AT THE SHOW—It’s all sizzle and style in Chicago, as the International Home + Housewares Show opens today.
More than 60,000 attendees are expected at this year’s show — which represents a five percent jump in overall attendance as well as a five percent increase in buyer attendance — and the exhibition floor is sold out, according to the International Housewares Association. Five hundred new companies are exhibiting here.
As usual, top chefs are on the schedule to meet, greet — and cook — for attendees. Today’s cooking demonstrations at the South Building’s Cooking Theater include Cat Cora, Masaharu Morimoto, Todd English, Top Chef’s Stephanie Izard, Michelle Bernstein, Whitney Miller and Curtis Stone.
The show is also displaying real-time tweets on its Twitter Wall located in the Lakeside Center Lobby. All one has to do is insert the “#housewares” hashtag into the tweet to have it displayed. In addition, the IHA has partnered with Cooking with Caitlin and The Savvy Host to bring you live Twitter parties each day straight from the show floor, using the hashtag #FNIchat (for Foodies’ Night In). The events are structured around a themed and carefully-crafted set of scheduled and pre-determined questions.
Special #FNIchats will be held each day from 3-4 p.m, and will feature special guests like celebrity chef Rick Bayless, as well as sneak-peek video demos, and giveaways.
For companies looking for eco-friendly materials and solutions, the Going Green display at in the Lakeside Center lobby will include materials resource Material ConneXion’s traveling display of touchable sustainable materials.
Education Sessions include “Cooking Up Bigger Profits with Housewares” with Phil Lempert, The Supermarket Guru; “Consumer State of Mind: Insight into the Driving Motivators Behind Consumer Purchases” with NPD’s Peter Goldman; “Designing for Mass Production While Keeping Your Soul Intact” with Ran Lerner; and “Protecting Your Product Uniqueness in a Global Market” with Damon Neagle, Design IP.
Visit housewares.org for details, locations and times.
After hours brings more meeting and greeting. At McCormick, Top Chef’s Fabio Viviani — and a new partner with Bialetti — will be the guest of honor tonight at the cookware company’s reception. There is also a buyers’ networking reception at the Grand Concourse lobby in the North building.
And the partying continues off site as well, as several companies celebrate key launches and introductions.