When KBIS calls, pick up

The Kitchen and Bath Show (KBIS), in conjunction with the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA), has painted its appeal across kitchen and baths for 50 years, becoming an interactive platform that showcases products, trends and technologies that inspire and challenge.  Join architects, designers, consultants, installers, students and more at this must-go event held at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla., Jan. 10-12.

This year, KBIS will showcase more than 500 leading brands, including more than 100 new companies, across two halls.  This unique opportunity will give visitors a chance to examine products side-by-side, and engage the manufacturers standing beside the products and eagerly waiting to answer questions about them.

Get your learning on

Don’t worry; there will be plenty of learning.  The NKBA Learning program, which has been designed specifically for professional growth, offers attendees its Voices from the Industry Series.  Hear from top-name presenters and listen in on relevant topics.  The series include more than 70 multi-leveled speakers who represent the industry and its various segments.

Below is a taste of some of the sessions the NKBA Learning program offers:

Smart & Savvy: Facebook Advertising for the Small Business; Tuesday, Jan. 10; 9:30 – 10:30 a.m.

Learn the secrets of growing your business through a Facebook marketing system using five simple cost-effective techniques to find your exact target audience and lower your lead cost to reach the right people, at the right time, on the right devices. 

Professional Photographer — Shoot Like One or Hire One; Tuesday, Jan. 10; 1:30 – 2:30 p.m.

Learn what to look for when hiring a pro and how to create striking architectural photographs on your own to increase your bottom line.  Learn from a designer who is also a professional photographer.  With some investment, you don’t need to be a pro to use pro tricks.  You’ll learn about good camera and lens combinations, simple lighting tricks, where to place your camera, what to focus on, post processing and compositing multiple images and much more.

Mobile Apps for the Kitchen Business; Tuesday, Jan. 10; 3:30 – 4:30 p.m.

Learn about information sharing, collaboration, productivity and social networking — all with mobile apps.  Explore apps that can manage files and folders remotely so you can communicate effectively on the spot.  The presenter will also share mobile apps that record and time stamp all communications related to a file such as a jobsite photo and change order; mobile apps that allow all stakeholders to collaborate in real time from many locations; and simple time-saving apps such as automated business mileage documentation.

Creative Smallness: Thinking Big About Smaller Spaces; Wednesday, Jan.  11; 9:30 – 10:30 a.m. 

Discover creative strategies for smaller kitchens and baths that will have you embracing designing for smaller projects in a large way.  Be ready to create real-world solutions, paying attention to achieving the right mix of design and function that allows our clients to live large in their small spaces.

Designing the Kitchen of the Future; Wednesday, Jan. 11; 3:30 – 4:30 p.m.

Explore questions such as: What will our future kitchens look like? How do these new technologies integrate into existing kitchens and appliances? How can connected kitchen technology impact consumer's behaviors? And how can we sell it to our customers?

Staying in Front of Your Customers in a Digital Environment; Thursday, Jan. 12; 9:30 – 10:30 a.m.

Discuss how businesses can get a better understanding of the today’s market in regards to servicing their customers within the digital disruption going on.  Gain a better understanding of the different types of tools available to keep your services relevant, and of your own value in the scheme of business today.

For a complete listing of sessions, visit www.kbis.com and search under the Learning tab. 

Other educational opportunities include the chance to earn CEUs.  NKBA + Design courses allow attendees to take 2-hour courses that will offer latest techniques and best practices geared toward growing business.  CEU courses to choose from are: Beyond Design: Establishing Monetary Value for Creative Skills; Relationship Selling: How to Listen, Learn & Build Loyal Customer Relationships; Recruiting and Hiring for Success; The Room Compass; and Inspiring Exceptional Performance and Employee Engagement.

Must-attend events

After a long day of learning, put your favorite mouse ears on and wind down at the Magic of Design Opening Party, featuring the Design Competition & Industry Awards, located at the World Showplace in Disney’s Epicot.  Get to know the movers and trendsetters of the industry and honor the winners of the 2017 NKBA Design Competition.  Wrap up the night by connecting with friends and colleagues.  The networking fun begins at 6:30 p.m. 

If Disney doesn’t pique your interest, maybe Payton Manning will.  The legendary quarterback just so happens to be the keynote speaker at the KBIS Opening Ceremony.  Manning will share his thoughts on his career and leadership.  Doors open at 7 a.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 10, and seating is first-come-first-serve. 

Take advantage of the NKBA State of the Industry, which will be moderated by Emmy-winner and HGTV visionary Channing Dawson.  The panel discussion will review the industry’s latest research findings and economic trends.  Panelists include: Bill Darcy, NKBA CEO; Manuel Gutierrez, NKBA Consulting Economist and Principal of ManuelDJGutierrez, LLC; and Brad Farnsworth, President, CEO of the Farnsworth Group.

Polish off KBIS with the closing concert featuring country music stars and Grammy Award winners Little Big Town, taking place on Thursday, Jan. 12, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m.

For more information on events, travel and accommodations, sessions, exhibitors and more, visit www.kbis.com.  Enjoy the show!

Sarah Cimarusti joined TMB in January 2014 as an Assistant Editor and Layout Associate for both Plumbing Engineer and PHC News. She graduated from Loyola University in 2012 with two Bachelor's degrees in English and Social Work. She enjoys writing fiction in her free time. She can be reached at 847.564.1127, sarah@tmbpublishing.com or on Twitter @SarahCrimarusti.

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