Five months before what will be the official debut of The Inspired Home Show, the president of the International Housewares Association (IHA) said the trade group is on track to host its first show in three years.
With the COVID-19 pandemic forcing the cancellation of the 2020 and 2021 shows, IHA President and CEO Derek Miller said booth space sales for the 2022 event are at 82% of space sold for the 2020 show. Additionally, more than 240 new exhibitors have signed on for next year’s show at McCormick Place in Chicago.
The show will once again feature a variety of home + housewares products in five Expos: Dine + Design in the South Hall, Discover Design and Clean + Contain in the North Hall, Wired + Well in the Lakeside Center and International Sourcing on Level 1 of the North Hall.
“Exhibitors are enthusiastic about getting back to business as is the retail community,” Miller said in a letter to housewares industry executives. “Retailers across the country and around the world tell us that digital product discovery is challenging at best and finding new and innovative products is extremely difficult. They see the show as the most efficient and effective method and best opportunity to explore and engage with the industry.”
The most recent gathering of the housewares industry was in 2019 at the event then named the International Home + Housewares Show. That moniker was retired that year in favor of The Inspired Home Show brand. However, the health crisis delayed the official debut of the long-standing show’s new name.
Despite the pandemic shutting the lights on Inspired Home over the past two years, the housewares industry has thrived over that time. As Americans sought the safety of home, they spent much of that time sharpening their cooking skills.
This resulted in strong demand for a host of products tied to food presentation, food preparation and pantry organization. Consumers also traded up, recognizing the benefits of investing in products that were higher in quality. While sales have cooled a bit, consumer demand for housewares remains strong.
Those who make the trek to the Windy City this coming March will be met by a McCormick Place that has several new features. Among them is updated air filtering technology and hospital-grade sanitation throughout the convention center.
Additionally, to ensure a safe gathering, the IHA has commissioned a study by Epistemix, a health and safety advisory firm to prepare an in-depth study on The Inspired Home Show and McCormick Place. Once complete, the study will provide the IHA with data, backed by science, needed to properly assess and implement safety measures throughout the McCormick Place campus.