“Buyers from 84 countries came to Chicago to meet with 1,016 exhibitors from 40 countries,” says Derek Miller, president of the International Housewares Association (IHA), reflecting on The Inspired Home Show (March 5-7 Chicago). “While the Show was smaller than in previous years, the benefits for those attending were tremendous.”
Progressive Housewares and HousewaresNews.net’s Rob Willis was keeping tabs on UK buyers in attendance and counted the heads of great faces from Tesco, Sainsbury’s/Argos/Habitat, Harrods, Next, TK Maxx, Borough Kitchen and more. Lakeland was also out in full force, with buyers Ellie Jones and Amanda O’Rourke telling him: “It’s been a joy for us to get back to trade shows and connect with the products, brands and people that we already know and enjoy working with – plus the ability to source new ranges first hand. A real reminder of the value of quality trade events.”
Having come together in Chicago for the first time since 2019, many participants described the event as their “best show ever.” In his letter to the industry, Derek Miller elaborates: “Many exhibitors expressed they connected with key retailers like never before,” while “retailers expressed that they found new companies, brands and products not seen in the past.” He observes: “2022 was different, but different can be good – quality over quantity.”
Derek adds: “That’s not to imply that those who chose not to exhibit were not missed because they were. While roughly half of the industry came back, there is a need for the entire industry to pull together in 2023 so that we can once again showcase everything we collectively have to offer.”
Upbeat exhibitor comments from The Inspired Home Show included Tobias Gerfin, ceo of Kuhn Rikon, stating: “Not only are all the major retailers here, but they are spending more quality time than ever. Often during trade shows, the buyers are rushing from one meeting to the next. This year, we had executives spending thirty, sixty, ninety minutes with us. Those are the exchanges that truly build relationships.”
At Peugeot Saveur, Yvette Laugier, managing director enthused: “The Show was a fantastic success. It may have been our best Show ever. We saw all our regular buyers plus more. From specialty stores to our large online retailers to international buyers from around the world; it was fantastic.”
* Many of the educational sessions recorded at the Show will be released on the Show’s website.
* The Inspired Home Show 2023 will be March 4-7 at Chicago’s McCormick Place. Buyer registration is now open at TheInspiredHomeShow.com/Register. Space applications to exhibit will be accepted from May.
Top: Lakeland buyers Ellie Jones and Amanda O’Rourke at The Inspired Home Show.