By Bob Nielsen

Chairman of the Board, NAHB

Washington, D.C.
By Bob Nielsen Chairman of the Board, NAHB Washington, D.C.

When an industry goes through the kind of major upheaval that we have seen in home building in recent years, it emerges transformed. Old “rules” and expectations may no longer be relevant, and success goes to those who are best prepared to work within a new business model.

Now that some individual housing markets are beginning to show some initial signs of recovery, it’s time for everyone in the home building industry to start honing their skills and preparing for a new paradigm.

I can’t think of a better way to get ready for the future than to attend the NAHB’s annual convention and exposition, which will be held in Orlando, Fla., from Feb. 8–11. With more than 165 incisive education programs, acres of product exhibits, networking events, dazzling show houses, entertainment, and more, the International Builders’ Show (IBS) condenses a year’s worth of value and opportunity into just 96 hours.

And at a time when all eyes are on the economy, one of the highlights of the IBS will be a presentation by Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke, who will share his unique perspective on housing’s role in the economy and insight into the events that have dominated the headlines in recent years.


Another highlight of the show will be the exhibit floor, which provides a matchless showcase for thousands of innovative and exciting new products and services. No matter what the product, if it goes into a new home, you will find it on the show floor. Moreover, representatives from every exhibitor will be on hand to demonstrate products, answer questions, and help you select the items that will best suit your company and customers. The IBS is also known for great education programs and will continue that tradition of excellence in 2012 with more than 165 programs in 13 different tracks ranging from remodeling to green building, custom building, multifamily, and more. These valuable programs will help provide the information and insight necessary to move forward in 2012.

As a special bonus, a paid full registration to the IBS also includes a complimentary one-year subscription to the online library of recorded education sessions from the Builders’ Show (excluding student, spouse, and exhibitor registrants).

Now in its 29th year, The New American Home is the official show house of the IBS and a perennial favorite among attendees. The New American Home is sponsored by the NAHB and Builder, and showcases many cutting-edge products provided by members of the NAHB Leading Suppliers Council. Its purpose is to provide home building industry professionals with an opportunity to see design trends, construction techniques, and materials that can be used in any new or remodeled home. The New American Home 2012 is very energy and resource efficient, and will achieve Emerald status, the highest level of achievement under the NAHB’s National Green Building Standard. It also meets the criteria for certification under several other federal and state green certification programs.

There are countless networking opportunities at the IBS, including the “Centrals,” which focus on specific aspects of the home building industry. The Centrals offer workshops, activities, and educational materials that will facilitate networking and allow people to share information. There will be Centrals for sales and marketing, custom building, remodeling, apartments and condos, design, and 50+ lifestyle.

There are a number of registration options for the IBS, and spouses pay just $20 for the same attendance option as the primary registrant. For more information, visit where you can register online until Feb. 5. Beginning Feb. 6, you must register on site in Orlando.

I hope you will plan on joining us in Orlando for the IBS. There’s no better way to get 2012 off to a productive start.

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