2018 International Home + Housewares Show Sells Out in Chicago’s McCormick Place

January 31, 2018

The 2018 International Home + Housewares Show sold out in late December, more than 10 weeks before opening day March 10 at Chicago’s McCormick Place, according to the International Housewares Association, the show’s owner and operator.

“The high demand to be a part of our world-class marketplace continues for our IHA member suppliers,” said Phil Brandl, IHA president & CEO.

He added, “We look forward to bringing the industry together at the premier global housewares industry event.”

The Show will host more than 2,100 exhibitors from around the world, including 400 new companies exhibiting for the first time.

This year the Show will feature a new pre-Show event, an expanded IHA Smart Home Pavilion and a focus on building careers in the housewares industry through an increased Experience Day program for college students.

Buyers and news media will have another opportunity to view products and exhibitors before the show opens March 10, with the new Trending Today Preview, featuring up to 60 exhibitors highlighting a trending merchandise category. For 2018, Trending Today will feature A Marketplace for Hydration, a key product category driven by the consumer trends of health and wellness. Through technology, fashion and design, hydration and hydration-related products continue to drive the category to record levels.

The Show continues its emphasis on the smart home and connected products by expanding the IHA Smart Home Pavilion to more than 25 exhibitors presenting the future of housewares and offering increased education and networking opportunities.

The Smart Talks stage will feature presentations, panel discussions, interviews with industry leaders and more all Show days.

Tech experts Mike Wolf, founder and curator of the Smart Kitchen Summit, and Carley Knobloch, digital lifestyle expert, will be at the pavilion, located in the Hall of Global Innovation in the Lakeside Center, to answer questions and discuss the emerging technology and trends.In addition, exhibitors with smart and connected products throughout the Show will have booth signage indicating their smart home products.

IHA is helping to encourage the next generation of housewares suppliers by bringing college students to the industry’s premier event with an Experience Day. Through Experience Day, the students are exposed to the housewares industry by seeing the industry marketplace and meeting executives.

This year, Experience Day will be increased to two days, Sunday and Monday, and 150 to 200 students are expected to participate. They will walk the Show floor, hear presentations from CEOs and have lunch roundtables with members of IHA’s Young Professionals Advisory Council (YPAC). Last year, about 70 students from colleges nationwide participated in the inaugural Experience Day on Monday at the Show.

The Excellence in Booth Design Award, honoring exhibitors for their booth presentation, has been incorporated into the IHA’s Global Innovation Awards (gia) this year. The awards are based on creativity in design, merchandising and messaging, and will be divided into two categories -- exhibitors with booths over 300 sq. ft. and exhibitors with booths 300 sq. ft. or less. Eight GIA finalists will be named, two from each expo, with two Global Honorees announced March 11.

The Discover Design Expo in the North Building will feature nearly 200 companies and brands from all Show categories, along with Design Debut, which allows 11 new-to-the-Show exhibitors whose product demonstrates high-design and innovation to come and experience the International Home + Housewares Show without having to create an entire display.

Other Show highlights include the New Exhibitor Preview with 90 first-time exhibitors; the Hall of Global Innovation featuring the Show’s special exhibits, including Pantone ColorWatch, IHA Global Innovation Awards (gia) and the IHA Student Design Competition, celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2018; the Innovation Theater with 21 presentations exploring important issues including the smart home, consumer shopping preferences, branding and global marketing; and the standing-room-only educational seminars led by IHA’s color expert Leatrice Eiseman and lifestyle guru Tom Mirabile

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