They say travel is coming back with a vengeance in 2023. This was pretty obvious during the two days I spent in Las Vegas for the NAHB International Builders’ Show (IBS). IBS is part of Design + Construction Week (which also includes the National Kitchen and Bath Association Kitchen & Bath Industry Show).
The show was canceled in 2020 and 2021 due to COVID and resumed to a smaller audience last year. But 2023 had more than 100,000 attendees. That’s right … 100,000!
IBS 2023 was held from January 31 – February 2 at the Las Vegas Convention Center. It coincided with the International Surface Event and the National Hardware Show, also in Las Vegas. No doubt, this contributed to the overall size of the crowd. IBS alone had more than 2,000 exhibitors, with about 10% being first-timers. I’d strongly recommend tape converters interested in growing in the building & construction segment attend this show. I think you’ll find a wealth of value.
On the hunt for PSA tape opportunities
I attend IBS annually (when it’s held) to look for opportunities to innovate with pressure-sensitive adhesive (PSA) tapes. I really focus on how existing building products can be made more impactful with the integration of PSA tapes, or how PSA tapes can complement or replace current fastening technologies. I also like to look at competitors’ tapes, noting trends there. One takeaway: I estimate about half of the tapes I saw had liners, about 10% were linerless, and the remainder were split-back.
IBS is also a great opportunity for education and networking. The 2023 show offered more than 100 education sessions from 225 speakers. They covered everything from building trends to business management to larger issues and challenges in the industry.
Another highlight for me was this year’s Pro Builder's Village. This outdoor exhibit featured 18 exhibitors who had built homes under the warm Las Vegas sun. I spent a few hours walking through these homes and observing what products were being used, again looking for those opportunities for PSA tapes.
Four key takeaways
These are my main takeaways from my experience at this year's show.
This is a BIG show — I can’t stress enough the “ginormity” of the show — that’s my word for really big!. There's so much intense interest and energy in building and construction right now. Despite what may or may not be happening with the broader housing market, I left IBS with the sincere feeling that the industry is booming.
Sustainability and climate change were hot topics — The push for sustainability is consuming many industries, including building & construction. The world’s buildings consume 40% of the planet’s energy and contribute 33% of global carbon emissions. And a big focus in product development is making homes more resilient to climate change, especially hurricanes and pests.
Innovation is not keeping pace — Another common topic was innovation and the need for the industry to attract talent at all levels — from construction site laborers to engineers working to solve the industry's largest challenges. Innovation and talent were discussed from the get-go during Mike Rowe's (host of Discovery Network’s “Dirty Jobs”) keynote.
Keeping up with consumer trends — Consumers have long been focused on areas such as lighting and flooring. But now there’s an awareness they’re becoming interested in aspects of construction that were once a focus of just the builders themselves. One example is house wraps. With energy costs soaring, consumers are more interested in the products that will make their homes energy efficient.
PSA tapes have large opportunities in building & construction
I know it sounds cliché, but there was simply too much to see and do at IBS — even more than I could take in. My fitness tracker logged 40,000 steps in two days, and I still feel like I just scratched the surface of all IBS had to offer.
But I certainly saw enough to know PSA tapes continue to have immense opportunities in building & construction. As the industry looks to innovate, trim costs, and make workflows simpler and more efficient, PSA tapes can play a vital role in making many products work.
Rebecca Blose is a business development manager for Avery Dennison Performance Tapes. As a 25-year engineering and quality influencer of technical PSA tape solutions, she focuses on strategic, innovative and future trend design opportunities within the building & construction segment. Platforms, collaboration and creativity drive her contribution. Contact Rebecca at Rebecca.firstname.lastname@example.org or via LinkedIn.