What an honor it was to be included in the inaugural National Kitchen and Bath Association’s (NKBA) Global Connect Business Summit in England on Oct. 7th. With a theme of “Looking West: Understanding the North American Market”, the conference was full of presentations and discussions designed to explore the North American market.
Taking place in conjunction with the British Bathroom Manufacturers Association’s (BMA) annual Conference, at the Carden Park Resort, Cheshire, England, the summit addressed macro-economic, social and political trends that could impact doing business in North America.
Continuing the NKBA mission to connect kitchen and bath industry professionals around the world, the Association built a program focused on relevant business topics. These included a current look at key economic indicators; demographic and geographic influences; shifting lifestyle and design trends and panel discussions covering “go-to-market strategies,” and government trade, code, financial and tax implications.
“The NKBA is the Global Connector for the kitchen and bath industry — forging relationships and sharing insights and innovative ideas to inform, inspire and empower the kitchen and bath community around the world,” said Bill Darcy, NKBA’s CEO. “We are operating in a global marketplace. Our all-industry Association is uniquely positioned to facilitate important connections internationally.
The day-long business summit was designed for C-Suite executives interested in (or in the early stages of embarking on) a North American distribution strategy. My presentation shared “North American Lifestyle, Life Stage and Design Trends” where we examined the shifting American population and its impact on macro trends like Living in Place, livability, wellness and smart home/whole home technology integration, We discussed the importance of understanding these trends, as well as micro-trends like “Farmhouse” and “Industrial” — as well as design terms like “Traditional,” “Transitional” and “Contemporary,” and how they’re essential to designing and developing relevant products for various consumer-market segments.
My cohorts reported on the following for a robust and informative agenda for all attendees:
- “Dawn of a Decade – New Business in a New World.” Veronika Miller, CEO, M2 Consulting.
- “NKBA Market Outlook.” Bill Darcy, NKBA CEO.
- “North American Demographic & Geographic Realities.” Steve Basten, senior manager, John Burns Real Estate Consulting.
- “Tackling the North American Market.” Veronika Miller, CEO, M2 Consulting.
- “North American ‘Go-To’ Market — Understanding the Options.” Suzie Williford, Executive Vice President of Industry Relations and Chief Strategy Officer for NKBA.
The day concluded with a cocktail reception and dinner hosted by the NKBA for all attendees. The combination of NKBA’s and BMA’s robust programming was beneficial to all brands serving the kitchen and bath market, from the U.K., Europe and beyond.