By JIM STAFFORD
Carol Hartzog Communications
For three days in early January, a group of Oklahoma home builders laced up their hiking shoes and explored the massive Las Vegas Convention Center along with 120,000 of their closest friends.
Welcome to the 2015 International Builders Show, where the latest in building trends that are emerging in the industry are showcased across almost 1 million square feet of exhibit hall space.
For the 400 Oklahomans who traveled to the show, it was an "invaluable opportunity," said Oklahoma City builder Tony Foust.
"I love the International Builders Show," Foust said. "For three days you can roam the floor and see, feel and touch everything that is going on in the market and learn how you can implement new technologies in our market. "
The Las Vegas show had expanded to include the annual Kitchens and Baths show and now is known as Design and Construction Week.
The influence of the International Builders Show didn't end when it closed on Jan. 22. It will carry over into the 2015 Oklahoma Builders Summit at the Cox Convention Center in the first two-day Summit on Aug. 26-27, Foust said.
"The Oklahoma Builders Summit is going to be considerably a lot like an IBS," he said. "There will be a day of education, bringing us up to date on things in the market, the trends, things that are going toward sustainability, energy efficiency, building a smarter home, things that let a family know what makes this home different than what it has been in the past."
"The other key part is that we are also going to have vendors who can present the goods, the services, the materials they have, the latest things that are on the market that you don' necessarily have the opportunity to see."
Expansion of the Oklahoma Building Summit to a second day brings those emerging building trends directly to Oklahoma builders in a way that mimics the Las Vegas show, Foust said.
"It's a great opportunity for builders and associate members to take a look at the technologies and where building is going," he said. "We're forward thinking enough that we are doing it now."