As an agency with firmly planted roots in the housewares industry, the International Home + Housewares Show (IH+HS) will always hold a special place in our hearts. This year, the trade show marks a special anniversary for the IHA (International Housewares Association), which is celebrating 80 years in the industry. With several of our clients participating as exhibitors at the 2019 show, we’ve dug deep into the archives of IH+HS to celebrate and showcase the event that has guided the housewares industry for decades!
The Housewares Industry Plants Roots in the Windy City
The first houseware exposition of Chicago was held in 1928 when members from the newly established NHFMA (National House Furnishings Manufactures Association) decided Chicago’s central location granted superiority over the show’s past location, New York City. With 115 manufacturers set to display their products at the First Annual Chicago House Furnishing Exhibit, this was only the beginning for Chicago. The location has become the mecca of all housewares trade shows in the industry, hosting over 2,200 exhibitors at the 2018 show.
While IH+HS has become a trade show name with prestige and power in the housewares space, it was not always known as IH+HS. The concept of the IHA first started with the National Home Furnishing Buyer’s Club. Initially the show was held in New York City, but found a home in Chicago in 1928. However, throughout the twentieth century, the name of the association that governed the Chicago houseware show was everchanging. In fact, it wasn’t until 2004 that the newly named IHA rebranded the show as the International Home + Housewares Show. Although its name may not have remained a constant throughout its 80-year history, the relevance of IH+HS has persisted.
With an 80-year history, it’s clear that IH+HS has experienced many of the innovations that technology has offered to the housewares realm. Since its inception, IH+HS has featured the Innovation Awards, a component of the show dedicated to the recognition of forward-thinking leaders in the housewares industry. The IHA even developed a platform, The Inspired Home, to foster a connection between members of the IHA and consumers. More recently, the IHA has launched the Smart Home Pavilion, to aid show attendees in the acquisition of knowledge of emerging technology and trends in the housewares industry.
Changes in the Forecast for 2020
As a part of the IHA’s initiative to evolve with the consumer, the association has announced plans to rebrand the 2020 show with a new name. Although the annual housewares trade show will remain in Chicago, the International Home + Housewares Show will transform into The Inspired Home Show. In addition to a new logo and colors, The Inspired Home Show will include influencer initiatives and changes to support consumers’ aspirational lifestyles.
With 56,000 total attendees at the 2017 show from over 130 countries, it’s clear that IH+HS has flourished into a show far beyond the dreams of its pioneers. The IHA’s dedication to the companies it hosts and the consumers it enlightens have made IH+HS, and the future The Inspired Home Show, an event that has triumphed over the industry for 80 years.