2011 International Builders Show
The International Builders Show is the largest residential construction trade show in the world, held in Orlando, Florida. With some serious fundraising efforts and great support from both NAHB and UMass, our student chapter was fortunate enough to send several students to the show on a travel scholarship over the winter intermission. The first day of the show, we filed into the opening ceremony as a group to witness the spectacle. We got to hear the President of the national chapter give opening remarks, followed by live comedy by Frank Caliendo and music by a cover artist. After the ceremony, we decided to work the floor. The trade show was enormous, walking across the show floor was like walking across the UMass campus. There were hundreds of booths set up each to showcase a different product or company. Kohler and Lowe’s were two of the bigger booths, each having an extensive amount of products set up to educate show attendees about their services and products. Workshops and networking hours were provided by the show. We didn’t attend any workshops, but we did spend some time networking with other professionals and students in the networking nooks. All in all, the most valuable part of the experience was the opportunity to make cold calls on companies and market ourselves as employable professionals in the field. Several companies were interested in our members as potential employees, and almost all of the companies on the floor were willing to tell us all about how their jobs typically go and give us good advice on how to proceed into a career in the residential construction field.