Mark Conacher – What it was like to take part in KBIS as an exhibitor

InsightFeatures Mon 11th Mar 2024 by KBBFocus

Mark Conacher – What it was like to take part in KBIS as an exhibitor

Mark Conacher – What it was like to take part in KBIS as an exhibitor

KBIS took place from 27th - 29th February in the Las Vegas Convention Centre with a diverse range of exhibitors, seminars, and networking opportunities. SENSTEC USA MD Mark Conacher brings us the highlights from the BMA's UK Pavilion.

For many years, showing and participating at the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show (KBIS) in Las Vegas has been a bucket list dream of mine, and now, as MD of SENSTEC USA, I can finally put a big check mark next to that dream. However, this year was particularly special as it also marked the debut of the UK Pavilion at this prestigious event. Having attended KBIS several times in the past as a visitor, I was thrilled to showcase the innovative SENSTEC Anti-Slip Shower Tray alongside other esteemed UK companies, including Crofts & Assinder, Fitzroy of London, InstallerSHOW, and Thomas Crapper & Co.

The UK Pavilion at KBIS was organised by the UK's Bathroom Manufacturers Association (BMA) in collaboration with the Global Connect division of the National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA) in North America. The pavilion represented a united front of British and Irish craftsmanship and ingenuity, and while on the stand, the support and camaraderie among all of the exhibitors underscored the collective ambition to make a mark in the North American market.

SENSTEC USA MD Mark Conacher (right) with SENSTEC owner and inventor Christopher Hackett (left)

Running alongside the KBIS tradeshow is the International Builders Show (IBS). Having a ticket for one show will grant you access to the other, giving a value-added 2-for-one deal, and who doesn't love a deal like that? The numbers are mind-boggling – across the 2 shows, there are around 1,000 exhibitors spread over 1,000,000 sq ft, attracting an estimated 110,000 guests over the 3 days. I can vouch that a large number of the people I spoke to on the SENSTEC stand were there as IBS guests, confirming the real blend of the 2 shows. 

Throughout KBIS, attendees were treated to many presentations and discussions, offering invaluable insights into industry trends, market statistics, and best practices, noting many of the practices in bringing your product to market in North America are very different from the UK. From the State of the Industry address led by NKBA CEO Bill Darcy, to talks on working with designers and distribution in North America, each session provided practical guidance for international companies like SENSTEC, seeking to expand their reach.

The glittering awards show – a hallmark of KBIS – celebrates the best of the best in the kitchen and bath industry on this side of the world; with prize money of up to $20,000 up for grabs, there is undoubtedly an air of excitement in the room. This recognition of innovation and excellence further underscores the event's significance for industry professionals worldwide. We managed to snag tickets (thank you, KBIS) to the IBS closing concert with country singing artist Cole Swindell, which added a really memorable touch to the event and brought together all the industry professionals in celebration of another great show.

Having experienced the energy and enthusiasm firsthand, I'm confident that the UK Pavilion has laid a solid foundation for future success. The show provided a platform for us to showcase our products, forge strategic partnerships, and glean valuable insights into the North American market. Collaborating with likeminded individuals from both sides of the Atlantic was genuinely inspiring. I believe that the UK Pavilion has the potential to go from strength to strength, following in the footsteps of the companies that made their debut this year.

I extend a heartfelt invitation to other ambitious UK companies to join us at KBIS next year in Las Vegas. Together, we can continue to showcase the best of British innovation and craftsmanship on the global stage. KBIS is not just a trade show – it's an opportunity to connect, collaborate, and shape the future of the kitchen and bath industry.

To learn more, why not subscribe to Kitchen & Bath Business magazine in the US to see more highlights of the show and to inquire about the NKBA, its membership, and how engaging and perhaps joining the NKBA could positively impact their UK business. I also encourage UK bathroom businesses to contact Tom Reynolds at the BMA for more information about the UK Pavilion 2025. See you there!

The team behind the UK Pavilion at KBIS 2024

Tags: insight, features, mark conacher, senstec usa, kbis

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