Our Vegas Trifecta – Part 2
A couple weeks ago, we shared some design takeaways from the International Builder’s Show. Below, two more BSB Design industry veterans share some insight from their time in Las Vegas.
Brad Sonnenburg, Partner – Phoenix
This year’s show provided a nice recap of some concepts and trends that have been discussed at IBS for the past couple of years. I also saw a few new ideas on the product and design side, but overall it was apparent that our industry has internalized the press about a flat market and is holding steady in preparation. It seemed like many builders and designers have decided to stay within their comfort zones as a way to minimize the risk of new product implementation. Still, I think the status quo will probably serve most folks well this year, though not as a growth strategy.
Witnessing this pull-back at IBS actually ended up validating many of the claims I make to prospective clients – that BSB Design is on the cutting edge of design trends. Already this year, we’ve been introducing innovative design ideas across the country, finding ways to remain budget-conscious while pushing the envelope of creativity. I’m proud to see that we’re walking the talk in regard to innovation, at least compared to what I saw in Las Vegas.
Although I didn’t necessarily fill my design toolbox with new ideas from the show, I did make some very good connections with counterparts and builder clients. The show continues to be a great place to network and catch up. I also attended one of the many economic outlook seminars and learned quite a bit about what the biggest economists in the country think might happen in the next couple of years. This broad perspective helps me understand some of the strategic moves our largest clients are making.
Overall, the incredible attendance numbers and upbeat crowds were great to see. Even though I’d call this one of the more conservative shows I’ve attended, the attitude at IBS was very positive. That bodes well for our industry this year and next.
Teresa Bateman, Director of Architecture Development – Chicago
IBS is one of my favorite events of they year, and this year’s show offered so many opportunities to connect with my colleagues throughout the industry. I make it a point to pack my schedule with events, networking meetings, and private seminars where I can arm myself with some new knowledge – and meet a few new folks along the way.
I started my time in Vegas at the Builder Partnership reception. If you’re not currently a member, I strongly encourage you to consider it. This group leverages the incredible power of connecting the biggest builders, vendors and service providers from across the country to gain some distinct advantages. And I always manage to meet someone new. This year, I’m even hopeful to work with a new homebuilder as a result of attending this event.
Brad’s assessment of the seminars and show floor is spot on, and I should know – I walked nearly every square foot of the convention halls. I noticed that many of the displays were similar to past years. Flooring in particular didn’t seem to be innovating as much as I’d hoped. Some of the newer smart home tech was cool, but not mind-blowing.
Hearing our firm Partners Gary Snider and Steve Moore during their respective seminars was very enlightening. Both of these guys are so engaging and provide useful, timely information. I’m not just saying that because I work for them – one client who attended was so inspired, he called me right after the show to start discussing some new concepts! A few other seminar topics piqued my interest, especially those dealing with affordability and the increasing potential in multifamily. Even with flat sales predicted by many of the economists, the general vibe among attendees was overwhelmingly positive.
Finally, like Brad said above, meeting with new and existing clients is the best part about IBS. This year, my client meetings proved incredibly enlightening thanks to some open, honest conversations about the client/service provider relationship. I actually took pretty detailed notes that I used to educate my team when I got home, and the ideas were well-received. I can’t wait for next year’s show!