The Annual International Builders’ show
The Annual International Builders’ show, held in conjunction with the National Association of Home Builders and the National Kitchen and Bath Association (IBS/NAHB), is a Big Deal, assembling companies of all stripes who are associated with residential construction, and attended by tens of thousands of professionals as well as consumers who are eager to see what’s new, and to take the temperature of the industry. In February of 2022 it was held at the Orange County (FL) Convention Center (OCCC) in Orlando, FL, which is a HUGE complex, comprising about 2.5 million square feet in the North, South and West Buildings, straddling International Drive.
Due to the obnoxious intrusion of Covid-19 upon the world and into the business interests of abcd, jr. enterprises, LLC and Millennials 4 Life™ (Richard D. Cornell) there had not yet been any patents filed, nor were there any products to exhibit, in the Booth for which Richard had made a substantial nonrefundable payment. Despite that unfortunate set of circumstances, Richard & Joyce took up temporary residence at The Rosen Centre, one of the four hotels connected to OCCC by elevated and covered walkways, to meet and greet any and all visitors who might care to inquire. The trip turned out to be informative and instructive.
By the way, if you ever find yourself in The Rosen Centre and your belief is that “bacon makes everything better,” the Breakfast Buffet is something you don’t want to miss.
As the photos show, the day prior to the opening of the Show is a scene of (barely) controlled chaos and, hats off the NAHB, it all comes together in time for the opening bell. Even though the hotel was connected to OCCC, it was still a 20-minute brisk hike to get from the room to the Exhibit Booth. Fortunately, Richard had planned ahead, and had secured a motorized scooter to navigate the enormous landscape to be traversed. It turned out to be a life (leg) saver.
As the photos also show, our Exhibit Booth was bare, save for a large banner, a table, some rack cards, and our senses of humor. While visitors to the Booth were initially disappointed by the absence of products to examine, most were eager to engage in dialogue regarding the lamentable state of the Aging in Place segment of the industry. Time and again, visitors decried the fact that, over the past 15-20 years, little has been done to advance the solutions available to those physically challenged individuals who, on a daily basis, confront the dilemma of having to rely on someone else to take care of them, thereby robbing them of their independence and dignity. It is a lament which Richard and Joyce feel deeply, and the reason for their labors to completely redefine the core issues of how aging in place issues should be addressed.
The experience of the IBS/NAHB 2022 Show reinforced their belief that the marketplace is hungering for the very products that they are soon, as time and circumstances permit, to bring to market.