In addition to its continuing discussions with the National Kitchen & Bath Association, show manager Miller Freeman and the partners of the North American Exposition, the Plumbing Manufacturers Institute recently had a conversation with the National Association of Home Builders about trade show consolidation.

Linda Mayer, newly elected president of PMI and senior vice president/marketing and product development at Moen, said: "We had an initial discussion with NAHB to understand their vision. It was a first meeting, and we just shared our objectives and general direction."

PMI approached NAHB for a meeting during the International Builders show in Dallas, said Wayne Stetson, vice president/convention and meeting division at NAHB. "There were several meetings with different organizations in Dallas about consolidation, and everyone was for it as long as it made sense and didn't conflict with prior commitments to cities. NAHB is interested in consolidation because that is what exhibitors want."

Consolidation is not as easy as it may sound, Stetson said. "Depending on the shows to be combined, there are certain sleeping and meeting room accommodations, times of year and exhibit space to be considered," he said. "Some associations have contracts in other cities for multiple years. Also, there are smaller shows that might be easier to consolidate. Consolidation may take months to work out, and the first event might be a couple of years from now. We told PMI we'd like to be on a committee to investigate consolidation."

Mayer said that PMI is focused on establishing a common vision among numerous manufacturer associations, and wants to include all affected associations, manufacturers, channels and customers in the discussions.

"We hope to develop a solution that adds benefit to the entire industry," she told Supply House Times. "A third-party facilitator may be helpful."