In early January, Sandy and I attended the International Builders Show and the Kitchen and Bath Show in Orlando, Florida. This weeklong event starts off with the National Association of Home Builders committee and caucus meetings and ends with 3 days of exhibits in over a million square feet of floor space. There were over 85,000 attendees at this year’s show. Companies from all over the world came to showcase their products to builders, architects, designers, and homeowners in attendance. There are always new products to view that will help professionals design and build better homes and make them more efficient and profitable in the process.
On Sunday, I attended four subcommittee meetings of the 55+ Housing Industry Council. The 55+ Housing Industry Council focuses on housing topics for adults over the age of 55. The Council looks at sales and marketing strategies, buyer motivations, lifestyle and design trends, multigenerational communities, technology, universal design and aging in place topics, and how to help builders implement these ideas and strategies.
Monday started with the Single-Family Committee Meeting. The agenda for that meeting included an economic forecast from NAHB housing economists, softwood lumber tariffs, and hurricane damage prevention techniques. My second meeting of the day was a meeting of the full committee of the 55+ Housing recapping the subcommittee discussions. The day ended with a reception of NAHB Gold Key members at Planet Hollywood.
Tuesday morning got off to a great start with Terry Bradshaw as the keynote speaker for the Opening Ceremony. Terry did a great job keeping everyone laughing and enjoying his comments about his football days and his roles as broadcaster and movie actor. His comments about building design and construction and interaction with clients were right on point.
The Opening Ceremony ended at 10 AM and it was off to a three-hour Area 4 caucus meeting with attendees from Georgia and South Carolina to discuss regional issues and changes to the NAHB Governance Boards. We also heard presentations from the two men running for NAHB First Vice President. After a quick lunch, Sandy and I spent about three hours walking the show floor looking at new, tried, and true products of all kinds and talking with industry professionals. Tuesday ended with another reception.
On Wednesday morning, we had the pleasure of hearing from Daymond John of Shark Tank about his secrets to success. I would tell you what they are, but then they wouldn’t be a secret anymore. What was reassuring is that most business ideas are developed at the kitchen table and are usually run from the home. After Daymond John’s presentation, it was time to eat again. North Carolina had several Associate members recognized at the Associates Appreciation Luncheon. Three of us on the Senior Leadership of NCHBA were on hand to support our Associates for a job well done. After another afternoon on the show floor, we headed to the North Carolina Home Builders Reception for all North Carolina attendees and the Leadership and staff at NAHB.
Thursday opened with a five-hour meeting of the NAHB Board of Directors. There were many presentations by economists, NAHB Senior Leadership, and speeches from the two candidates for First Vice President. After a very long and contentious debate, the Board approved the new governance structure for NAHB. One of the goals of the new governance bodies is to streamline the duties of the Corporate board and the Board of Directors so that NAHB can react more quickly to rapidly changing issues. We spent a few more hours on the show floor and then it was off to an early evening concert by Chicago. We had a prime spot at the front left corner of the stage. Later, our North Carolina contingent celebrated the induction of the new Chairman of the Board, Chairman Randy Noel, his wife, Teri, and their friends and supporters from Louisiana.
We were running from the time we hit the ground in Orlando to the time we left. We accomplished a lot, we met people from all over the country, caught up with old friends and acquaintances, made some new friends, and learned a few things to help us be better business professionals for our clients.
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