For KirkLee, NAHBS is important because it gives a place where potential customers can view and run their fingers over their bikes in person and meet the guys who build the bike. The customer can get a feel of the design philosophy and make a decision on purchasing at the show. In addition, it is a place where builders can build relationships with their peers.
From a business standpoint, KirkLee feels that if they could just do one show, it should be NAHBS because there is a larger number of people who see your work than any other show. In addition the media (print, online, bloggers, from multiple countries) at NAHBS is focused on the custom builder so to some extent you have to view the actual show as half and the virtual show as the 2nd half. The meetings KirkLee have at NAHBS seem to have a lasting effect in that they will get phone calls 6 months later saying “I spoke with you at NAHBS and now I am ready for my KirkLee”.
KirkLee feels that the best thing to get out of NAHBS is the appreciation for what they do. “During the late nights perhaps you start to think ‘am I the only one that appreciates the fine details that add hours to the build?’ When we get to NAHBS, those thoughts end, and it is all worthwhile. NAHBS is the one time of the year where a frame builder can feel like a rock star.”