For a newbie interior designer or a designer who has never attended, KBIS, the kitchen and bath industry trade show, is a much different experience than attending Highpoint or Vegas furniture markets.
Overall, it has a more “builder-oriented” vibe. :-)
For all my design-loving readers out there who are not designers and just want to get my posts about all my finds when I return, I will definitely be sharing all that info with you in March.
First of all, it is broken up into two main halls, with the IBS Builder show in between. This year, they have also added the Salon. All vendors are located in booths, there are no permanent showrooms or separate buildings.
Here are maps. There are multiple maps of the different buildings, so click on the Maps tab at the top.
How many days should you plan to attend KBIS?
Because everything is mostly in the convention center, you can really hit the highlights in one very full day, if you choose. However, it can get tiring and overwhelming if you don’t know specifically what you need to see and where the vendors are located.
I like two days, and of course, this year, there’s Vegas to entertain you at night. :-)
As a designer who does a lot of kitchen and bath remodeling design, I like to see my favorite vendors and then prowl around to scope out new and interesting products or attend a few of the talks that are on stages scattered throughout the venue.
Here’s a link to the schedule of events.
Where should you go first?
I would suggest that you be ready at the doors when they open.
If you can hit the Kohler booth before the crowds get there, that’s a great idea. Kohler has a huge booth with so many of their products displayed. The water is flowing and spraying everywhere. You can see the showerheads in action and much more.
Last year they had a photobooth and photographer set up for a new product launch and it was fun to try that out. Ann Sacks is attached to the Kohler booth since it is owned by Kohler, and they have such beautiful tiles and vignettes displayed.
There are always some great photographable moments for Instagram and your other social media posts.
My List Of Must See KBIS Vendors
Some of the other booths I like to make sure I visit, not in any particular order, are as listed by category, below. (I’ve linked the vendors names to past blogposts I’ve written, if you’re curious.)
Signature Kitchen Suite
GE Profile (I want to see their white appliances this year!)
Bertazzoni (Always some colorful ranges)
Smeg (So cute and last year they had some appliances painted by Dolce and Gabbana that made for fun photos)
La Cornue - (last year they weren’t there :-( but if they are, a must see)
Best Range Hoods
Thompson Traders - fine metal sinks, hoods, and accessories
Stone Forest - stone sinks, tubs, vessels
Native Trails - stone and metal sinks, tubs, vessels
Coastal Shower Doors - innovative design shower enclosures
The Galley - long, custom sinks and kitchen all-in-ones
Stikwood - shiplap, y’all
Wilsonart - laminate and quartz
Formica - laminate and quartz
Outwater - all kinds of plastic, metal, and wood architectural products
Ashley Norton & Manzoni
Don’t overlook the IBS Show
Some of the tile companies I like to see are usually located in the IBS show. I like going into IBS after I finish up with KBIS or if I find myself there earlier somehow, mainly to see doors and windows.
Marvin, Anderson, etc., and all those vendors bring their most impressive products and it is fun to see how easy it is to open and close some of their huge sliders and all the unique scenarios they can address.
This year I want to see Rubio Monocoat at IBS…..dying to go white with the brick on my house! All my clients’ houses too!
Where to go for a break
As a designer, you should hit up the Design Milk X Modenus Talk Lounge in the new KBIS Salon, for some of their presentations. You can grab a water, sit down for a minute and charge your phone.
Say hello to Veronika Eagleson, (Ms. Modenus herself) for me, and tell her I sent you!
BTW: I’ll be hosting a round table discussion, Blogging For Designers: How It Can Help Your Business, at 2:00 pm Tuesday, in the Salon Modenus Talks Lounge. Here’s the link. Email me here if you are interested in attending and I’ll save you a spot. :-)
As far as food/bar situations, KBIS is not like Highpoint in that regard. The food is generally out in the food court and the area is packed at lunch. I’d plan to eat either early or late to get a seat or just take a power bar with you to get you through.
You can sometimes catch a chef’s demo out on the floor, but it is not guaranteed. I always found that surprising with so many wonderful kitchen vendors and appliances there!
Offsite KBIS / IBS Events
These homes typically incorporate state of the art technology and appliances, beautiful building materials, and all the bells and whistles of an expensive custom home.
It looks like this year they really tricked out the garages, so it should be really fun to see.
I’ve got a few of the posts I’ve written in the past linked below, to show you what is in store.
Hope to see you there!!!
Have you been?
If so, share your insider tips, in the comments below, on what to do or what NOT to do at KBIS this year!
Have you checked out my blog for Designers and Design Bloggers?
If you are reading this and are a designer or design blogger, you might want to check out my blog, DESIGNED for Designers, written especially for you.
I publish once every two weeks with tips on blogging from the working interior designer’s perspective and bits I’ve learned from surviving in this business, oh-so-many years. :-)
Oh, and pin this to Pinterest please for me, to get the word out about this fun trade show!