The International Builders' Show (IBS) is the one place in the world a home builder would expect to find “Everything You Need Under One Roof,” and that's exactly how the February 2008 show in Orlando, Fla., is being billed.

With expanded educational offerings, new executive-level programs, and more than 1,900 exhibitors showcasing everything from cutting-edge appliances to dazzle buyers to innovations in power tools aimed at improving performance on the jobsite, IBS is the largest annual light-construction show anywhere.

TOOLS YOU NEED More than ever, attending IBS is your ticket to success in the nation's competitive home building industry. Most housing markets across the country continue to find themselves in the midst of tough times. Selling homes in today's buyer's market requires a reassessment of your business from head to toe to determine how you can get the job done more efficiently and more effectively. It also requires delivering a product that stands out from the competition, knowing where to best spend your advertising dollars, and knowing how to work with your lender to ensure that affordable financing is available for the mortgages your customers need to buy your homes and for the loans you need to build them.

In the homes we build, we need to demonstrate more convincingly than ever that there is no substitute for a new home when it comes to supporting the lifestyle that our customers want. Today's new homes consume less energy, they're more sensitive to environmental concerns, they're easier to maintain, and they provide a level of comfort and performance that has never been available before. That's the message that can increase your business even in a slow market.

IBS is the one place that will enable you in a few short days to put together all of the pieces of a plan that could see you safely through today's hard times and put you in a position to make the most of the more robust marketplace that will emerge after this housing downturn.

WHAT TO DO? A great deal of thought and preparation has gone into the 2008 IBS to ensure that it's tailored to meet your immediate and future needs. Here are some features you need to know about:

  • Builders can register for a highly focused executive-level program that will be held the day before IBS opens. “Executive Edge: Leadership in Challenging Times” will help executives lead their organizations to a top position in a tough market and lay a foundation for business growth.
  • Several other pre-show courses on a wide range of topics are scheduled. Many of these courses provide credits for people working toward professional designations such as MIRM, CAPS, and RCS.
  • In response to attendee requests, the number of advanced-level educational sessions has been increased, and some popular programs will be repeated during IBS so that more people can attend them.
  • A featured speaker will open each day of the show to provide insight into specific industry concerns such as marketing and business communications.
  • The new NAHB market-driven green building standard will be unveiled, and the very latest green building products will be featured on the exhibition floor.
  • NAHB members who are first-time IBS attendees can register for only $100. That's a savings of more than $300. This fee is available to any member who has never attended an International Builders' Show. It is also available to any new NAHB member, including those who have attended the show in the past as non-members.
  • I don't need to remind you that this is no time for complacency. It's up to you to make the most of today's tough circumstances. I hope to see you in Orlando in February at the show—the place to see our industry at its best and to tap the potential that will see your business through to better times.

    For more information and to register for IBS, go to

    Brian C. Catalde

    Learn more about markets featured in this article: Orlando, FL, Des Moines, IA.