Yet again, the industry’s biggest event of the year is right around the corner, and regardless of whether you’re going to be in Sin City, there’s no need to miss it. With the housing recovery finally taking hold, now is the time to perfect your business practices, lay hold of the coolest new products, and get ideas to refresh your home designs. 
Since that’s a lot to cover in just three days, Builder Online’s team of editors will be scouring the show floor to provide you with extra eyes and ears, bringing you coverage from all over the show in more formats than ever before. 

And if you will be in Las Vegas, here are some tips on show highlights that shouldn’t be missed. 

Scout Young Talent: If you want to see the future of the industry, the NAHB’s Residential Construction Management Competition is the place to find it. Throughout Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, high school, college, and university students will have their skills on display at the annual student competition, which asks student teams to plan out solutions to complex development and home-building challenges. With the industry getting back on its feet, now is the time to track down the best and the brightest of the rising builder generation, and the student competition has them in one convenient spot. 

Brush Up on Business Skills: Be sure to catch Chuck Shinn’s education session, “25 Ways to Become a Profit-Oriented Builder,” Thursday, Jan. 24, from 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. in South 231, where the expert builder and consultant will help attendees position their businesses for profitability. Those who attend will walk away with a road map to strengthening their company’s operations and increasing rewards. 

Get Friendly: In addition to the show coverage offered here at Builder Online and in our daily e-newsletters, which will be covering everything from products to education sessions, our team of editors will be posting up-to-the-minute updates on the goings-on at our Facebook page, complete with photos, videos, and more. So be sure to “like” us and we’ll return the favor with daily albums of cool products and highlights from the show. 

Tune Up Your Floor Plans: The Architectural Plan Review Workshop is a fantastic opportunity to spend one-on-one time with an architect to review your house plans and get feedback on what adjustments could help them better meet the needs of today’s buyers. There are multiple sessions, but this event is always a hit, so be sure to show up 30 minutes prior to the session’s start time to reserve your spot. 

Products and More Products: Once again, building product manufacturers have stepped up to the plate to bring the industry a new crop of offerings that boast better performance than ever before. Whether you’re looking to shrink your homes’ carbon footprint, cut down your build time, or find something just plain cool, the show floor will have what you’re looking for. Be sure to check out our preliminary picks for this year’s show, and then hit the showroom floor yourself and prepare to be dazzled. 

Bring Snacks: With so much to see and do, you don’t want to find yourself stuck in line for a quick bite. Stash some granola bars and water bottles with you and you’ll be sure to make it to your next session. 

Tour The New American Home: This year’s show home offers 6,721 square feet of revolutionary design. Sporting cool products, a new take on the wide-open plan, and a seamless integration of indoors and out, it’s a show-stopper you won’t want to miss. The home is located about 13 miles from the Las Vegas Convention Center, so be sure to catch the free shuttle (Booth #20) that will run between the conference center and the house during show hours. You’ll need to expect a 40-minute ride each way, in addition to the hour-long tour.

Bookmark our IBS Twitter Page: As always, Builder’s editors and the editors of our sister publications will be covering all corners of the show, tweeting their product finds, interesting info, and goings-on around the conference center at @OverheardAtIBS and @BuilderOnline. We’ll also be aggregating IBS-related tweets, so if you use Twitter, be sure to tag your tweets with #IBSVegas and #OverheardAtIBS so they’ll be included in the roundup. 

Take Back Your Homes’ Value: Learn ways to combat low-ball appraisals and take back new-home sales at “A Builder’s Guide to Appraisals,” being held Tuesday from 2:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. Topics covered will include strategies for communicating with lenders and appraisers to help them better understand your homes’ value, tips on dealing with appraisals in distressed markets, and addressing appraisal errors and pursuing reconsideration of values. 

Brace for New Fall Protection Guidelines: With the upcoming March deadline for full-enforcement of OSHA’s new fall protection requirements, now is the time to make sure you fully understand what will be required and find practical strategies to meet the new regulations. Fortunately, that’s exactly what will be covered at “A Home Builder’s Perspective: Implementing Effective OSHAA Fall Protection Practices,” to be held Tuesday, Jan. 22, from 2:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. in North 262. 

Claire Easley is a senior editor at Builder.