Due to health and safety concerns and ongoing travel restrictions stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA) have announced that the eighth annual Design & Construction Week (DCW)—featuring NAHB’s International Builders’ Show (IBS) and NKBA’s Kitchen & Bath Industry Show (KBIS)—will no longer be an on-site event. Instead, the two groups are now planning a robust, all-virtual event.
DCW was originally scheduled for Feb. 9–11, 2021, at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla. The new all-virtual DCW 2021 will still take place the week of Feb. 8 with extended programming.
“Out of an abundance of caution and concern for the safety of our exhibitors, attendees, and the thousands of on-site workers who support the premier event of the residential construction industry, we feel the only prudent course is to make this year’s show a virtual event,” says NAHB Chairman Chuck Fowke, a custom home builder from Tampa, Fla. “It’s an opportunity to set a precedent for the industry by producing a dynamic virtual trade show, and we look forward to a very successful Design & Construction Week.”
According to Bill Darcy, CEO of the NKBA, this decision comes after months of discussion with NAHB and other event stakeholders. “As we now cross the 16-weeks-out mark, it was time to transition to 100% focus on a virtual event," he says. "An all-virtual Design & Construction Week will be a different experience, but with it comes new opportunities to reach an even larger audience that would not have been able to participate on-site, for any number of reasons, including on-going travel restrictions.”
Registration for the virtual DCW event is free for all NKBA and NAHB members, and attendees will have access to KBIS and IBS exhibitors and programming. The virtual format will allow participants to see the latest product launches and cutting-edge housing and design innovations, hear from top leaders in the industry, and take part in online education courses.
"With safety and well-being of attendees, exhibitors, vendors, and trade-show staff as the priority, Kohler Co. applauds the difficult but appropriate decision made jointly by the NKBA and NAHB converting KBIS and IBS, respectively, to being 100% virtual,” says David Kohler, CEO of Kohler Co. “We look forward to the opportunity to connect with our trade customers and showcase our new products and innovations.”
As of now, DCW plans to return to Orlando as an in-person event Feb. 8-10, 2022.
Further details on the DCW 2021 virtual offerings will be forthcoming. For more information on the two shows, visit buildersshow.com and kbis.com.