From Hardie to Heisman: IBS 2010 First Impressions

This is my first show to attend in person and even though the housing industry has taken a hit these last couple years there was still plenty of foot traffic and a buzz and energy on the showroom floor that was great to be a part of.
I met some great exhibitors and ran into some old friends (Mark Powers of This Old House) and new (Nick Eber of BuildIntel).
Some of the more impressive displays on hand were built by James Hardie, Marvin Windows, Pella and Kohler. Pella and Lowes get my initial vote for best audience involvement. Pella challenged attendees to build a window and they also had a custom lighting display of the Welcome to Las Vegas sign that always had a line for pictures (I couldn’t resist).

Lowes offered a giveaway with a spin from a one-arm bandit and also had a virtual paint testing display that was visible on a large-screen TV. While everyone was in line to win some Lowes swag, an all-time college football great was signing autographs.
George Rogers, 1980 Heisman trophy winner from South Carolina and 88′ Superbowl champ with the Redskins, was gracious enough to chat a couple minutes and sign autographs for those interested. He currently runs a foundation that provides financial support to students seeking post-secondary education in the Carolinas. Really nice guy seemed to be enjoying his time at the show.
There was also much to learn from the smaller booths and I had the pleasure to discover Smith & Wesson Security, a new player in the home security field. We chatted about the recent ADT/Brinks takeover and they seem ready to make their mark in home security, with that name how can they not.
Another small booth that I had mentioned earlier and was looking forward to checking out was from Stiletto Tools. To my surprise the founder, Mark Martinez was at the booth and gave me a quick background on his company and a sneak peek at an upcoming product which I’ll share later.
I’m looking forward to digging a bit deeper these next two days and next week I’ll start rolling out reviews and product features from the show. Until then keep following me on Twitter @Charles_Hudson for live show updates that are often informative and sometimes irreverent.

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