Hardware Show At 75: Smarter Than Ever

This is the eleventh installment of a special series, presented by the National Hardware Show, exploring key trends and developments driving the growth of housewares and home goods in the home improvement retail business.

The National Hardware Show returns for its 75th year with the goal of supporting buyer and supplier connections within the hardware and home improvement industry. Held at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas, this year’s show will highlight smart home technologies, with a new space dedicated entirely to the segment. The show will also look to enhance buyer and supplier connections through a custom matching program that will return for its fifth straight year.

The three-day event will be held May 5 through 7, 2020, and be host to about 3,000 exhibitors. HOMEWORLD BUSINESS® spoke with Richard Russo, vp/National Hardware Show, to talk about the show’s new initiatives, opportunities to discover new products and the growth of housewares at the show.

HomeWorld Business: What new initiatives can we expect from the National Hardware Show in 2020?
Richard Russo: In 2020, the National Hardware Show will become a SMART event. What this means is we will be enlisting the aid of technology to provide a content powered lead generation solution that will benefit both buyers and exhibitors attending this year’s show. This technology will make it simple for buyers to not only find what they are looking for in new products and new vendors but allow us to serve them up better recommendations for them to see based on how they interact with our websites, social media and onsite tools. It will all be summed up in a daily digest that will give them a snap shot of what they experienced in the show day and tell them what not to miss in the show days to come.

HWB: Will the smart home technology experience return or expand and if so why?
RR: Absolutely. We are still in the design stages of how smart home will be integrated into the 2020 show but make no mistake as almost all products we use and buy today have smart capabilities, we are working closely with our exhibitors to make sure they are bringing the latest technologies to the show and that we are showcasing them in an interactive and engaging way. Stay tuned to see how it all comes together in May.

HWB: Can you highlight some other trends and emerging categories attendees can expect to see in 2020?
RR: We consistently ask our customers what they want to see more of and work hard to deliver based on their need. As today’s retailers want to capitalize on maximizing the spend per customer we have implemented an impulse aisle dedicated to those point of purchase items we all seem to pick up at checkout. More and more retailers are seeing the high margin and turns in this category and now have the opportunity to purchase these products at NHS along with their traditional core categories.

HWB: How will the Show feature new products?
RR: New products will continue to be a huge focus of the Show as it’s the number one reason buyers attend as they search for ways to differentiate themselves with new innovative products. We continue to deliver this through our feature areas such as the New Product Launch which will showcase over 50 products being launched at this year’s Show. Plan to also visit New Product World which will showcase over 800 category segmented products that have been introduced over the past 12 to 18 months. The inventor’s spotlight is always one of the most popular areas on the show floor and will feature over 175 brand new inventions never seen before. In addition, we are planning a special invention competition that will provide excitement and buzz as teams will have to come up with a new invention utilizing tools and products from the show floor.

HWB: Can you discuss the growth and relevance of housewares at the Show?
RR: At the National Hardware Show, the housewares category continues to be very relevant and a growth area which allows retailers to provide a full rounded assortment of products for the ever growing demands of the consumer. The expansion of our Smart Home category highlights the housewares segment along with storage and organizational products, cleaning products and pet. The National Hardware Show has the unique position to showcase the entire home improvement industry allowing retailers to shop the latest products and view the upcoming trends across all categories.

HWB: What new initiatives will engage buyers and boost housewares at the Show?
RR: Our Smart Show technology will allow those buyers who recognize and realize the relevance of the housewares category and the opportunities it presents to source new products, new vendors and the best deals they can find at this year’s National Hardware Show.

HWB: The Show is now in its 75th year. How do you see it continuing to evolve to meet the needs of today’s suppliers and retail buyers?
RR: The National Hardware Show has long been the industry gathering place where big box, independent, online and all the channels in between can come together to see what’s new, learn from exclusive educational content and network with each other to walk away with products, relationships and solutions that will help move their business forward. The beauty of the Show is that it’s for the industry and driven by the industry. We continually ask for feedback from vendors and buyers alike to shape and shift the direction to best meet the industry’s needs.

HWB: Can you highlight any key educational programs attendees should be made aware of?
RR: Stay tuned. Our educational programs are still in the development stages and will be released soon after the new year.

HWB: Are there any other updates that attendees can expect in 2020?
RR: We believe that each and every year you will come away from the National Hardware Show with new products, fantastic education, great networking opportunities and the best deals to bring back to your stores which is why this is a must attend event each and every year. This year, we are introducing a new loyalty program that will reward those buyers who come each and every year with the best deals, onsite amenities and travel perks to make sure Las Vegas in May is your destination for the National Hardware Show year after year.

 

The National Hardware Show, set for May 5-7, 2020 at the Las Vegas Convention Center is the leading B2B marketplace serving the growing home improvement retail channel. The Show presents a comprehensive range of innovative new products in hardware, tools, building, homewares, paint, smart home, outdoor living, pet and more.