COVID-19 pandemic continues to dramatically impact the kitchen and bath industry. Organizers of the kitchen and bath shows are trying to establish new protocols and safety procedures for all, including attendees, vendors, and exhibitors, or to convert to a digital format. In the meantime, many events are being postponed or canceled.
Health & Safety Major Concern and of Utmost Importance
The organizers of all the major show events previously scheduled for 2020 are dedicated to the overall wellbeing of the kitchen & bath industry and of everyone involved.
The following events have been reformated of canceled:
IWF 2020: This major event for the cabinet woodworking, manufacturing, and fabricating markets, annually held in Atlanta, was scheduled for August. 25 to 28th. It was expected to attract more than 1,000 exhibitors and over 30,000 attendees.
CEDIA Expo 2020: Targeting the home technology market, this show was scheduled to happen in Denver, Sept. 8-12 in Denver. With many connections to the kitchen & bath market, this show should have attracted more than 500 exhibitors and over 20,000 attendees.
2020 Remodeling Show: According to the event organizer, Informa Markets, this show that was scheduled for October 13 to 15th at the Baltimore Convention Center, was canceled as well.
KBIS and the International Builders’ Show (IBS), scheduled for February 9 – 11th, 2021 in Orlando are currently being reviewed and “reimagined” due to the virus related issues. New health and safety protocols for sanitation, disinfection, and cleaning, food and beverage access, staggered entrance, exhibit halls, meeting rooms, and traffic flow are being reviewed. The health and safety of attendees, vendors, and exhibitors are the top priority.
Kitchen & Bath professionals won’t be able to attend the physical forms or won’t be able to attend at all next events as well: the 2020 Architectural Digest Design Show, JCL LIVE 2020, the American Institute of Architects Conference on Architecture 2020, EuroCucina 2020, NeoCon, the Pacific Coast Builders Conference, Coverings 2020, and the 2020 Realtors Conference & Expo.
Kitchen & Bath Showrooms Undergoing Major Changes
The kitchen & bath showrooms are undergoing major changes, as well. The implementation of a wide range of virus-mitigation strategies, the use of by-appointment-only visits, entire redesigns, and the increased use of digital tools, including website upgrades, virtual showroom tours and product presentations, and meetings with clients, prospects and subcontractors, are some of the changes.
This is the key finding of a major new survey by Kitchen & Bath Design News among kitchen and bath design firms across the U.S.
Some of these adjustments are likely temporary, lasting for only as long as the virus remains a major factor, while some may well be permanent – part of a major paradigm shift, or “new reality,” for the kitchen/bath design trade.