This week's announcement that the International Builders Show (IBS) and the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show (KBIS) will continue to co-locate through 2020 comes with a sigh of resignation from my end. While my colleague Sandra Malm says 2015 was her "Best IBS Yet," I was more than a little disappointed by the layout and execution of the show floor during this year's Design & Construction Week main events.

First, let me say that I was a major proponent of co-located shows when they were announced for 2014.

In practice though, the super-sized event felt clunky when the two shows met for the first time in 2014, and that feeling didn't dissipate for me this year. Aside from the overarching Design & Construction Week concept, IBS and KBIS are distinctly separate, and the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA) seem to be doing everything possible to keep them that way.

Don't get me wrong: I'm fully aware that IBS and KBIS are co-located, not combined. In fact, they're so not combined that each show had its own exhibitor directory. Not only that, but each directory was a different size, so attendees couldn't even comfortably carry them together like you might with two copies of a magazine. Props to NAHB for noting in their directory the show floor (IBS or KBIS) where a given exhibitor could be found. Eventually, I abandoned both directories looked up booth numbers online when I needed to.

Which leads me to tell you about the morning I wandered all over Kingdom Come looking for booth S1410. Should be easy enough, right? S obviously refers to the South Hall, which had two levels of exhibits, so the first 1 in 1410 must mean it's on the first floor, right? But of course not, because the first floor of the South Hall was all KBIS exhibitors, while the IBS exhibitor I was looking for was upstairs. Surely the shows wouldn't overlap booth numbers - that would be too confusing, right? Wrong. While there was only one S1410, the KBIS aisles were numbered 1000, 2000, 3000, and so on, while the IBS aisles upstairs were numbered 1000, 1100, 1200, etc. A quick cross-reference of the exhibitor lists shows eight IBS booths with KBIS doppelgangers in the South Hall.

Now, admittedly, I should have paid closer attention to the booth location and saved myself 15 minutes of traipsing around the convention center. But, I wasn't the only one who ended up in that predicament, and show administrators could have easily prevented the goof with more sensible booth numbering. When it comes down to it, losing 15 minutes at IBS/KBIS is the equivalent of losing 30 minutes because it's time spent away from two shows. As I noted in my tweets, I was looking forward to only traveling once to a co-located show, and not having to juggle work, home, and travel schedules for separate IBS and KBISt. What I underestimated was the extra strain put on trade show schedules by having to manage meetings, events, and booth visits for two shows in the span of one.

That's not to say I had to tackle the show floor alone. Along with Sandra, our team of editors from Builder, Remodeling, ProSales, Custom Home, and other titles visited more than 120 manufacturers to learn about new products, shoot video, and discuss trends for construction and design in the coming year. What we learned was valuable, and you'll be hearing about a lot of it online and in print as our staff churns out stories going forward. But the fact remains that three days is too little time to make all the visits we wanted to. Even one additional day of exhibit floor time could would have given us a chance to see dozens more new products that we had to skip this time around.

2015 marked my 10th visits to IBS and KBIS, but by no means my best ever for either show. Exhibitors abounded, the show floor was humming, the conference tracks were packed with knowledge, and I'm looking forward to working with our staff to share all the news, products, and ideas we found. I'm also eagerly awaiting the 2016 show to see if and how NAHB and NKBA come together to make a truly seamless Design & Construction Week experience. It's wishful thinking to expect a combined show any time between now and 2020, but while my peeves from this year's event might seem trivial, they mark easy opportunities for the organizations to improve the attendee experience.