IHA Strategy Focuses on Show Rebuild and Member Services

Two-day Strategic Planning Meeting Codifies International Housewares Association’s Direction:
Rebuilding the Show Based on 2022 Enthusiasm, Continuing to Offer Member Services to Support Industry

Members of IHA’s Board of Directors and several past Chairs gathered together along with senior IHA staff to review the 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 Association activities over the last 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 Board unanimously agreed that rebuilding The Inspired Home Show back to pre-pandemic levels will be the primary focus of the Association.

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Derek Miller On The Inspired Home Show 2022

Inspired Home Show 2022 Saturday Opening

Inspired Home Show 2022 Saturday Opening

On behalf of the IHA Board of Directors and Staff, thank you to everyone who participated in The Inspired Home Show 2022.  Buyers from 84 countries came to Chicago to meet with 1,016 exhibitors from 40 countries. While the show was smaller than in previous years, the benefits for those attending were tremendous.

Best Show Ever – when you hear something once and then twice and then again, it begins to turn into a trendline, and while that may not have been everyone’s experience, it certainly was for many Show participants.  Many exhibitors expressed they connected with key retailers like never before – they received meetings, and those meetings lasted longer than anticipated.  Retailers expressed that they found new companies, brands and products not seen in the past.  Yes, 2022 was different, but different can be good – quality over quantity as they say.

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Over 1,000 Exhibitors for The Inspired Home Show 2022

The Inspired Home Show 2022 wrapped up on March 7, 2022, at McCormick Place in Chicago, Ill., after three highly successful days. It was the first time that the event, formerly known as the International Home + Housewares Show, has taken place since 2019. Twenty thousand attendees and more than 1,000 exhibiting companies signed-up to discover new products, reconnect with colleagues and advance the home + housewares industry.

The Show featured multiple new and returning attractions, including products, retailers and students honored at the gia Global Innovation Awards; four keynote presentations on consumer trends, retail thought leadership and industry statistics; three days of educational sessions in the Innovation Theater; multiple networking events including a social media influencer meet & greet and New Exhibitor and Trending Today Previews; and a full slate of celebrity chef demonstrations in the Cooking Theater, headlined by Martha Stewart.

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Home-Housewares Industry Letter from Derek Miller

When Coronavirus first surfaced in late January of 2020, no one could ever have predicted that we’d still be having conversations about the virus more than two years later, but here we are.  Although we’ve been a bit beaten and battered at times, we are still standing together as an industry and supplying desired products to consumers throughout the world – housewares are often necessities and many times luxuries, and as the world worked from home, we were there to meet the consumer need.

Our industry is resilient, and after the past two years, we are no doubt ready to take on the many opportunities that 2022 will offer, and I look to the coming month as a turning point when we will once again be able to come together to discover new products and supply chains, to learn from industry peers and experts and to connect with current and new partners.

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The Inspired Home Show 2022 Announces Shortened Schedule

Following the January Board of Directors’ meeting, the International Housewares Association has announced The Inspired Home Show 2022 will take place March 5-7.  COVID-19 safety-related policies and protocols have also been established as has a shortened schedule for the event.

Before collecting a badge at McCormick Place that provides access to The Inspired Home Show, all exhibitors and attendees will be required to demonstrate proof of vaccination or produce a negative COVID-19 test that had been administered in the previous 72 hours. This includes exhibitors and personnel related to the set-up and tear-down of the event. The review of proof of vaccination and negative tests will be facilitated by a third-party company. Details including full instructions on how to provide vaccination or testing information will be available in the near future.

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IHA Partners with Epistemix on COVID Protocols

The International Housewares Association (IHA) will partner with Epistemix for The Inspired Home Show 2022. Epistemix is a data science company that has built computational models to help government agencies, municipalities, healthcare systems and the tradeshow industry identify the risk of putting on events in specific locations and employ appropriate mitigation techniques to reduce the threat of COVID-19.

Using epidemiological, demographic, sociological and behavioral data across various subsets of the population, Epistemix is able to project, with high degrees of accuracy, the expected c-19 case occurrence in a given group of individuals gathered during a specific period of time.

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IHA’s Derek Miller: The Inspired Home Show 2022

The Inspired Home Show opens on March 5, 2022, with the halls once again filled with new products and innovations. It will be the opportunity for the home + housewares community to come together for product discovery and networking, two activities sorely missed over the past 18 months.

With five months before opening, space sales for The Inspired Home Show are currently at 82% of space sold for the pre-pandemic 2020 Show numbers and include more than 240 new exhibitors. Exhibitors are enthusiastic about getting back to business as is the retail community. Retailers across the country and around the world tell us that digital product discovery is challenging at best and finding new and innovative products is extremely difficult – they see the Show as the most efficient and effective method and best opportunity to explore and engage with the industry.

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The Inspired Home Show 2021 Cancelled

As state restrictions prohibiting large gatherings remain in effect for the foreseeable future, and government travel restrictions continue to significantly impede domestic and international travel, the International Housewares Association’s Board of Directors have made the difficult but necessary decision that The Inspired Home Show 2021, scheduled to take place Aug. 7-10, 2021 at McCormick Place in Chicago, cannot proceed as planned.

“Over the last year, we have been closely watching the status of large events from a health and public safety perspective, and have consistently sought feedback from our industry about how travel restrictions and mass gathering bans have impacted their normal operations,” says Derek Miller, IHA president. “With the health and safety of our exhibitors and attendees top of mind, we realized that it is infeasible for The Inspired Home Show to proceed in August of 2021.”

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