ROSEMONT, Ill. -- Consumer impact will be top-of-mind for most speakers at the International Housewares Association's annual show, the organizers said at a media event late in January.
This year the International Home and Housewares Show, formerly known as the International Housewares Show, takes place March 20 to 22 at McCormick Place, Chicago. Its theme -- "It's more than life. It's life. Styled." -- will reflect consumer lifestyle trends more effectively, said Phil Brandl, association president. The show dates, which were changed from January, along with the new show name and new product categories will help bring the event into the future, he said.
"This really positions us to be the industry's home-focused event," Brandl said. The timeframe positions the show to meet retailers' needs better. Also, there are a number of new exhibitors, he added.
Colin Cowie, bridal consultant and national spokesman for the bridal registry business of JCPenney, Plano, Texas, will give the keynote address on "Style as a Magnet for the Consumer." Harry Balzer, vice president of Port Washington, N.Y.-based The NPD Group and food trends expert, will discuss the impact of consumer eating trends on housewares in a session titled, "Eating Patterns in America." The third educational speaker, Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute, Carlstadt, N.J., will present an annual color forecast.
The new categories at this year's show include the Gourmet Home & Food District (GOHO) that will showcase gourmet food products and preparation demonstrations through a partnership with the National Association for the Specialty Food Trades, New York. The Patio Park category will feature outdoor living products that will unite patio, lawn and garden suppliers in one section. There will also be an Uptown Tabletop District focused on the tabletop market.