If you’re a professional in the kitchen and bath industry, you’ve probably been looking forward to the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show (KBIS) for months. Owned by the National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA), KBIS is the place to go to learn about new products, trends and technologies. And this year’s show did not disappoint.
Held Jan. 10-12 at the Orange County Convention Center, more than 500 brands converged over two convention center halls, showcasing their most innovative offerings. WarmlyYours, for instance, displayed its Ember® and LAVA® radiant panels, towel warmers, in-floor heating systems, snow-melting systems and controls all in one booth!
“It is important for WarmlyYours to attend shows like KBIS because this is where all the top industry leaders get together to showcase new, innovative products and services, collect intel on the industry market and standings, and see what's new in the kitchen and bath design world,” said Elodie Pasek, WarmlyYours’s North American director of business development. “It is also a great place to collect new leads and make people aware of our newest products or innovations and a chance to connect with our current industry partners and customers.”
This year’s show made trendspotting particularly easy with its KBISNeXT Stage. Throughout the show, kitchen and bath experts took the stage to offer their insight into the latest trends. This included the NKBA’s 30 Under 30 presentation and Design Bites sessions. At the 30 Under 30 presentation, 30 selected professionals spoke about key industry trends and answered questions about business issues that professionals commonly face. Design Bites gave kitchen and bath brands a quick, fun way to present their latest innovations. Brands had just three minutes to show off their products, followed by a quick 2-minute Q&A with the audience.
Some of the top industry trends as identified by the NKBA included floating bathroom vanities, freestanding tubs, smart toilets, radiant floor heating, two-toned kitchen cabinets and quartz countertops. Many of these trends were showcased by the Best of KBIS winners.
The Best in Show and Best of Kitchen: Gold awards both went to GEOLUXE’s GEOLUXE Natural Stone. The Best of Kitchen: Silver award went to The Galley’s The Galley Dresser. The Best of Bath: Gold award went to TOTO’s NEOREST AC Dual Flush Toilet with Actilight; and the Best of Bath: Silver award went to Copper Shower Co.’s The Copper Shower Kit.
Winners of the 2017 Innovative Showroom Award were also announced on the KBISNeXT Stage. The following showrooms were recognized by the kitchen and bath community for exceptional service and leadership within the retail showroom space: ProGranite Surfaces, Clarke – New England’s Official Sub-Zero & Wolf Showroom and Test Kitchen at 7 Tide, Walker Zanger Global Headquarters, and Monogram Design Centre / AyA Kitchens Castlefield Showroom.
“KBIS is proud to once again honor our industry’s retail showrooms that value and deliver exceptional customer experiences,” said Brian Pagel, vice president of the Kitchen and Bath Group for Emerald Expositions, in a statement. “Retail showrooms are a part of the foundation of the kitchen and bath industry, connecting us to the customer and allowing customers the chance to uniquely experience each showcased brand. Congratulations to the 2017 winners.”
This year’s show also made sure that no brand was overlooked by dedicating an area to potentially undiscovered products. Named the Discovery District, this area enticed attendees to visit by offering prizes. Each day, the first 100 attendees to visit the Discovery District received a $10 gift card to Starbucks. And, every day KBIS gave away $1,000 to a lucky winner who dropped their business card in the district’s bin. The show even used social media to offer prizes. Those who used the hashtag #KBISDiscovery and included the booth number in their tweet or Instagram post were eligible to win a $50 gift card. This area of the show proved to be very popular, with two Best of KBIS winners (GEOLUXE and The Copper Shower Co.) coming from this area.
Next year’s show will again be held at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, co-located with the International Builders’ Show. It will take place Jan 9-11, 2018. For more information, visit www.kbis.com.