Thousands of home remodelers will get a look at the latest in new products and techniques when they descend on Baltimore Friday for the industry's biggest national trade show.
The National Association of Home Builders, with co-producers NAHB Remodelors Council and Remodeling magazine, expect 10,000 exhibitors and other participants at the Baltimore Convention Center over the weekend.
The annual show has jumped from city to city and expanded exhibit space since debuting two years ago, giving manufacturers a chance to showcase their wares to a fragmented, often hard-to-reach market.
"You have kitchen designers, bath remodelers, people who do room additions or floor jobs. To get to all these people is difficult unless it's through a show like this," said Christopher Nicholson, spokesman for the NAHB Remodelors Council. "A lot of exhibitors use it as a springboard for new products."
The show also helps those in the business keep up on current issues, such as the rising cost of lumber and lead paint removal.
The association chose Baltimore because its Convention Center can accommodate 63,000 square feet of show space and because of its hotels and tourist attractions, Mr. Nicholson said.
A jump in the number of exhibitors -- from 200 at last year's Pittsburgh show to 250 this year -- means more home products manufacturers are viewing remodeling as an up-and-coming market, said Mark vanReuth, president of Brightview Builders, which specializes in home additions.
In the past, manufacturers were more apt to appeal to new-home builders, he said.
"But that is changing," said Mr. vanReuth, who also serves as president of the 150-member Remodelors Council of the Home Builders Association of Maryland. "Remodeling is almost ready to exceed new construction in volume."
Educational programs have been a major draw at the past two shows. This year's will offer more than 50 programs geared to small, medium and large companies, with advice on writing business plans, managing personnel and setting up showrooms. Employee forums will cover scheduling, time management, dealing with subcontractors and in-the-field customer service.
One session will discuss concerns of women in the industry.
Each morning, speakers will offer tips on management and marketing, which have become more important as consumers have become more savvy, Mr. Nicholson said.
The show, open to anyone in the remodeling industry, runs from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday.
The cost for walk-in registration is $125 for three days, including all programs, and $90 for each additional company employee. The cost to view exhibits only is $10 for one day and $20 for three days.
For more information, call (800) 368-5242, Ext. 106.