Welcome to what is arguably the single most important event in the home building industry—the International Builders' Show (IBS). In addition to the general spirit of camaraderie, people come to learn business strategies and marketing tips and to keep abreast of the latest technologies that will help them operate their companies more smoothly. Still, the best reason to attend the show always has been, and always will be, the products.

Manufacturers use the IBS to unveil their best and newest wares, which makes sense, as the show attracts more than 100,000 attendees from all areas of the industry. The result is a cornucopia of products that range from the frivolous to the functional, from the sensible to the silly. As usual, BUILDER has done some reconnaissance to separate the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Take a look, for example, at the Power Box jobsite entertainment system from Bosch. What's different about this product? It has a docking station for an iPod. You might also want to swing by the Colorado vNet booth; the company says its TP1-1D touchpad uses technology that allows the unit to react to and execute commands with a single touch.

It might also be worthwhile to head over to the Tapco Group to investigate the company's Inspire synthetic slate roofing, made from 50 percent resin and 50 percent natural materials. The manufacturer says it looks like the real thing, but resists the growth of algae, moss, and mold. The great thing about the IBS is that you can see for yourself.

Here are 20 products that are definitely worth checking out.

For more product information, visit ebuild, Hanley Wood's interactive product catalog, at www.builderonline.com or www.ebuild.com.