More than 90,000 housing professionals gathered in Orlando in February for the 2008 International Builders’ Show, sponsored by the National Association of Home Builders. This year’s show filled the Orange County Convention Center with a record 1 million square feet of exhibit space, boasting close to 1,900 exhibitors showcasing the most innovative products and services aimed specifically at the residential and light commercial construction industries.

On display were cutting-edge designs, technologies, products and services available to the home building community in the new year.

The event is the housing industry’s largest new-product showcase, with suppliers spanning more than 300 categories ranging across every niche of the residential and light commercial construction fields. Additional draws include more than 200 educational seminars to help builders and their affiliates expand their professional knowledge, explore new opportunities and grow their businesses, plus special events.

Presenting the keynote address, “All’s Fair: Love, War and Politics,” was husband and wife political analyst team, James Carville and Mary Matalin. Their keynote address was part of the opening ceremonies that included a special show with music, a stage full of singers and dancers, beautiful scenery and special effects as a thank you to Orlando, the home of the IBS show for three years. The show was hosted by actress Florence Henderson, best known for her role on “The Brady Bunch.” In addition, Disney, Universal Studios and Sea World each presented their own tribute to home builders. The production ended with a huge salute to Las Vegas, the site for IBS 2009.

The 2008 New American Home, celebrating its 25th anniversary as the housing industry’s premier show home program, was once again part of IBS and registered attendees had an opportunity to tour this house that demonstrated the use of innovative building materials, cutting-edge design, and the latest construction techniques. The home was built in a subdivision adjacent to a private community along the banks of Orlando’s Lake Nona.

Educational seminars were designed to help builders, remodelers, and contractor members survive and succeed in this market. Making its debut this year was “Executive Edge”, an opportunity for members of the industry to have discussions and network with industry leaders and expert guest speakers. Also new for 2008 were daily featured speakers. Thursday, Feb. 14 was “Green Day” with the announcement of the new NAHB Green Building Program and the unveiling of the new Certified Green Professional educational designation for home builders, remodelers and other industry professionals. “Green Day” also featured a full day of green educational seminars on topics from market trends and consumer research to innovative design and new products.

NAHB members and staff are working hard on plans for IBS 2009 in Las Vegas, Jan. 20-23. As at this year’s show, “Green” will continue to be the hot topic in 2009. The builders that are in business for the long haul come to IBS for the great education, networking, and most importantly, to buy the latest building products.

Homebuilders and their affiliates throughout the housing trades are welcome to register by visiting www.BuildersShow.com.