Hey guys, Topher here. Last week we were out at The Builder Show with the c2s crew and not only learned a lot but had a great time.
This year the IBS show did not disappoint.
And no that’s not just because it was in Vegas. Last year was my first time at the show, and it was the first time the company took any employees. It was a bit overwhelming and chaotic. But knowing what we did heading back this year, we were better prepared to be successful. This trip was so beneficial for a few different reasons that I’m going to share today.
International Builders Show 2020
The KBIS/IBS show is held every year and thousands of vendors come out to show you their products. Anything from tools, windows, siding, toilets to construction software, vehicles, or cabinet hardware. So literally anything you could think of a construction company needing was showcased. As a smaller scale remodeling company, some of the products don’t apply to us, so it can be a bit overwhelming to scan through and find those booths that are really worth your time. Over the years, we have developed relationships with different brands; many of these brands were showcased at this event.
We were able to meet up with some brand reps, and they walked us through their booth. Some of the bath fixture booths were the coolest, in my opinion. Delta faucet company has been a company that we’ve developed a great relationship with, and we love seeing their new products. The thought that they put into every detail of their products is incredible. Elkay was another brand that went above and beyond. They were great hosts, inviting us to their 100th-anniversary party while we were there. Their booth was also a lot of fun.
They had one of the more interactive booths that I had ever seen; they even had a ball pit you could jump into, which was awesome until I lost my badge inside of it and had to stand in line for two hours to get a new one. The convention is also very inspiring. A lot of new technology is revealed at these shows for companies to implement in their businesses. Given we work with tools a lot, I was overstimulated by all of the tool vendors. Of course my number one being Festool, which if you don’t know who they are you ought to. Although we don’t work with any of their tools because they are fairly expensive, they are super interesting to learn about and see the different functions/features that their tools have.
Throughout the trip, we were able to meet so many great people. As stated earlier, the show itself had a ton of our favorite vendors, most of which the local Minnesota or Midwest representatives were present. In an industry where networking isn’t always seen as a high priority, I find it so refreshing when we can put a name and face to the brand of a company that we are working with and build trust and relationships.
Being able to call someone up from a company that you are working with and ask them detail specific questions about their product so that you can better inform your client of what they are getting is such a valuable thing. Outside of the show, there was a lot of networking to be had as well. Through social media, we have virtually gotten to know a lot of other builders and designers across the country. But being able to meet them in person takes it to a whole new level. We had set up multiple meetups with other people, whether it was lunch, to take a pic, or to see someone speak on a panel.
The sense of community was truly unique. For as long as I’ve been in this industry, I have been surprised by how community-based it is. Most would associate something like construction being ultra-competitive and very cut-throat. But at the end of the day, we want everyone to succeed.
I especially liked talking with other owners or project managers in companies similar to ours. I’m fascinated with the process of remodeling and how other companies operate. It also made me very thankful to have the team we do, especially with an in house designer. I know that in the future, whether it be for work or play, if we travel anywhere, we will always have a friend connection.
Our team has traveled a fair amount in the past six months, and I feel like every time we do, we not only get closer, but we collaborate and make our company a better operation. We constantly spitball ideas or talk about our process.
Some might say, “well, do you ever talk about non-work related things,” and the answer is yes. But I think that our team is unique in a way that we all have a passion for growth and to make our jobs more efficient. In Vegas, we took hilarious cab rides, ran across streets when we weren’t supposed to, danced like crazy, and most of all supported each other. I believe traveling as a team or as a company is crucial for development.
Sometimes getting out of the mundane work setting is what a company needs to be inspired. My favorite part of the trip was, without a doubt going to the Elkay party, which had a “Roaring 20s” theme. All four of us went all out, and I love that about this team, we all carry that attitude of if something is worth doing it’s worth overdoing and going all out. I hope this trip inspired us to carry that mantra into the workplace and go all out for clients, content, and construction.