The 8th annual Design & Construction Week featuring the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show (KBIS) and International Builders show (IBS) will be a virtual event, taking place from February 9-11, 2021.
Originally planned as a physical event to be held in Orlando, the decision to become a virtual-only event was made following health and safety concerns and ongoing travel restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Chairman of the National Association of House Builders (NAHB), which organises the International Builders Show, Chuck Fowke said: “Out of an abundance of caution and concern for the safety of our exhibitors, attendees and the thousands of onsite 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.
“We have plenty of great virtual educational programs, innovative products, services and workshops on tap, and we are very excited about the 2021 show.
“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.”
CEO of the National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA), which organises KBIS, Bill Darcy commented: “The safety and well-being of our attendees, partners, exhibitors, site workers and staff has always been our top priority.
“As we now cross the 16 weeks out mark, it was time to transition to 100% focus on a virtual event.
“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.
“We pledge to transform KBIS into an exceptional show experience for everyone. And we will be back live – bigger and stronger – for DCW 2022.”
Registration for the virtual DCW event is free for all NKBA and NAHB members and, as with in-person shows, attendees will have access to KBIS and IBS exhibitors and programming.
The virtual format will allow participants to see the latest product launches and housing and design innovations, hear from leaders in the industry and take part in online education courses, across the world.
Exhibitors have issued their support of the decision to make the event virtual.
CEO of Kohler Co David Kohler said: “With safety and well-being of attendees, exhibitors, vendors and trade show staff as the priorty, Kohler Co applauds the difficult but appropriate decision made jointly by the NKBA and NAHB converting KBIS and IBS, respectively, to be 100% virtual.”
And president and CEO of LG Electronics North America Thomas Yoon stated: “We cherish our partnerships with NKBA and NAHB. In our shared commitment to the health and safety of industry colleagues, we fully support their decision to reimagine the 2021 KBIS and IBA events.”
He added: “We optimistic about the recovery ahead, and we look forward to reconnecting in person with industry partners in Orlando in 2022.”
Design & Construction Week will return to Orlando as an in-person event on February 8-10, 2022,