The NAHB International Builders’ Show® (IBS) is the premier industry event of the year that draws 60,000+ residential construction professionals worldwide and 1,800+ brands and companies, 120+ education sessions, special events and more. For first timers, the sheer scale and vastness of the show can be overwhelming.
With some prep, your inaugural experience can be memorable and productive. Check out our insider guide for creating the best first-time Builders’ Show experience.
Must-Dos for First Timers
While this is not an exhaustive list of everything happening at the show, it is some top stops to add to your show agenda.
New Product Zone
Make sure you have the New Product Zone as a stop on your show plan. This is where the latest and greatest residential construction products and technologies make their grand debut. Don’t miss the chance to be among the first to discover the next industry-changing innovation. This area tends to get crowded, so try to visit early in the day for the best experience.
This year, the exhibit show floor is separated into 6 categories and the Outdoor Exhibits. With 1,700+ exhibitors, it’s impossible to visit every one of them. Instead, look at the exhibitor list or floor plans ahead of time. Identify the categories or exhibitors you want to visit so you know before you go where to concentrate during your times on the show floor.
Live demonstrations in the Construction Performance Zone and the Craft Techniques Zone are hot spots at the Builders’ Show. Step into the Construction Performance Zone to see industry experts reveal industry best practices for building more durable, efficient, higher-quality homes. Explore the details and finishes that complete a home in the Craft Techniques Zone. There’s various interactive demos you can participate in these zones.
The Spot & The Oasis
The Spot and The Oasis are spots on the show floor and Outdoor Exhibits for fun, giveaways, IBS swag and unique experiences. Be sure to mark your calendar for fun events during IBS 2024 in The Spot, like an ice cream cart, bubble truck, beer and more and in The Oasis, like a tequila tasting, popcorn bar, mimosa bar and more!
Education at IBS is always a centerpiece of the Builders’ Show. The 2024 IBS Education lineup promises to dazzle and captivate with its 120+ IBS Education sessions, where you can learn strategies, discover new trends and more directly from industry experts. With a mix of returning beloved sessions coupled with enhancements to IBS Education, there’s a wealth of knowledge awaiting every professional in the residential construction industry at the Builders’ Show.
The best plan of attack is to use the IBS Education Search or the IBS App to find all the education sessions you want to attend. You can search by topic, interest, date and more. Make a list of the sessions sorted by day and time. Add these sessions to build your show agenda in the IBS Mobile App.
Here are a few tips to make the most out of your IBS Education Sessions:
1. Plan Ahead: Review the schedule and mark your preferred sessions. IBS offers an array of concurrent sessions, so careful planning is necessary to avoid clashes. This year, we are offering encore sessions and added a time slot to avoid missing a session you really want to attend.
2. Arrive Early: Popular sessions can fill up quickly, so arrive at least 15-20 minutes early. This helps to guarantee you get a seat, but also gives you a chance to network with other professionals while you’re waiting for the session to open/begin. NOTE: All IBS Education and Centrals are in the LVCC West Hall. If you are in another hall, it is up to a 25-minute walk to West. You can also ride in an underground Tesla in the Vegas LOOP, turning a 25-minute walk into a 2-minute ride.
3. Engage: Don’t be afraid to ask questions during the Q&A section. The speakers are industry leaders. This is your opportunity to get direct insights from them.
Pro Tip: Add all the sessions you want to attend, even if they are happening at the same time. If one of the sessions is full, you can attend the backup session. New for 2024, we’re also offering encore or repeat sessions, so if you can’t attend the first time the session is scheduled, you can attend the encore session. Expo+Education registrants have post-show access to the Education On-Demand Library until Jun 30, 2024.
If you’re not an NAHB Member yet but are interested in joining, you can Become a Member before the show or visit NAHB HQ during the show.
Download & Use the IBS Mobile App
To help you navigate the event smoothly, IBS provides an official app with features like interactive floor plans, complete event schedule, speaker listings and more. Download it from your app store or BuildersShow.com/app ahead of time to familiarize yourself with it.
You can also use it to:
1. Plan Your Day: Use the app’s built-in scheduler to plan your day. You can add sessions, reminders, exhibitors and more so you won’t miss anything important.
2. Navigate: The Las Vegas Convention Center is vast, but the app’s interactive map helps ensure you never get lost. You can locate exhibitors, find specific companies, session rooms and even chart the fastest route to your next destination.
3. Network: Use the app to connect with other attendees, schedule meetings and share your experiences. Remember, connecting with other industry professionals is a significant part of IBS!
Pro Tip: Add all events, education sessions and other stops to your personal show agenda, even if they happen simultaneously, so you have a backup if something happens with your first choice.
Remember to pace yourself. IBS is an action-packed event. It can be tempting to try and see it all, but take breaks and soak it all in.
Plan & Research Before You Go
Check BuildersShow.com and the IBS App for schedules, floor plans and exhibitor lists. It gives you a head start in deciding which IBS Education Sessions you want to attend, where your areas of interest are on the segmented show floor and the specific companies you want to visit on the show floor.
Set Clear Objectives
The best way to create a strategic plan for tackling the Builders’ Show is to start with your goals. Start with what you are trying to accomplish.
- Are you looking for specific products?
- Do you want to learn about the latest residential construction trends?
- Are you there to network and make connections?
Set clear objectives for attending the show so you can optimize your time and make a strategic plan for attending the show each day. For example, if you’re looking for a specific product, check the exhibitor list to find the segment on the show floor and the exact exhibitors offering that product so you know where to find them when you arrive for the show.
If you’re trying to figure out the latest marketing strategies for custom home builders, use the IBS Education Search to find sessions about marketing and specifically for custom builders.
Pro Tip: Schedule your time with your main priority in mind but leave time for other areas of the show. You may spend most of your day in IBS Education Sessions, but leave an hour to walk the show floor, visit the IBS Store to stock your bookshelf and attend special networking events you have tickets for after show hours.
The Builders’ Show is huge and spread out in three LVCC halls. You’ll be walking a lot. Wear comfortable shoes and attire. Business casual is typically a safe choice, but you will see people dressed in everything from jeans to suits.
Pro Tip: Wear a different pair of comfortable shoes each day you’re at the show.
Pack Show Essentials
With just three days to pack it all in, your days at the show are packed and long. Make your experience comfortable by bringing some essentials each day for the show.
- Bring a backpack or tote bag for guides, brochures, samples and promotional items you pick up from the show.
- Carry a notebook and pen or a tablet to jot down important information – especially during IBS Education Sessions, but also for networking and the connections you make.
- Ensure your phone is 100% charged. Consider bringing a portable charger.
- Pack snacks, a re-usable water bottle and a lunch (if possible). The Convention Center has spots where you can buy food and drinks, but the lines tend to get long.
Pro Tip: Stay hydrated and nourished. With all the walking and talking, it’s easy to forget to eat or drink. Las Vegas can be very dry, so have a water bottle, take snack breaks and maybe drop a lip balm into your bag.
See you at the Builders’ Show, Feb 27 – 29!