Following a three year break from hosting the show in Sin City, the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show (KBIS), which is held annually in conjunction with the International Builders’ Show (IBS) to create Design and Construction Week (DCW), returned to Las Vegas in 2023, bringing record-breaking attendance.
Hoping to again break records, KBIS/IBS returns to the Las Vegas Convention Center February 27-29. The show will boast 450,000 square feet of exhibits from more than 600 exhibitors and hold more than 75 educational session through its popular “Voices from the Industry” (VFTI) program.
Since 1964, KBIS has been bringing design and construction professionals of all kinds under one roof to showcase the latest technologies and trends. Each year seems to gain more momentum than the last, and on the show’s 60th anniversary, exhibitors are anticipating another record-breaking show.
Pamela McNally, senior vice president, marketing and digital, NKBA, points out that there are several exciting new things happening at KBIS this year. One of which being the State of the Industry Panel on Wednesday February, 28 at 8:30 am.
"In a first, KBIS Global President & CEO Bill Darcy brings together a powerhouse panel of experts from John Burns Research & Consulting, Harvard Join Center for Housing Studies, Zonda and Zillow to discuss the future state of the U.S. economy and its impact on consumer behavior and the housing market," she explains.
NKBA is also launching the Luxury Lounge in 2024 — a totally new space in North Hall devoted to intimate panels and discussions with experts on the concept of Luxury in today’s world. Additionally, attendees can gather outside the South Hall entrance at The PLAZA for a diverse selection of manufacturers and live product demos as well as food trucks, bonfire pits heating seating, live music and games.
McNally adds that KBIS is pacing ahead of last year with exhibitors and attendees. "To date, we have about 640 exhibitors over nearly 500,000 NSF and nearly 20,000 total registrants, which is pacing about 10 percent ahead of last year.," she says. "We also have a bigger international presence through our Global Connect program, including three International Pavilions - German, Brazil and UK – as well as our Global Connect kiosks, featuring new-to-North America brands. The show will be even more robust and filled with new products and new trends as well as events, activations and educational programming."
Sustainability with style
Kitchen and bath manufacturers are excited to show off the latest designs and product technologies, with a high-focus on both sustainability and personalization. According to Andrea Maher, manager, brand marketing, Moen, today’s customer is looking for products that not only look luxurious, but that function with the best of innovation.
“The top trends we expect to see around the show floor are a focus on the blending of form and function, using personal expression, and sustainability,” Maher says. “Sustainability is always top of mind and from recycled materials to water-saving benefits, we expect to see this trend continue at this year’s KBIS.”
Steve Angus, senior director, residential sales at Zurn Elkay Water Solutions agrees, adding that homeowners are more individualized than ever, and are seeking unique colors and statement pieces to showcase.
“Sustainability is important to the new generation of homeowners, and they let their purchasing power speak for them,” he says. “Also expect to see products with new and exciting colorways. Homeowners have become much more individualized over the years and aren’t afraid to showcase this individuality in their home design. Pops of statement colors in the kitchen and bath that can be changed out every few years are something to watch.”
Danyel Tiefenbacher, senior brand manager, Pfister Faucets, echoes the trends of personalization. “We expect to see customizable and personalized fixtures, allowing consumers to tailor their choices to match individual preferences in design, color, and functionality,” he says. “We also know innovations to make everyday life at home easier is a must.”
Niagara Corp.’s VP of Marketing Jenni Steele adds that the global news about droughts and other natural disasters is only amplifying the need for water-saving, efficient products. “As always, we’re expecting and excited to see new innovations and pushes towards sustainability,” she says. “With all of the news about droughts and other issues that plagued our nation this past summer we know that our partners in the industry have been working just as hard as we have to design attractive products that also prioritize sustainability.”
When it comes to kitchen functionality, workstation sinks continue to gaining popularity. According to Sally Edenfield, brand strategist for Ruvati, each KBIS showcases how far the traditional kitchen sink has evolved.
“The world of workstations sinks is constantly evolving. Each year at KBIS, it becomes more and more evident how far the typical kitchen sink has come,” Edenfield says. “Our customers are always excited to see new ways we redefine the functionality and use of kitchen sinks, and we have a lot planned at our booth this year.”
Angus agrees, adding that workstation sinks are born from the desire to increase ease while maximizing space. “At the Elkay booth, we’ll be showcasing our large array of workstation kitchen sinks. Workstation sinks bring a lot of meal prep back to the sink with innovative and efficient accessories that increase ease of use while maximizing your workspace,” he says. “We’ll also highlight Quartz composite kitchen sinks in new colors, with some that are made with a high level of recycled material.”
Tips for covering a lot of ground
More than 400,000 square feet is a daunting amount of space to check out in three days. These exhibitors recommend looking at the floorplan ahead of time and heading into the show with a plan of attack.
“Attendees want to see everything at KBIS, but that may not always be feasible. Do your homework in advance; make a list of your must-see exhibitors and map out the most efficient route through the hall,” Angus says. “Don’t be afraid to ask an exhibitor to make an appointment in advance. This always helps to make sure you can see the right people and products for your individual business.”
Maher adds that one good tactic can be zoning out the manufacturers you want to see and spending a day, half-day, or couple of hours in one section before moving into another section of the show. “Scope out the landscape of the show. This way, attendees can identify who they would like to visit each day or if meetings with specific people have been coordinated prior,” she advises. “From there, people can find where different exhibitors they may be interested in are located and spend a morning, afternoon, or day – depending on how much time they have in each unique area of the show.”
Tiefenbacher agrees, adding to have a list of key booths you definitely don’t want to miss. “Definitely plan ahead and take a look at the floorplan beforehand. In general, we recommend visiting the major manufactures where you can experience innovations and design trends in one place to save time. Highlight the key booths or exhibits you don't want to miss and be sure to grab a coffee with Pfister and enjoy our new booth experience.”
Exhibitors are doing their own work to help you be prepared for KBIS, posting important news and updated to their social media.
“When it comes to brands you’re interested in and products you’re excited to see, knowing what to expect before you attend KBIS can help make sure you’re seeing everything on your list,” Edenfield says. “We provide previews on our website and social media platforms so our audience is as excited as we are, and most importantly, knows where to find us. Make sure to follow us on social media beforehand, and take lots of pictures and notes while you are at the show.”
You can find the KBIS/IBS list of exhibitors and show floorplan here.
What to expect
A show like KBIS is always buzzing with excitement, and these exhibitors are eager to show off their new innovations and booth layouts.
“KBIS falls on our 50th year anniversary,” Steele says. “We’ve been having so much fun these last few weeks looking back over the last 5 decades of innovation and growth, and we can’t wait to share some of our history as well as the exciting future with everyone at the show. Our booth will showcase both and we are hoping all of our industry partners will be able to stop by.”
Some exhibitors, like Pfister, are unveiling new booth experiences. “Out booth has been redesigned from the ground up to create an elevated experience for designers and builders at the show. We also can't wait for attendees to meet our four featured designers and see their beautifully designed vignettes,” Tiefenbacher says. “Two design panels will be hosted at the booth during which these featured designers will discuss the latest trends and more on Tuesday and Wednesday from 1-1:30pm.”
Other exhibitors have huge amounts of new SKUs to showcase at this year’s show. “Ruvati has released almost 150 new products since last year’s show, including new product lines such as our epiStone bathtubs and Italian artisan glass vessel sinks,” Edenfield points out. “We also have a lot of new, innovative and patented accessories for our workstation sinks that we plan to release at KBIS.”
Perhaps the most exciting aspect of KBIS/IBS is that all of the latest design and product innovations for the building and construction industry are under one roof — there is no other place you can see so many trends at once.
“The show is always an exciting time for kitchen and bath professionals,” Angus says. “Not only do we get to discuss new innovations and network with clients, customers, and other industry friends, but we also have the opportunity to see all of this in one amazing venue.”
KBIS Product Preview
Click on the product to preview.