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May 11, 2009

Buyers Be Where?

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PC headed down to Atlanta for the annual Kitchen and Bath Industry Show (K/BIS) last week, and we've  been waiting since for UPS to show up with boxes of notes, press releases, media kits, images and samples. Today is the day; they have finally arrived!

I just ripped open the boxes, searching for evidence to weigh the accuracy of my memories and corroborate my sad, digital snapshots. I found that the boxes were rather light compared to previous years, when the tradeshow floor was packed with shoppers and press room stuffed with folders, brochures, cds, dvds and samples from manufacturers jostling for position in front of media eyes. Yes, I got my slim folders, with a single page describing the product and a royal blue link to the website. I even received a few cds, and three USB Flash Drives replete with images and links. Gone were the notebooks, pens, and well-crafted press kits created in sync with the manufacturer's aesthetic.

It seems my memory is accurate. The contents of my boxes reflected a slower show, with less buyers, less exhibitors, less money and less marketing.  That's not to say the show was a flop. It wasn't.  Reports coming out now and the line towed there, match - the traffic was light but the people who came, came to buy. And, depending on what they were after, they should  not have been disappointed.  Among the trends displayed at K/BIS were a focus on bold design, color and eco-savvy materials.  Stay tuned to PC to get the details. I'll be digging through these boxes to bring you the best.

In the meantime, here's a look at the show floor on Saturday, May 2.

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