Mark Jan. 19-22, 2004, on your calendar, and start packing your bags and planning what you're going to see and do during the upcoming International Builders' Show (IBS). Last year's IBS in Las Vegas set all-new records for attendance and exhibits. We're building on that success this year, so expect to be very impressed--and very busy.

To start the show with a patriotic flourish, we have a great keynote speaker. Former President George H. W. Bush, who led our country from 1989 to 1993, will share unique perspectives and insight with convention attendees during the grand opening ceremonies at the Orleans Hotel Arena at 10:30 a.m. on Monday, Jan. 19. The grand opening ceremonies are sponsored by Kohler.

The following day, Jeffrey R. Immelt, chairman of the board and CEO of General Electric Co., will provide an insider's view of "technology as a competitive edge" during keynote remarks on "Discovery Day." The highlight of a day of special programs showcasing the use of technology in new homes, Immelt's keynote address will focus on the state of technology, its likely evolution over the next few years, and how builders can best take advantage of these developments.

No visit to the IBS would be complete without a tour of the exhibits, so be sure to set aside plenty of time to take in the sights. With 1,300-plus exhibitors showing their products in more than a million square feet of space, the IBS offers a spectacle equal to anything else that Las Vegas can offer.

While you're looking at the exhibits, be sure to check out tecHOMExpo(TM), the show-within-a-show that is the building industry's premier technology showcase. And if your company specializes in or takes on a good share of commercial construction projects, you'll want to see the wide array of commercial products and services in exhibitor booths at the International Commercial Construction Exposition. Check the show's official program for exhibitors offering both residential and commercial products and services.

The IBS is also the place to find the solutions you need to the many challenges you face in your business. No one understands the builder's business like the NAHB, and we've put together a great program of nearly 200 educational sessions where you will learn smarter ways to keep your business thriving and your customers happy.

One of the highlights of every IBS is The New American Home (TNAH), which is open to attendees and showcases new architectural and design ideas that builders can incorporate into the homes they build around the country. TNAH 2004 will feature a distinctive loft design with interior options that cater to a vast range of buyers. The loft design--a growing trend in residential construction--incorporates simple and quick construction techniques and allows higher-density development.

TNAH 2004 is sponsored by the National Council of the Housing Industry, the NAHB's organization for building product manufacturers and suppliers, in conjunction with BUILDER magazine.

So please join the more than 92,000 builders, remodelers, dealers, and other professionals from 120 countries who wouldn't miss it. Visit today to register for the industry event of the year.

I hope you have a great time planning your IBS experience and an even greater time attending the fabulous 2004 International Builders' Show in fabulous Las Vegas.