Has K-Biz Priced Themselves into Oblivion ???

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    Bermuda Bob

    Everyone knows that ALL Trade Shows negotiate preferential pricing from hotels, so when K-Biz declared the Hilton-Chicago & InterContinental-Chicago as their "Preferred Hotels" … what were they thinking ???

    The Hilton-Chicago quotes $249 to $289 a night for accommodations on the K-Biz web show site …

    The InterContinental-Chicago quotes $254 to $284 a night for accommodations on the Ki-Biz show site …

    Is this REALLY REALISTIC in a full blown recession ???

    Is this REALLY REALISTIC coming off the exponential decline in attendance ???

    Is this REALLY REALISTIC with major manufacturers not showing in droves ???

    Is this REALLY REALISTIC to NOT consider those who might want to come to K-Biz but don’t have "Champagne Budgets" ???

    So, I have to ask a few questions more:

    Has K-Biz sought and gotten a reduced rate from McCormack after last year’s debacle ???

    Has K-Biz looked into moving the show to Vegas, who is begging for business, or used it as a bargaining chip @ McCormack ???

    Has K-Biz done anything to obtain REALISTIC hotel faires in Chicago, who each and every time a K-Biz show is there, rapes the show attendees with inflated prices ???

    Has K-Biz made attempts to "soften the blow" to show attendees by subsidizing transportation from the airports and/or to the show from the hotels ???

    I ask all these questions in justification of my Subject Question … so, "Tell me … Tell me, True …"

    The Advisor

    Are you not on an expense account? KBIS is catering to those people not the riff raff such as ourselves.
    Sure the prices are the bad news…..but you miss the good news. If the show is anything like last year, you won’t need a hotel room. Just fly in and fly out.
    If you are going to overstay, Chicago has plenty of crap hotels, some of which even include heat.


    Hey Bob,

    My advice would be to skip the show altogether. As you know the Advisor publishes a "world-class" synopsis of the exhibitors and their booths. Just get the published report and stay home. From the looks of the attendance spreadsheet, you probably won’t be the only one skipping the show and if attendance keeps dropping at the current pace, KBIZ won’t be able to negotiate for group rates anymore. But, of course if you do decide to stay home, you’ll miss out on all those lavish parties and cocktail receptions that all of the suppliers spend the big bucks on. (Yeah, right!) I forget, the suppliers are staying home too, and those that go have left their wallets at home.

    Bermuda Bob

    The terrible thing is that I guarantee you that they simply don’t get it !!!

    Everywhere in America, expense accounts have been trimmed severely …

    In 2008 I went to Chicago, could not afford a hotel anywhere around the "Miracle Mile" or the McCormack Centre, so I cashed in some points and stayed near the airport … the transport to the show each day – because K-Biz did not provide it – cost me a fortune !!! Never again, my friends !!!

    In Vegas, the key is to stay on the Monorail and use it !!! Taxi’s to the Convention Centre is OK, but coming home is dicey, but the Taxi will cost you $10 to $20 with the tip …

    In Chicago, because of my choice, good restaurants were sparse …

    In Vegas, if you can’t find a GOOD restaurant close by and within your budget, you’re not looking very hard !!!

    Bottom Line: K-Biz needs to get a reality check and change their show to cater to the challenges of this economy, ’cause it ain’t gettin’ better over night !!! When they wake up and smell the coffee @ home, instead of StarBucks, they’ll realize that developing a show to SHOW products and quit with the auspicious locales, they might get some more participation !!!

    Bermuda Bob

    I remember my first time to the K-Biz Chicago show … even though I was forced to stay out in the hinterland so as to find an affordable accommodations … I was able to get to K-Biz via provided transportation …

    In 2008 that was done away with and my traverse to and from McCormack cost me just about as much as my hotel, which again was out in the hinterland … so that negated my enjoying the "Countless Ethnic Cuisine Choices"

    So, in 2010, after a horrendous participation in "Not So Hot-Lanta" last year, and the withdrawl of many major manufacturers, K-Biz has seen fit to total ignore any transportation to the show … if you question my observation, here is a link to their "Travel Information" page:


    Does this sound like someone dedicated to enticing participation in their show … and what about attracting new participants ???

    No wonder manufacturers are pulling out left and right !!!

    Are you listening K-Biz ???

    Have you have forgotten for whom this show is dedicated ???

    At this rate, you’ll only need half the floorspace in Chicago you used in 2008 !!!

    This show needs a complete overhaul and the insight of those who can see the mission of the show clearly !!!


    With the exception of last year, I have always attended all the KBIS shows. In fact, I have always looked forward to them, especially when they are held in Chicago; a great city that I have never hear a bad word said about. I have never objected to the expense as it has always been money well spent. I learned a lot by seeing new products, got to meet and see a lot of industry leaders, movers and shakers. And it was fun. There were always great cocktail parties, held at nice venues (particularly in Chicago, by the way). In fact, I am sure that by attending the show I made enough extra profit that I got back five or tenfold for every dollar I spent on hotels, airfare, taxis, etc. So, naturally, after last year, I was looking forward to going to Chicago once again. Sure, it is not the cheapest place around but it is one of the best and a great venue for the show. I registered some time ago and was just on the verge of buying my plane tickets when……..all the companies started dropping out. So now I am not going to go, there is no point in going to a party if no one is coming. It is not the expense of attending that is stopping me and I really don’t think that should stop most of us from going, if the show is going to be worthwhile. However, it is hard to see how that will be the case this time. No Viking, no Sub, now no Dacor—-the list goes on and on. Why even U-Line just cancelled. Thankfully, I am not running KBIS but if I were, I would rethink my strategy. Every other year? Yes, of course that is a good idea. It would give manufacturers time to show off their new product introductions at the show, thereby giving them more incentive to rent that expensive booth. For those who don’t want the annual expense of attending the show, now that expense is halved. What’s not to like about every two years? Nothing—–that is probably why it won’t happen. It makes too much sense!

    Bermuda Bob

    Hi ApplianceCarGuy !!!

    If I might ask you a few questions since you are the first person I ever met who openly sang the praises of Chicago, so, if you please, could you answer my queries ???

    1. You say you didn’t mind the expense … Were ALL of your expenses coming out of your pocket ??? Did you get any reimbursement @ all ???

    2. You say Chicago is a great venue … What makes a big open warehouse in any city better than another ??? Food ??? Bathrooms ??? Once inside I don’t think it matters … but I’m interested in why you think McCormack is a good venue

    3. You mention parties … What was your official capacity that you were invited to off-site parties ???

    I personally think that K-Biz does not need to go to every two (2) years because it would make the "hinterland" in between the two (2) shows too long for manufacturers who wish to introduce new product lines … for instance, Whirlpool, nor any other of their brands, are going except Jenn-Aire because Jenn-Aire is trying to get people excited about their new line … How would they do that if there were no show this year ???

    No, what K-Biz needs to do is understand that times have changed and so have budgets, expense accounts, and the personnel available for these shows …

    – They need to negotiate lower prices for their attendees, exhibitors, and sales associates …

    – They need to see to it that they can get to the show easily and on the K-Biz dime !!!

    – They need create an environment which provides each and every exhibitor a "bump" from the show to their sales force …

    – In essence, they need to do what any smart business is doing today … They need to re-create themselves into a leaner, more meaningful, and worthwhile event that everyone looks forward to attending with the excitement they lost when they left Vegas !!!

    It is no secret that I believe that Vegas is the quintessential locale for a Trade Show … it has a easily reached Convention Centre via the Monorail … it has the best wides array of restaurants in any one place, within a $10 cab ride … and … it can be used as an incentive for sales associates !!! Will there be people who misbehave ??? Yup, but that kinda of person could misbehave in Lynchburg, Virginia if he/she is predisposed so to do !!!

    I think that if K-Biz doesn’t wake up and smell the coffee, then the Appliance Industry ought to join with the Kitchen people, the Remodeling people, the CounterTop people, and anyone else who deals with Kitchen and Laundry and form our own show …

    A show created by Industry Professionals – for Industry Professionals !!!


    Hello Bermuda Bob!

    I am appliance store owner, so all my expenses were totally 100% out of pocket. Come on now, Chicago is a great city, more centrally located to most of the country than Las Vegas. I thought everyone loves going to Chicago but perhaps there is a small minority of people out there who don’t. I can honestly say you are the first to really object to the city. You are correct in saying that once inside, a convention center is pretty much a convention center. McCormick is no better than any other one in that respect but the city outside is the best in terms of restaurants, things to see and do and yes, it has a great taxi setup, far better than Las Vegas where the taxi lines can be annoyingly long outside hotels. Sure, the line at the convention center is a long one but then that is always the case wherever a convention is held. I will admit to being partial to the "parties" held in Chicago (in the good old days when companies had money) because they were frequently held at old historical buildings or museums in downtown Chicago and not just at hotels like in Las Vegas. That is a personal preference and I can certainly respect your opinion if you differ with me there.

    Of course, in a perfect world. KBIS would lower their charges and make everyone happy. And that may yet happen, if things continue as they now are. But I still think every two years is often enough. Maybe a side effect of that would be that manufacturers wouldn’t keep changing models so quickly just to have something "new" to show and that wouldn’t be all that bad from dealer’s inventory and display perspective either!

    Bermuda Bob

    … of being the possessor of plenty of wisdom !!!

    In my capacity, I too endure 100% out of pocket and I’m from the east coast … where no one out here likes Chicago, not because of the plethora of culinary and cultural delights, but because of the expenses, which … if you know what you’re doing … are half in Vegas !!! I’m talking Appliance people, Cabinetry people, Tile people, and Plumbing people … all with whom I have close 20+ year relationships.

    Please let me outline the positive affects of Vegas:

    1. TRANSPORTATION @ THE SHOW: If you stay in a hotel on the Monorail side, it will cost you only $14 a day or $30 for a three day pass … you can’t touch that for a taxi, anywhere !!!

    2. TRANSPORTATION TO THE SHOW: If you fully understand how to do it, Vegas can be as inexpensive as Chicago because the casinos subsidize the faires, especially if you work a deal thru a specific casino …

    3. DINING: Vegas has restaurants by the best chefs in the world, from Joel Robuchon to Bobby Flay to Mario Batali to Hubert Keller … to lesser offerings … to buffets … to greasy spoons !!! All are easily reached by the monorail or a very short taxi wait w/ a fee of no more than $10 (w/the tip) …

    Another option is to simply stay @ your hotel … the better hotels have @ least one (1) major chef’s restaurant and the best have three (3) or more !!! For instance, Venetian/Palazzo have three (3) Batali restaurants, and restaurants by eleven (11) additional restaurants by other renowned chefs plus numerous other casual dining places … so save the taxi and select from where you stay … many other hotels offer similar assorted offerings !!!

    4. ACCOMMODATIONS: Expecially now, rooms are going for as little as $55 as long as the show is Sunday thru Thursday … and that’s @ the BEST HOTELS … I have never paid what even the least expensive hotel in Chicago charges in Vegas …

    CES & K-Biz have both made the fatal error of listening to manufacturers who want their reps home during the better part of the week, but in Vegas they compete with gamblers on the weekends, plus the "trades" charge more to "break down" booths, etc. on a Sunday !!! So, CES & K-Biz lose out because of their stubborn stupidity by scheduling Thursday thru Sunday … Stupid arrogance on their part !!!

    ApplianceCarGuy, I’ve never thought of your approach relating the show to new product announcements, and it certainly makes sense from the distributor and dealers point of view, but I bet the manufacturers would disagree … they tend to want to introduce stuff when they want to … they don’t even subscribe to the annual show as the automobile people do !!!

    There’s a lot to consider, and it’s not something to be accomplished overnight, but K-Biz is broken and it’s going to dynamic leadership with the inclusion of key Industry people … not the stubborn, show-minded, myopic people running things there now !!!

    If I were running things, I’d require the cities to bid against each other, but that is only possible with STRONG Industry Support, which does not currently exist, primarily because of the K-Biz failure to produce a show that everyone wants to come to, can afford to come to, and finds it necessary to come to !!! Until then, they will wallow in ever-decreasing participation until they wallow themselves right into being inconsequential and irrelevant !!!



    First off, thanks for the kind words! Second, I want to give you credit for pointing out that in the world of 2010, Las Vegas has reacted—you are totally correct here—-and cut their room rates. That is a plus for that venue, no doubt about that. I think you are generally better off dealing directly with the hotel rather than go through an organization such as KBIS or even Brand Source or Nationwide when duty requires a visit to our desert mecca. I guess I am just biased against Las Vegas and in favor of Chicago. You can’t go to a Cubs game in Las Vegas, can you? As to the monorail, it is fairly quick and efficient but it doesn’t serve every hotel.

    In my conversations with manufacturers, most seem to like the idea of a KBIS being held bi-annually, just as the European equivalent is. They all are in the "save money" mode right now, too. Sure, there may be times when they want to introduce product in between shows but I think they would also like the "splash" of timing introductions to the show. More people would attend, everyone would save money etc. By the way, who dropped out today? It seems like each day brings a new quitter!

    Bermuda Bob

    Hey Mate !!!

    We all have our favourites … I live less than 50 miles from NYC and almost never go there because I never feel comfortable there !!!

    I’m a fan of Baltimore & DC because I always feel uncomfortable and can then enjoy all the city has to offer !!!

    Vegas is like that to me because I’ve attended plenty of shows (other than K-Biz) and know my way around as well as I do my own home town …

    Nope, no major sports team in Vegas … even when they held the NBA All-Star game, the town united in saying "never again" because they were invaded by all sorts of "fellas" who intimidated the customers not there for the game !!!

    You are right about the Monorail, you need to stay on "that side" of the Strip, but in doing so, you are not detracting from your experience !!!

    Manufacturers, I have always observed, seem to embrace the luxury of flip-flopping to what suits them best @ the time … so presently, with budgets slashed, and slashed again, they want a "bi" show, but if that were so, how come the folks who essentially boycotted Atlanta are also boycotting Chicago ??? See what I mean ??? Actions speak louder than words !!!

    The bottom line is that K-Biz needs a major overhaul, with new people who are representative of the Industry … willing to listen … willing to change … willing to innovate … and in doing so, make the show something EVERYONE wants to go to … not have to consider if it is a good business decision to participate in !!!

    I will lay you odds that everyone here could nominate someone to comprise a committee to revitalize K-Biz and it would become one hell of a show … new, fresh, and significant to our Industry !!!

    You know the "Name That Manufacturer" (to withdraw) list will eventually achieve total saturation and only those too weak to realize they should withdraw will be in attendance !!!


    Well, Bob let’s hope KBIS is reading our suggestions and taking them to heart. Not that I am counting on it!

    Funny, you live close to NYC and don’t go there much. I live a long way from there and love the place! I go there every year just for the fun, food and entertainment that the city offers. Always on my own dime, I might add since business rarely calls me there.

    What KBIS needs, as you suggested, is perhaps a committee of designers, manufacturers, dealers etc to give them good input on how to make the show more viable in these difficult times. Heck, they can hold the meeting in Las Vegas and invite you (at their expense, by the way)!

    Bermuda Bob

    Hey Mate !!!

    You must be a guy who loves big cities … I think the difference is that I know my way around Baltimore, DC, and Vegas, where I have to admit I wouldn’t know Uptown from Downtown, plus walking the streets of NY makes me uneasy because I feel I’m always on the lookout for a nutjob and can’t enjoy the town …

    I’ve never walked Chicago … but the the is credit, I did enjoy the Weber Kettle Grille – kinda like a "must see" for anyone who ever sold them !!!

    As far a K-Biz is concerned, I would gladly meet/consult with them as long as some of the others who have weighed in here joined me … it is obvious that WE know much better, right now, than they do !!!

    … maybe if they get numbers worst than Atlanta, they might be jolted back to reality !!! It already looks like the only have enough folks for one (1) of the two (2) arenas !!!


    I hope that KBIS is listening but I sincerely doubt it. Surely they realize the dire straits that their extravaganza is in. Gone are the heady days of the the early and mid 00’s when it was one of the most anticipated events in the Kitchen and Bath industry.

    There needs to be a coordinated effort for the people that run the show as well as the manufacturers. How does the Auto Show get the manufacturers to debut new products at the Detroit show every year. There is always something new and exciting to see.

    Our industry needs a show such as this for relationship building between the different layers of people involved in our little community. Surely the manufacturers could coordinate their efforts to bring new products to KBIS annually to draw the people that buy and sell them. It would once again become an event.

    As for location, it has to be Vegas. It is without a doubt the best city to host KBIS. I’ve heard complaints about emplyees not being on the top of their game becasue of the distractions. In my company, your would only @$%& around once. if you still had a job, you would not be going back on their dime the following year. Call them crazy, but………

    Bermuda Bob

    Hi Rllingstne !!!

    You hit the ball right in the sweet spot, Mate !!!

    1. The only people who annually reveal new stuff @ the show are the Bath people, with whom the Appliance Industry has no real link nor cause for a relationship … only the Cabinetry manufacturers cross-over !!!

    If an Appliance, Kitchen & CounterTop Show were to be formulated, and the people running the show emphasized that this was THE show for unveiling new products in a way that converted to the "much awaitedness" of the Auto Shows, then it would work !!!

    CES does this … each year, CNBC does an on-location booth where they not only show off everything special @ the show, but interview the company leaders for their vision of the marketplace and how their products fit !!!

    2. I totally agree with Vegas … that’s why CES has made it their practically permanent home !!! If it works for them, someone with passion (like me or others here) could develop a fantastic show !!!

    3. Sales Associates are going to imbibe in everything Vegas has to offer after their company business is through for the day … that’s human nature … but the mature ones will handle it … especially if being included in the Vegas show is considered a "perk" for a job well done !!!

    CES also does something different … they bring in two (2) or three (3) waves of sales associates so as to have fresh people always in place to show their products … that may work for our Industry as well, but maybe just one (1) wave because our products are bigger and more interwoven …

    4. Get the manufacturers involved and invested in the show, so they come with an entitlement each and every year … Allow manufacturers to buy into the show and in turn that gives them a share-holders say and the appropriate amount of floor space and media exposure !!!

    If you get right down to it, put the commodities together which make sense; negotiate a long term agreement with Vegas so you’ll be guaranteed predictable prices; "reward" productive sales associates with a trip to Vegas; and get the media excited about what we have to offer; and the manufacturers partners in the show, which will guarantee they will follow !!!

    What do you think ???

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