April 22, 2014
Last month, I – along with 125,000 builders, remodelers, manufacturers and other exhibitors and spectators – descended on balmy Las Vegas for the International Builders’ Show (IBS).
Like Vegas itself, this show is a sight to behold — a spectacle unlike anything I’d witnessed. It’s the largest event of its kind in the world, and the sprawling exhibits, showcasing the latest innovations in everything from insulation to kitchen appliances to outdoor fireplaces, overtook the massive Las Vegas Convention Center.
I spent most of the week at the booth of client Marvin Windows and Doors, providing tours to dozens of magazine editors, television and radio hosts and other journalists who were eager to see and learn about the latest that Marvin, a perennial IBS favorite, had to offer.
The clear showstopper was Marvin’s Ultimate Multi-Slide Door, a dramatic and stylish sliding door that debuted at IBS. At any given moment, a crowd was gathered around the door, awaiting a chance to effortlessly slide open its massive panels — which disappear completely into the walls — leaving an expansive, wide-open view. And when I say “expansive,” I mean this door comes up to 50 feet wide and 12 feet tall.
While the buzzing convention center was initially overwhelming, some clear trends began emerging as I roamed the floor. One of the most apparent was indoor/outdoor living, whether that meant fireplaces, fountains, beautiful decks or a variety of other products designed to provide a seamless transition between the indoors and outdoors. Marvin’s Multi-Slide was a natural fit in this show-wide trend.
I also spotted a few other clever innovations. For example, check out this new GE refrigerator with a built-in Keurig coffeemaker.
At week’s end, the cliché “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas” didn’t prove true for Marvin, which took home the prestigious “Best of Show” award for the best and most innovative window product on the market.
More than 1,000 of the industry’s top manufacturers and suppliers showcased their most innovative products at IBS, and Marvin’s window was chosen from a record number of submissions. (Organizers described this year’s competition as “fierce.”)
The award went to Marvin’s Next Generation Ultimate Double Hung window, a reinvention of the classic double-hung window that features a ton of technological advances, including automatic locks that mean you never need to worry about locking your windows again.
Now, back in Minnesota, it feels good to be home – but I suspect the frigid temperatures will soon have me wishing for a trip back to (the) Paris.