How to get the most out of your Inspired Home Show visit
As the Chicago-based fair returns in March after a three-year hiatus, we share some tips & tricks on how to maximise your visit to the Inspired Home Show.
1 Planning is important
● Your ultimate source for pre-show planning is the website―visit to register for free entrance badges, reserve hotel rooms, plan schedules, find exhibitors, displays and educational presentations. Also, make sure to check the IHA blog for the latest up to date show information.
● Use Connect 365, the show’s year-round digital marketplace to discover new suppliers and stay up to date on new product introductions. By registering for an account on Connect 365, you will have full browsing access in addition to the ability to create personalised searches and develop collections of your favourite brands and products that you want to revisit later.
● Download the free show mobile app from the iTunes Store or Google Play. You can search for exhibitors by name, categories or products; link from an exhibitor’s profile to their booth location on the show floor and access all show information including hours and registration details, attendee services, special events and displays, keynote and Innovation Theatre sessions, and more.
2 Preview events & special displays
Take advantage of the show’s preview events and special displays to get a quick overview on the key trends and new innovative products.
● New Exhibitor Preview, held just before the show opens on Saturday morning from 8–10am, features 90 new-to-the-show exhibitors. The exhibitors at the New Exhibitor Preview represent most show categories, displaying their new products.
● Another opportunity is the Trending Today Preview, run concurrently with the New Exhibitor Preview. For 2023, the Trending Today Preview will focus on theme ‘At-Home Entertaining’.
● New Product Showcases: as the New Product Showcases feature hundreds of innovative, new products from each Show Expo, they are must-visit destinations for all show buyers. After the show, buyers will receive an e-mail containing a link to a list of the products scanned for easy follow-up.
● Pantone ColourWatch, a special exhibit designed by Pantone, focuses on colour palettes representing the strongest home furnishings trends for 2023-2024. Each story includes the individual Pantone colours, philosophy behind the colour palette and actual show products illustrating each palette.
● The IHA Smart Home Pavilion features smart kitchen and home brands with connected products from new and experienced housewares companies. Visit the IHA Smart Home pavilion at the show to learn about products now available and emerging technology and trends.
● The Inventors Corner Pavilion features 60 booths showcasing new housewares innovations and just-ready-for-market inventions. The Inventors Corner also features the Inventors Revue, where start-up marketers present their creations to a panel of experts and seasoned inventors offer presentations on how to succeed as an inventor.
3 Don’t miss out on networking opportunities
Attend the special buyer and media events at the show to network with your global peers. Several show-sponsored networking receptions will provide show attendees opportunities to renew acquaintances or meet new colleagues and suppliers.
● All US and international buyers and news media are invited to end their day on Sunday 5 March at the Networking After Dark reception.
4 When it’s time for a break
● There are three Buyers Club lounges, one in each show building. Take advantage of the complementary refreshments, concierge service, internet service, charging stations and a Connect 365 kiosk. While taking a break from the floor, view the latest products from exhibitors and the IHA Global Innovation Award finalists in the New Product Showcases.
● The International Business Centre offers all international visitors general show information, e-mail access, free internet access via Wi-Fi, refreshments and hospitality areas.
● Also, note the show’s FREE shuttle bus service, transporting attendees between the hotels and McCormick Place on all show days.
5 Best retail on offer
Make sure to check out the home and housewares retailers in Chicago. Retailers from around the world visit the Chicago retail scene to accelerate their knowledge on visual merchandising and store branding and to find inspiration from unique stores and retail concepts.
● Chicago Retail Tour: The Inspired Home Show attendees are invited to take part in the Home + Housewares Retail Tour on Wednesday 8 March. The tour will begin with a complementary continental breakfast and US Retail overview. Throughout the day, the tour will visit some of the most exciting home + housewares retailers in suburban Chicago (free of charge, pre-registration required).
● Chicago retail maps: If you’re not able to participate in the Chicago Retail Tour, take advantage of the Chicago retail brochure and maps provided by the show, to plan your visit to home and housewares retailers in central Chicago on your own.
6 Choose Chicago
● Visit www.choosechicago.com for information on Chicago tours and attractions, restaurants, museums, nightlife and more as well as for information on transportation and on getting around Chicago. Chicago is a great city both by day and night, so try to make the most of it.
For more information and to register for your FREE entrance badge, visit TheInspiredHomeShow.com.