Ahead of The Inspired Home Show, 17-19 March, at McCormick Place, Chicago, Housewaresnews.net sits down with Derek Miller, president and ceo of the International Housewares Association to find out about the plans for the 2024 show.
Can you start by telling us about your plans for the 2024 show please? Are there any new features or changes you can tell us about?
“The Inspired Home Show 2024 will continue to build upon the success of the 2023 edition with new and returning exhibitors showcasing their latest products and innovations. More than 1,700 exhibitors from over 40 countries will participate in one of four primary Expos – Dine + Décor, Wired + Well, Clean + Contain and International Sourcing.
“The Show will be three full days, Sunday to Tuesday 17-19 of March, and will take place at Chicago’s McCormick Place convention center. Additional information about the Show, including badge registration and hotel reservations can be found online at http://TheInspiredHomeShow.com.
“The greatest change for the 2024 Show is that the Wired + Well Expo will be moving into the North Hall to co-locate with the Clean + Contain Expo. Positioning the show’s three primary Expos, which also includes Dine + Décor, together in the North and South Halls will bring the industry’s core categories together into a central location that is much easier and more efficient to navigate with quick trips between two halls now being possible. The concentration of exhibitors will create a more dynamic experience for all who attend – the changes have been very positively received by both exhibitors and the buying community.”
How has the response been to the show so far?
“Registrations for the show have been and continue to be very strong from both the US market and international countries. Registrations from key US retailers are also significantly outpacing the previous year, which is very positive news.”
Are there any new or returning exhibitors at the show this year?
“Support for the show has been very positive, especially with the changes planned. A few of the more than 100 returning exhibitors confirmed for 2024 that missed the 2023 show include Cuisinart, Scanpan, Joseph Joseph, Fissler, Corckcicle, Midea, Tramontina, Cool Gear, Stolze Lausitz Glassware and Range Kleen. Additionally, over 200 completely new exhibitors will make their debut at the show for the very first time.”
What is it that draws people in to The Inspired Home Show? Why is it such an important date in the housewares calendar?
“The home + housewares industry is quite large and is not fully represented at any one fair. By attending The Inspired Home Show in Chicago, buyers have the opportunity to see exhibitors that don’t participate in European or Asian fairs as well as the full assortment or products from US suppliers. Visiting exhibitors in Chicago to find new sources and innovative new products give buyers the ability to greatly diversify their assortment with products not yet available in other markets.
“Also, in addition to what can be found at the show, Chicago is a great destination for housewares retail benchmarking. Leading home and housewares retailers such as Williams Sonoma, Crate and Barrel, Sur La Table and The Container Store all have Chicago flagship stores where international visitors to the Show are able to discover innovative merchandising and store branding, superior customer service and unique ideas.
“Every year, we receive very positive comments from international retailers about how inspiring the stores are and how it is a must for them to see what’s new in retail in the US. To make this easy, we organise a Retail Tour, scheduled for Wednesday, 20 March – please visit the show’s website at https://www.theinspiredhomeshow.com/events/chicago-retail-tour/ to register.”
There are some leading industry names highlighted in the keynote schedule again this year. Is content an important aspect of the show, and why?
“Our education program is incredibly strong with four keynote presentations scheduled thus far. We will have a trend presentation from British-based Trend Bible, an overview of the U.S. retail landscape from Circana, a look at the importance of the Hispanic consumer within the U.S. from Univision, and a discussion about colour trends from Pantone.
“Additionally, our Inspiration Theatre will feature presentations on a wide variety of industry-relevant topics, conducted throughout each day at the Show.
“The full schedule is available on the Show’s website at https://www.theinspiredhomeshow.com/education/#theater.”
As always, the gia programme is celebrating retailers’ excellence from around the world. How else do you ensure that the show has a global reach?
“You are correct that the gia Global Innovation Awards helps to bring the world’s attention to Chicago as we are now operating that programme in over 30 different countries. Additionally, IHA has offices and representatives that work on our behalf to promote the show to the global industry. And, thankfully, as we have been an active part of the global community for many, many decades, the show has a positive reputation and international reach – the 2024 show will have exhibitors from over 40 countries and attendees from 125, making it definitely a global event.”
What’s the best thing about The Inspired Home Show?
“The best thing about The Inspired Home Show is the community. It’s the one time of the year where the industry comes together to connect with established colleagues and to find new friends and partners. And for those new to the industry, it is the best opportunity to see the industry as a whole – seeing the vast landscape of companies, brands and products greatly increases the understanding of just how wonderful and dynamic our industry is.”