NKBA CEO Bill Darcy was thrilled to have the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show as part of Design & Construction Week.
Residential Lighting: What are you anticipating by making KBIS part of Design & Construction Week?
Bill Darcy: We’re extremely excited to partner with the National Assn. of Home Builders to create this event for our industry. The timing worked out well. We’d been considering shifting KBIS earlier in the year. We’d found from surveys of our members that they’re busiest immediately after our traditional KBIS date. It was tough for manufacturers to work their leads at that time of the year when they already had been in the busier time, and also from the showroom side and the retail side being busy with projects.
RL: Any plans for the concurrent Las Vegas Market in 2015 and 2016?
BD: We’ve started exploring the opportunity to work together. There are so many things that we could do to improve the experience. Obviously, with the dates for the IMC aligning with the events of Design & Construction Week (DCW), this offers some natural opportunities. We’re having some great conversations with them, and they’re interested in supporting DCW events. On the design side, they have a lot to offer. We’re going to have some more serious discussions in the months ahead.
RL: How significant is lighting as a category for KBIS?
BD: It’s very significant. I’ve developed a rapport with the American Lighting Assn. and their membership. Lutron is not too far from us, and they’re certainly a technology-driven company of significance. KBIS recently partnered with eLumit, the lighting search-and-spec tool for design professionals. We have a center stage presentation on LED lights and technology in 2014. We have a significant amount of exhibitors focused on lighting, but I think we need to do more. Designers want to see more lighting manufacturers and understand trends in lighting. Bringing the two shows together offers a natural opportunity for the lighting industry to have a stronger presence. Our designers have been pleased to see movement to more exhibitors showing and selling lighting. I’m happy because it’s a component that has not had a significant enough presence.
RL: Should lighting retailers attend?
BD: Absolutely. Lighting is a big component of our market. Traditionally, I would have hoped that lighting would have been more engaged with KBIS, but now we’re delivering a much bigger, more well-rounded audience from the remodeling business. This is the sweet spot, I think. If you are in the remodeling business, and you go to one event a year, this is the one you go to. So lighting retailers and manufacturers will be welcomed.
We have a program called Voices of the Industry where anyone in the industry can come and present a topic. We have about 85 conferences happening on topics generated by the industry. The more we have from lighting, the more excited our designers will be. They want to understand lighting both technology-wise and how lighting can make a kitchen or bath look beautiful, be efficient and save the homeowner money.
RL: What will happen beyond 2016 when IBS moves back to Orlando?
BD: We haven’t gotten to our first event yet, so we’re not ready to make a commitment long term. But, if things continue as they’ve been even in a very short amount of time, I would see no reason why we wouldn’t continue the partnership and head to Orlando with IBS. My hope is that if we continue on this path, we’ll be ready to start talking about 2017 sometime next year.