Home IHA Board Maps Out Strategic Direction for Inspired Home Show, Member Services
May 18, 2022
IHA Board Maps Out Strategic Direction for Inspired Home Show, Member Services


Members of International Housewares Association board of directors and several past IHA chairs gathered in person recently with senior IHA staff to review results of The Inspired Home Show 2022 and to discuss strategic direction for IHA, the show and other IHA member services for 2023 and beyond.

After a review of IHA activities over the past two years, results of The Inspired Home Show 2022 and feedback from the show’s Exhibitor Trade Show Advisory Committee and three Retail Advisory Councils – all of which stressed the importance of an annual face-to-face event – the IHA board unanimously agreed that rebuilding The Inspired Home Show back to pre-pandemic levels will be the primary focus of the Association.

“We were one of the brands that sat out of The Inspired Home Show 2022,” said Rob Michelson, president and chief commercial officer, Bradshaw Home and IHA board member. “Although COVID concerns made our participation impossible this past year, we are very excited and enthusiastic to get back to the show in 2023 and rebuild those face-to-face engagements that are critical to our success.”

The IHA board meeting began with a thorough review of The Inspired Home Show 2022, which ended with an approximate 50% turnout from exhibitors and buyers when compared to previous Shows. Although the total number of U.S. buyers was down from previous years, the quality of key retailers in attendance was very high, according to IHA.

Verified retailer representatives attending the show included the following:

  • 99 Cents Only Stores
  • Ace Hardware
  • Albertsons / Safeway
  • Aldi
  • Amazon
  • At Home Stores
  • Bealls
  • Bed Bath & Beyond
  • Belk
  • Big Lots
  • Bloomingdales
  • C&S Wholesale Grocery
  • Christmas Tree Shops
  • Cinmar Frontgate
  • Cost Plus World Market
  • Costco
  • Crate & Barrel
  • Do It Best
  • Dollar General
  • Dollar Tree / Family Dollar
  • Giant Eagle
  • Hobby Lobby
  • Home Shopping Network
  • Homegoods
  • Hy-Vee
  • Imperial Distributors
  • JCPenney
  • Kohls
  • Kroger / Fred Meyer
  • Macys
  • Meijer
  • com
  • Pampered Chef
  • QVC
  • Rite Aid
  • Ross Stores
  • Rue Gilt Groupe
  • Sam’s Club
  • Sur la Table
  • Target
  • The Container Store
  • TJX
  • True Value
  • Tuesday Morning
  • Vermont Country Store
  • Walgreens
  • Walmart
  • Wayfair / CSN
  • Wegmans
  • West Elm
  • Whole Foods
  • Williams Sonoma
  • Zulily

Despite COVID-related travel restrictions, verified international buyer attendance, according to IHA, was strong with key buyers attending from around the world.

Attending Latin American and European retailers included the following:

  • Pao de Acucar (Brazil)
  • Falabella (Chile)
  • Hipermercados Tottus (Chile)
  • Sodimac (Chile)
  • Almacenes Exito (Colombia)
  • Almacenes Flamingo (Colombia)
  • Maximo / Pepe Ganga (Colombia)
  • Sodimac (Colombia)
  • Galeries Lafayette (France)
  • Leroy Merlin (France)
  • Monoprix (France)
  • Home Shopping Europe (Germany)
  • Otto (Germany)
  • Rewe (Germany)
  • City Club Soriana (Mexico)
  • El Palacio de Hierro (Mexico)
  • HEB (Mexico)
  • Liverpool (Mexico)
  • Cesar Arrocha (Panama)
  • Cencosud (Peru)
  • Sodimac (Peru)
  • El Corte Ingles (Spain)
  • COOP (Switzerland)
  • Harrods (UK)
  • Lakeland (UK)
  • Sainsburys / Argos / Habitat (UK)
  • TJX Europe (UK)

IHA staff provided the board with the following statistics to support the high-quality of traffic seen at the show:

  • 97.3% of 2022 Verified Retailers have Purchase Authority
  • 87.3% of 2022 Verified Retailers are Buyers and/or Executives
  • 25% of 2022 Verified Retailers represent more than $100MM in annual sales
  • More than 33% of Verified Retailers represent 50+ stores
  • More than 25% of Verified Retailers represent 100+ stores

The IHA board reviewed the new Exhibitor Prospectus, titled Back to Business, which contains additional statistics surrounding The Inspired Home Show.

IHA staff also reviewed the newly rebranded and reimagined Show displays that were on-site in 2022, including Pantone ColorWatch, gia Global Innovation Awards, Smart Home and Inventor’s Corner. Events reviewed included Trending Today, the New Exhibitor Preview and the Cooking Theater. With the board’s unanimous agreement that the show’s rebranding and the elevation of the displays and events was important to the overall quality of the show, the enhanced presence of these various elements will continue moving forward, according to IHA.

IHA staff provided updates on IHA member services including reports on Industry Networking (CORE, CHESS & the Housewares Credit Group), International Services (IBC, Global Forum & IHSA), Consumer Engagement, Government Affairs and HomePage News. The IHA board also reviewed the latest IHA Member Connect magazine, which details all member services currently being offered.

The IHA board of directors then turned their attention to the strategic planning elements of the meeting, starting with an exercise designed to identify overarching factors that may impact the industry and IHA in the months ahead. The IHA board then applied this data to an in-depth scenario planning exercise designed to facilitate discussions around “what-if” scenarios, should they occur, ultimately identifying one scenario that is most likely: A strong show that is larger than 2022 but smaller than 2019, with a return to pre-COVID levels perhaps taking more than one year.

Following that determination, the IHA board was then broken into three distinct groups, each focusing on in-depth discussions:

  • The Inspired Home Show 2023, which focused on topics including exhibitor recruitment & retention, buyer recruitment & attention and international participation.
  • IHA Member Services, which focused on identifying and developing appropriate activities and events that would increase the member value equation outside of the show.
  • The Inspired Home Show 2024 & Beyond, which focused on strategic partnership opportunities, location, show length and day pattern.

Feedback from each small group was then presented to all board members for further review and discussion with an understanding that IHA’s Strategic Plan can be further refined and developed over the coming months, according to IHA.

The Inspired Home Show 2023, confirmed to take place at McCormick Place in Chicago on March 4-7, was a primary topic. The board codified the decision to keep the show in Chicago in 2024 with planned dates of March 16-19.

Additional details regarding IHA, The Inspired Home Show and Member Services will be released at appropriate times in the months ahead, according to IHA.

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