InstallerSHOW 2024 Highlights

Published: July 8, 2024

InstallerSHOW 2024 Highlights

The InstallerSHOW 2024, held from June 25th to 27th at the National Exhibition Centre (NEC) in Birmingham, UK, marked a significant milestone in its history this year. This event, which already happens to be the UK’s number one destination for installers and specifiers of heat, water, air and energy technology, cleverly added kitchen and bathroom installation to its impressive lineup. This annual event aims to unite the industry, from professionals and exhibitors to thought leaders and influencers, showcasing the most cutting-edge innovations, discussing the latest industry trends, and fostering solid relationships, all while highlighting the value and benefits of great installation and installers.

And wow, it definitely delivered!

At the heart of the kitchen side of InstallerSHOW 2024 was a series of captivating talks by British interior designer Johnny Grey, renowned for his visionary approach to crafting bespoke kitchens that seamlessly blend architecture and interior design with comfortable living. Grey’s insights into the “Kitchen of the Future” resonated deeply with attendees, emphasizing the evolution of kitchens beyond mere cooking spaces into vibrant epicenters that integrate technology, sustainability and personalized design elements.

mark conacher and Johnny grey discuss kitchen of the future at installershow 2024

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With my own past as a kitchen and bathroom installation specialist with over three decades of experience, I had the absolute pleasure of joining Johnny on stage (above) to explore the cultural and functional evolution of the kitchen, discussing topics such as consumer preferences, ergonomic design principles and the transformative impact of kitchen spaces on daily living. Throughout our talk, though, it always came back to people, communication, family and, most importantly, mothers.

Johnny and I would be the first to admit that, growing up, we came from significantly different backgrounds. For me, this made the talk all the more fascinating. But when all was said and done, it seems that in the kitchen, those differences were bridged.

As we sat together on stage, at an island of multiple curves and levels showcasing his Kitchen of the Future, our discussions underscored the importance of adaptable kitchen layouts and innovative solutions to meet the diverse needs of modern lifestyles. The integration of smart technologies, energy-efficient appliances and sustainable materials emerged as key trends shaping the future of kitchen installations.

Having spent a fair bit of time with Johnny over the three days of the show, you can’t help but learn and be inspired to look at things a little differently. It was a real bucket-list moment I didn’t know I needed.

The InstallerSHOW 2024 also served as a fantastic platform for industry leaders and associations to share their expertise and address key challenges currently facing the installation industry. Damian Walters, CEO of the BiKBBI (British Institute of Kitchen, Bedroom & Bathroom Installation), was on hand to emphasize the role of professional accreditation in maintaining high installation standards and enhancing consumer confidence across the UK.

Accreditation can play a crucial role in ensuring quality and reliability in an industry that values craftsmanship and precision. The BiKBBI is a fantastic organization committed to supporting installer professionalism through training, certification, education and standards.

installershow 2024 presentation by mark conacher

Simon Acres Group Ltd, featured a series of engaging talks (above) focusing on practical strategies for integrating apprenticeships into installation businesses. These sessions highlighted the benefits of mentorship, skill development and workforce diversity in fostering the next generation of installation professionals – something that is greatly needed on both sides of the pond as we face the uncertain future of an aging workforce and a less-than-robust uptake in apprenticeships.

In the BMA bathroom arena, Tom Reynolds, Chief Executive of The Bathroom Manufacturers Association (BMA), led informative sessions on water conservation, regulatory compliance and innovative trends in bathroom design. Reynolds’ discussions underscored the industry’s shift towards sustainable practices and innovative technologies that promote environmental stewardship without compromising performance or aesthetics.

Notable celebrity interviews in the bathroom arena included Tom Reynolds in conversation with designer, writer and host of Channel 4’s Grand Designs, Kevin McCloud, and interior designer and TV presenter Linda Barker. In the kitchen arena, Channel 5’s Mark Millar showcased some of his building projects that exemplified innovative design solutions, showcasing how collaboration between designers, installers and manufacturers can transform architectural visions into sustainable, high-performance realities.

nkba global connect at installershow

I was delighted to see the North American side of the kitchen and bath industry present, with the participation of Global Connect experts Sherry Hansel Qualls and Veronika Miller (above) from the NKBA (National Kitchen and Bath Association). They provided valuable insights into market dynamics and strategic entry points for global brands seeking to establish a presence in North America. Their discussions highlight the importance of localized market knowledge and consumer preferences in driving successful market penetration strategies. The NKBA’s Global Connect program aims to facilitate international partnerships and provide tailored support to manufacturers and designers navigating the complexities of the North American market.

With the exhibition floor at InstallerSHOW 2024 boasting over 600 exhibitors, it reaffirmed its role as a catalyst for innovation and knowledge exchange. By bringing together stakeholders, installers, specifiers, manufacturers and regulatory bodies, the event fostered a dialogue on trends, challenges and the future of installation.

As the industry continues to evolve, events like InstallerSHOW will play a pivotal role in promoting best practices and inspiring creativity. By embracing innovation and fostering strong partnerships, installation professionals are poised to lead the charge towards a future where kitchen and bathroom installations not only meet but exceed consumer expectations for quality, efficiency, and sustainability.

—By Mark Conacher, Managing Director, Senstec-USA

Photo credit: Mark Conacher

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