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On paper, the nearly 100 Deck Expo exhibitors at the International Pool/Spa/Patio/Deck Expo show in Las Vegas, Nv., on Nov. 15-17 may have seemed like a drop in the bucket compared to the pool and spa exhibitors. Yet, when you walked into the newly built West Hall at the Las Vegas Convention Center, and saw the number of industry leading builders at the show, you knew this was going to be much bigger show than you first thought.
As attendees first walked into the show, they naturally made their way down the first row of Deck Expo exhibitors where we were handing out the latest issue Deck Specialist magazine.
The walking area in front of our booth and the booths quickly filled with people who wanted to say hi to Bobby Parks and the Versatex staff, watch Shane Chapman and Wade Laurent record a The Ultimate Deck Podcast about WEARDECK, a wood-free, Fiberglas reinforced composite decking, and stop at the CAMO booth demonstrations at the end of our aisle and enter a free CAMO product giveaway.
Surprisingly, the traffic flow didn’t let up the rest of the show. We had top builders visit our booth every day, all day. Many builders in attendance, who had previously only conversed on Instagram or on Facebook’s Decks 101 or Elite Deck Building Professionals groups, met each other in person for the first time in front of our booth. We watched as groups of builders talked with each other, promising to catch up and work together after the show.
On day three, one builder said to me that he had been trying to get back to our booth to pick up a copy of Deck Specialist magazine, but wasn’t able to because every time he tried, other builders would stop him to engage in conversation.
Over the course of the three days, I listened as the majority of the builders and exhibitors were asking each other the same question: how can we work even closer together in 2023 so that we all benefit from each other’s knowledge and expertise? Brotherhood and cooperation were the two words I heard mentioned the most.
Brotherhood is indeed alive and well within the industry, as evidenced by our slideshow of photos from the show. As builders look forward to the International Builders’ Show in late January and next year’s Deck Expo on Nov. 13-15, 2023, both at the Las Vegas Convention Center, I believe next year’s events will make an even bigger splash as more builders plan to meet up at the shows.