International Home + Housewares Experiences Increased Demand for Exhibit Space

March 30, 2012

If sold-out exhibit space at a trade show devoted to homegoods and housewares is any indication of an economy on the mend, then the recent International Home + Housewares Show may just be a bellwether event.


Held March 10-13 at McCormick Place in Chicago, the annual housewares giant continued its second year of show floor growth by drawing 2,130 exhibitors, of which 500 were new, with 30 percent from outside the U.S.


Similar to last year, the show attracted 60,000 total attendees from more than100 countries, including 21,000 buyers, according to show officials. In 2011, Home + Housewares drew 1,951 exhibitors, which resulted in a 5-percent increase in space from the year before, they added.


Expo floor square footage from either 2012 or 2011 was not available at press time.


“The sold-out status is continued evidence that the housewares and homegoods segment is standing up well in the face of our current economic situation,” said Phil Brandl, president of the 74-year-old International Housewares Association, which owns and operates the show.


Featuring the latest and greatest in consumer lifestyle and product trends for all areas of the home, the event included high-end international design and trend-setting basics, with products ranging from kitchen electrics and tools, home décor and cleaning products, bakeware and gourmet specialty foods, to cookware and seasonal décor.


In addition, the show featured 25 educational sessions, including its Innovation Theater series and the inaugural, one-day Exhibitor Education Seminar, which addressed cutting-edge industry topics such as re-shoring, sustainability and factory compliance.


“We (had) very positive feedback (about the show) from both exhibitors and attendees,” Brandl said. “With tens of thousands of new product introductions, over 500 new exhibitors and the introduction of our new IHA Innovation Awards, buyers found newness and innovation at every turn.”


He added, “The show’s new fourth day was well received and well-used based on reports from both buyers and exhibitors. Our research shows more buyer visits, which exhibitors told us led to more relaxed and meaningful meetings.”


The International Home + Housewares Show will return to McCormick Place March 2-5, 2013.

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