Technical Failure Forces Changes to KBIS, IBS Virtual Events

HACKETTSTOWN — Technical difficulties with the online platform providing access to the Expo Hall at this week’s digital Kitchen & Bath Industry Show (KBIS 2021 Virtual) and International Builders Show (IBSx) have forced major changes to the two virtual experiences.

KBIS officials announced yesterday that technology issues that developed during Tuesday’s event “could not be resolved in a timely manner” and have led to the indefinite postponement of the show floor experience, featuring KBIS exhibitor booths. The technical problems, they said, “evolved rapidly, and rectifying the challenges proved more complex than anticipated.”

“After a deep dive into the exact sequence of events and consequences that occurred, we’ve learned that these are unresolvable technical difficulties,” said Brian Pagel, executive v.p. for longtime KBIS producer Emerald. “The servers that house the platform are down, requiring that we close access to the exhibitor booths.”

According to Emerald and the National Kitchen & Bath Association, which owns KBIS, show officials are investigating “alternative solutions that may allow the exhibitor experience and booth activations to be relaunched.” Access to KBISConnect.com, the website for the show, has been closed. Refund policies for exhibitors and attendees are expected to be announced, according to an NKBA spokesperson.

Some 12,000+ attendees were registered to attend KBIS 2021 Virtual. Exhibitors representing 155 brands were scheduled to participate in the digital event, the NKBA said.

“Looking forward, we remain committed to exhaust all efforts to ensure a successful future experience,” Pagel said. “We understand the gravity of the situation for our exhibitors and attendees, as the KBIS platform is critical to accelerate their business for the year.”

KBIS 2021 Virtual was scheduled to take place concurrent with the digital version of the International Builders’ Show (IBSx), as part of “Design & Construction Week,” the premier annual trade event for the North American residential design and construction industries. IBSx is owned by the Washington, DC-based National Association of Home Builders. The expositions, educational conferences, networking and related events for both KBIS and IBS were reformatted to a digital platform this year due to the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the NKBA, various other components of the digital initiative, including educational conferences and selected special events, will continue through this week, as scheduled, but will move to NKBA.org. Updated event reminders and links will be sent to attendees, the NKBA said. Selected components of the event will be available on demand through March 31, and others through June 30, the NKBA added.

“It’s important to the NKBA to provide timely, relevant content on topics of vital industry interest for our attendees,” said Suzie Williford, executive v.p. and chief strategy officer of the Hackettstown, NJ-based NKBA.

“The kitchen and bath and design and construction industries are healthy and vibrant, despite all the challenges of 2020, leading into 2021,” Williford added. “Businesses are still strong, and we look forward to celebrating together in Orlando (next) February.”

A return to live formats for both KBIS and IBS is scheduled for Feb. 8-10 in Orlando.


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