demographics, the leading topics of interest and scoring criteria. It also provides directions to submit your proposal online and the selection timeline.

The guide to crafting a successful proposal is also available online. It includes a list of questions you will be asked when submitting and provides instructions and tips to help strengthen your proposal, like focusing on the presentation title and thinking about alternative presentation styles.

2. Know the rules

While some parts of the RFP stayed the same, other rules and criteria saw significant changes:

  • An individual may appear on no more than four (4) session proposals, either as a speaker or moderator. Be selective in your personal proposals and those you accept.
  • A company is limited to a maximum of six (6) session proposals on which their employees appear as session speakers or moderators.
  • The full roster of speakers who are to appear on a session must be provided at the time of proposal submission.
  • Each speaker’s profile information must be completed and each speaker must verify his/her participation before the submitter can finalize the proposal.
  • Proposals will be scored on a revised fifty-point scale, giving ten points each to the following five criteria: 1) value of content; 2) audience appropriateness; 3) presentation format/engagement; 4) speaker qualifications; and 5) differentiation/merit. Details about each of these criteria can be found on page 3 of the 2020 RFP.
  • There is no extension this year. Get ahead of the rush and start working on your proposals now.

3. Cater your proposal

The best submissions will often detail how they are serving particular audiences at IBS and how their proposal aligns with the leading topics of interest. If a proposal is too broad or too vague, it is less likely to be selected.

This is your time to shine – be specific, show (don’t tell) how you and your team of presenters are uniquely qualified to speak on this topic through your experiences. Demonstrate that your proposal is the top-notch, must-see session of the year.


For more information or answers to your questions, please email NAHB’s Director of IBS Education, Kirby Simmering, at

Or, if you have specific questions related to proposals for the Design & Community Planning track, please email NAHB’s Program Manager for Design, Alexandra Isham, at

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