National Hardware Show Holds Successful In-person Event

After pivoting to a virtual format in 2020 and adding a year-round, digital component in 2021, the National Hardware Show (NHS) returned in-person from Oct. 21-23 for its 75th edition event, gathering exhibitors, industry leaders and other attendees for a safe and successful return to business at the Las Vegas Convention Center’s new West Hall.

All in all, the Show garnered 690 exhibitors (including 259 new exhibitors), 225 featured products and 97 inventors. Notable exhibitors included Stanley Black & Decker, MTD, Traeger, Ukiah, Flex Seal and Costco.

“We are grateful for all exhibitors, attendees, staff and media who made this Show possible and successful,” says Beth Casson, event leader, National Hardware Show. “Despite a smaller footprint, we made important investments this year to ensure NHS remains the top destination for industry members to make meaningful connections and celebrate successes for years to come.”

Specialty Areas


NHS’ new HABITAT Pavilion resided at the main Show floor entrance in the West Hall and consisted of three components: HABITAT New, HABITAT Next and the HABITAT Innovation Showcase. The HABITAT Innovation Showcase was framed by five pillars impacting the evolution of hardware and home improvement businesses for 2021 and beyond: Self-Service; the Extra Mile; Health and Wellth; Trust the Process; and Safe the World. It featured a curated selection of products from companies paving the way in innovation. HABITAT New was a discovery zone for the latest product launches and included novel products from the likes of Bear Mountain BBQ Woods and Inventor Lady. Additionally, HABITAT Nextallowed inventors to showcase inventions that embody how the industry can rise to meet the changes in our world – including a series of educational seminars and pitch panels hosted by the United Inventors Association. Key inventors included Stinger Brush Co. and Quick Car Dry, among others.

NHS Backyard

The new NHS Backyard section was the place to be for much of the Show – an outdoor component that came alive through exciting content on the NHS Backyard Stage. Following a Welcome Back Reception, NHS Backyard hosted a Cook-Off with Ukiah, Live Building & Refurbishments with Make48, NHS Favorite Finds presentations, grilling demonstrations and more. NHS Backyard was also home to the Backyard Beer Garden where attendees were able to gather, network and unwind.

“National Hardware Show has let the home and hardware industry know trade shows are back and better than ever,” says Kathryn Emery, NHS correspondent. “It was wonderful to greet people in person, see products in action and hear from industry leading speakers. One of my favorite areas, this year, and every year, is NHS Backyard! The NHS Backyard stage was constant action – from Traeger and Pit Boss chefs, to influencers showing off their favorite finds and inventors showing how their products work. My taste buds had the honor of judging the TikTok Cook-Off hosted by Ukiah, with some of the best flavors I’ve ever experienced. The energy, events, products and people that came out for NHS made it amazing to be back in person. I’m already looking forward to April 2022!”

Made in USA

Made in USA featured domestic, best-in-class products and services that value high labor standards, top quality manufacturing and safer products that keep Americans working. Featured exhibitors included Big Gator Tools, Flex-Safe USA, Lasko Products, Shurtape Technologies, Warp Brothers and more.

Area 75

To celebrate the 75th edition of the National Hardware Show, the 2021 event featured Area 75 – a curated exhibit commemorating each decade within NHS’ history. The installation took attendees down memory lane showcasing nostalgia-inducing home trends, vintage tools, products, past event directory programs and more, truly showing the evolution of the industry and the Show!

NHPA All-Industry Conference

Co-located with NHS, the North American Hardware and Paint Association (NHPA) All-Industry Conference consisted of educational seminars, networking opportunities and awards programs. This year’s Conference focused on supporting independent retailers’ evolution with a variety of presentations from retailers, subject matter experts and wholesaler and manufacturer representatives. Key sessions and speakers that took place include:

  • KEYNOTE: Locked on Leadership: The Secret to Self-Directed Teams – Presenter: Dave Rosenberg, Speaker, Podcaster and Author
  • Young Retailer Insights: The Future of Retail – Panelists: Robin Smith, Vice President, Petersburg Hardware; Cody Goeppner, Director, Bleyhl Co-op; and Jonathan South, Manager, Teghtmeyer Ace Hardware
  • A Supplier’s Perspective – Panelists: Charlotte Mustard, Director of Marketing, Sashco Sealants; Geff Lynch, President, Lancaster; and Paul Green, Chief Merchandising & Procurement Officer, True Value
  • KEYNOTE: The New Normal for Kitchen and Bath – Presenter: Bill Darcy, CEO, National Kitchen and Bath Association 
  • KEYNOTE: Focus on the Customer and the Employees as a Person – Presenter: Alex Genov, Head of Customer Research, Zappos 
  • Look Good, Feel Good, Do Good: Taking Care of People & Business – Presenter: Rich Benninghoff, President and CEO, Malco Products, SBC
  • Top-Down Sustainability – Presenter Josh Prigge, Consultant, Sustridge Consulting
  • E-Commerce: What I Wish I Knew Then – Presenter: Jake Wilson, Director of Marketing & eCommerce, Wilco 
  • The New Paradigm for Home Improvement – Presenters: Dan Tratensek, NHPA; and Grant Farnsworth, President, The Farnsworth Group

Award recipients included three Top Gun Award winners – retailers who are growing their operations through strategic leadership with consideration for their communities and teams:

·       Mike Brackin, President, HomCo Lumber & Hardware

·       Ian McNaughton, Owner, Gravenhurst Home Hardware

·       Greg Templeman, President, Sunpro

Additionally, a panel of independent retailers chose 40 Retailers’ Choice Award winners from the thousands of products on display at NHS.

Recorded content will be available on NHS Connects soon!


The 75th edition of NHS was the most sustainable yet, with help from the Las Vegas Convention Center’s water conservation and energy efficient light initiatives, plus an events contractor, Freeman, which helped deliver positive social and environmental impact. Specifically, NHS swapped out paper for a digital directory, used reusable, sustainably sourced signage and eliminated aisle carpet to reduce CO2 emissions.

Save the Date

NHS revealed the dates for its 2022 Show, set for April 5-7, once again in the West Hall at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Stay tuned for more information!

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