IHA president shares open letter after “best show ever”

Derek Miller, president & CEO of the International Housewares Association, shared an open letter this week addressing the positive feedback received by the IHA following the recent Inspired Home Show. This year’s show was the first time that the event, formerly known as the International Home + Housewares Show, had taken place since 2019. Twenty thousand attendees and over 1,000 exhibiting companies signed-up to discover new products, reconnect with colleagues, and advance the home and housewares industry.

“Dear Home + Housewares Executive,

“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.

“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.

“The IHA Board and Staff will be working hard over the next many months to make sure that we’re ready for the 2023 Show, with that work already having begun. At the Show, we met with members of our Retail Advisory Council (11 national retailers) and our Specialty Retail Advisory Council (10 independents) to talk not just about what we got right, but more importantly to receive the constructive feedback needed to make the Show more impactful and productive in the future. And we’ll be meeting with our Global Retail Advisory Council (10 international retailers) in the coming days. We’ll also be meeting with the Exhibitor Trade Show Advisory Council (15 exhibitors) for an in-depth discussion about the Show from their perspective in April.

“Those four meetings all lead up to May’s Strategic Planning Meeting when the IHA Board and Staff will gather for two days to discuss three primary topics: 1) The Inspired Home Show 2023, 2) The Inspired Home Show 2024 & Beyond and 3) IHA Member Service Offerings. The outcomes from that meeting, like those before, will allow us to continue to refine our mission and strategic plan to ensure we are always looking to the future to create the most meaningful services possible for the home + housewares industry.

“While the Show may be over, connections will continue throughout the rest of 2022. The International Housewares Association offers year-round networking opportunities through our CORE share-groups, and a CHESS conference for members is being planned for next fall. An in-person Global Forum will also return later in 2022 to give our members who sell internationally the opportunity to learn and network in order to increase global sales.

“We’ll also be planning digital “Connect” events to continue to deliver high-quality education and product discovery opportunities throughout the year. Speaking of education, many of the sessions recorded at the Show will be released on the Show’s website in the coming days.

“In collaboration with HomePage News, we have released a special report – Rising to the Occasion, an in-depth look at the life moments that consumers expect to celebrate in 2022 and the types of products they are likely to buy for each. Later this month, we will release the 2022 Consumer Outlook, a comprehensive study of planned home + housewares purchases across 15 product categories. In addition, in early April we will publish the 2022 edition of the IHA Market Watch Report, an overview of consumer values and how they impact purchasing decisions. Additional information on how to access the two upcoming special reports will be made available in the very near future.

“Again, thanks to everyone who helped make The Inspired Home Show 2022 a great success! We needed critical mass to get back on track, and with the support we received from both our members and retailers, we were able to create a valuable experience for all who participated.

“An impactful chapter for IHA and the Show has now closed, and thankfully the page has been turned – the future for the home + housewares industry continues to look bright, and I look forward to moving ahead with you through the rest of 2022 and beyond.

“Be sure to mark your calendar for The Inspired Home Show 2023, March 4-7 at Chicago’s McCormick Place!”

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