OKC homebuilders will bring ideas back ‘from’ the International Builders Show, as usual, even though it’s online this year, which is not

“To see firsthand the latest in building science and design has allowed us to bring those concepts back to Oklahoma and share with our customers. We are looking forward to the event but also looking forward to the day we can all begin meeting and attending these great conferences in person.”

The virtual format for product exhibition will have ups and downs, said Mike Means, executive vice president of the Oklahoma Home Builders Association.

“The pro will be able to go at your own pace and be very selective of what you want to see,” he said. “A big con is that anything online allows one to try and multitask and miss some things. A couple of other cons is missing the interaction with the vendors and maybe stumbling across that one product that catches your eye.”

Means said an “unexpected positive” will be “touching base with folks you might miss if you are wandering around a gigantic showroom. Of course the negative is not being able to socialize in a normal human fashion.”

There probably isn’t any complaining about the online conventions. The National Association of Home Builders, which presents the International Builders Show, and National Kitchen & Bath Association, which presents the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show, made the right call in taking Design & Construction Week to the internet, said Steve Shoemaker, president of Norman-based Ideal Homes & Neighborhoods.

With no travel expense, he said, more people from Ideal will be able to participate in the training.

“I’ve found incredible value in IBS for the last 17 years and always walk away from the show with more knowledge, new connections and stronger creative ideas. I’m excited to share that with more of our Ideal Homes & Neighborhoods team,” Shoemaker said. “That being said, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows with an online format.

“Networking with colleagues simply doesn’t translate as well online as it does in person, and I often find the conversations in the hallways between sessions are just as, if not more, powerful than the sessions and trade show itself. It’s also not as easy to step away from your normal work day when attending a conference online — not to mention kiddos and pets running around in the background. Distractions arise frequently and online presentations don’t always capture your attention as they do in person. For me, at least, learning in person far exceeds the experience to learning online for this type of conference.”