Home Housewares Suppliers, Retailers Support IHA’s Concentrated Schedule, Layout for The Inspired Home Show 2024
May 8, 2023

Housewares Suppliers, Retailers Support IHA’s Concentrated Schedule, Layout for The Inspired Home Show 2024

By: Peter Giannetti


This article has been updated with additional comments from suppliers and retailers about changes to The Inspired Home Show 2024 schedule and layout announced this week by IHA.

Home and housewares suppliers and retailers emphasized the potential for enhanced show efficiency and productivity in responding to the plan by the International Housewares Association to concentrate The Inspired Home Show 2024 to three full days in two exhibit halls at Chicago’s McCormick Place.

IHA this morning announced The Inspired Home Show 2024 will run for three full days: Sunday, March 17, through Tuesday, March 19. This marks a shift from the four-day pattern that had been in place since the 2012 Show (with the exception of the abbreviated, three-day schedule implemented upon the Show’s return in 2022 from a two-year pandemic hiatus).

Commensurate with the new Show schedule in 2024, IHA announced, the Wired + Well Expo featuring kitchen and household small appliances will move from its longtime home in McCormick Lakeside Center to the main level of McCormick North, co-locating with the Clean + Contain Expo. This will concentrate the Show into two adjacent McCormick Place exhibit halls — North and South — separated by a shared concourse.

“The majority of exhibitors and retailers indicated on recent surveys and in discussions that three full days at the Show is sufficient with business being more concentrated over that timeframe,” IHA President and CEO Derek Miller said in a letter to the industry. “Making the move from four days to three full days will not only make the Show more productive and dynamic, but it will also reduce costs for both the exhibitor and retail audiences, something frequently cited throughout discussions.”

On the move of the Wired + Well exhibitors to the main level of McCormick North alongside the Clean + Contain exhibit, Miller said. “Housing all three of the Show’s primary Expos, which includes Dine + Décor (in McCormick South), together in the North and South halls will bring the industry’s core categories together into a central location that is much easier and more efficient to navigate with quick trips between two halls now being possible.”

Miller said the Wired + Well and Clean + Contain expos, which each will occupy half of the exhibit space in upper McCormick North, will be reconfigured with exhibitors being placed in each hall based on seniority number.

The exhibit concentration in McCormick North and South will result in several other changes:

  • The Discover Design Expo will be disbursed with current exhibitors being placed within their appropriate categories. “Discover Design was created in 2011 in order to concentrate and highlight design-driven companies that wanted to exhibit in a central location,” Miller said. “With design-forward products now being widespread and found throughout the Show, there is simply no longer a need for this specific area.”
  • The Travel Gear + Luggage category, introduced in March at The Inspired Home Show 2023 in partnership with the Travel Goods Association, will move into McCormick South to enable the segment to develop and expand, Miller said.
  • The International Sourcing Expo, reserved for exhibitors without branded products and U.S. distribution, will return to the lower level of McCormick North, a location previously occupied by that group of exhibitors in 2019.
  • Special exhibits and displays previously located in the Lakeside Center lobby, such as the Smart Home Pavilion and the Inventors Corner, will be relocated into the North and South halls once space assignment is well underway, Miller said.

Plans for next year’s concentrated three-day, two-hall Inspired Home Show were met with expectations for a more productive show experience by key exhibitors and retailer attendees:

“This makes the Show more convenient for retailers. It will result in a more robust show; more buzz and excitement on the show floor. Three days is more concentrated, and it is more realistic with regard to the time frame in which most retailers attend the show.”

– Dan Siegel, President, Lifetime Brands

“We look forward to attending the Inspired Home Show and are excited to hear about the updates to the schedule. Three full days gives us ample time to meet with our supplier partners and ensure that we have the right people in attendance.”

– Paige Kelly, Director, Housewares & More, Wayfair

“I’m excited for the changes; it’s great for the industry. The three-day show will help both retailers and exhibitors better control their expenses while getting a more fulfilling show experience. Condensing the show will make it much more efficient to see all the exhibits and displays.”

– Steve Greenspon, CEO, Honey-Can-Do International

“It’s a welcome change. A lot of (buyers) have expressed concern about losing the entire weekend. They would rather attend the Show during the week, and (a Sunday start) is a good compromise. You can get in late Saturday or even on an early flight Sunday and still have three productive days. If you’re working the show properly, you’re using it for high-level meetings and to find new suppliers, trends and products. Retailers are adapting, and so is the Show. This will be more efficient and productive.”

Bob LeBrun, Vice President, DMM, Big Lots

“IHA is listening to what key retailers and exhibitors said about the effectiveness of the show, and it is doing everything to put on a first-class global show. Moving (electrics) out of Lakeside is chance to address changes that will be beneficial to the show layout and to the retailers. Things change, and you need to adapt.”

– Bill Endres, President, Select Brands

“I am excited about the changes for next year. I think these are great pivots that will lead to a stronger show.”

– Bradley Kleparek Division Merchandise Manager, Kitchen, Crate and Barrel

“I was a big proponent of the longer show (for independent retailers) when that was implemented (in 2012). However, buyers have become more efficient, and budgets are hitting everyone harder. There are so many challenges retailers and vendors have endured. No one has the luxury of staying out of their stores for four days or more. Let’s make the Show as viable as possible in a shorter period of time. The Show changes just make sense today.”

– KC Lapiana, President, HTI Buying Group; Owner, In the Kitchen

“Retailers spend a fair amount of time walking the Show. We’re excited about the adjacencies offered to companies like ours that are in multiple categories. (The Cookware Company, which has exhibited in McCormick South, has added kitchen electrics to go with its cookware selection). Retailers will be able to circle back more efficiently as needed. The show will feel more active, which is a real positive.”

– Jacob Maurer, CEO, Americas, The Cookware Company

“Kudos to the IHA team and board members for making and announcing plans quickly. All initial changes seem well thought out, efficient and have the potential to bring a new level of excitement to The Inspired Home Show. Exhibitors and buyers will benefit from the combining of categories within the halls. These decisions align well with opinions expressed by vendors and retailers in the industry. GC, as in the past, will promote the Show to our independent specialty store membership and host a member event at the Show. “

– Janis Johnson, President, GC Buying Group

“The IHA is listening directly to the feedback of exhibitors and retailers, and it is solving a problem in a swift manner. The changes will increase productivity and efficiency. And I believe there will be little to no effect on the third day of the Show; it will be a busy, full day.”

– Lisa Knierim, Chief Development Officer, Creative Tops, Inc.

“This allows (exhibitor) leadership to be present on all key days of the Show. There will be an increase in energy and a more effective concentration of business.”

– Luke Peters, Executive Chairman, NewAir

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