After 53 years in San Francisco, the Pacific Coast Builders Conference will fly south in June to sunny San Diego.
“We had considered alternate locations for the show in the past, but decided that the tradition was strong enough that we didn’t want to change it,” said Linda Baysari, director of the PCBC. San Diego was chosen because of its stature as a top tier destination, she said.
The PCBC is aimed at the home building and housing industry. Builders, developers, architects, investors, product manufacturers and advisers will gather for the two-day conference on June 5 and June 6 at the San Diego Convention Center.
A tough housing market generated the need for the show to evolve and bring in more attendees, Baysari said. Most trade shows draw a drive-in radius of 300 miles.
By alternating the location each year up and down the state from San Francisco to San Diego, the event would attract a different audience, Baysari said. She expects between 25 and 35 percent of the audience to be new to PCBC this year. There were around 8,000 attendees in 2012.
“We think between the new location and the recovering housing market, we hope to see 15 to 20 percent improvement in attendance. We’re already seeing it on our exhibit floor. Exhibit sales are up about 10 percent right now, with a little bit over 200 exhibitors,” Baysari said.
Keynote speakers at the 2013 event will include Richard Florida, bestselling author of “The Rise of the Creative Class” and “Who’s Your City?” Florida will discuss maximizing return on investment in place, Baysari said. Daniel Pink, also a bestselling author, will discuss his most recent book, “To Sell is Human.”
“The industry has been in such a deep recession and we’re finally starting to see some real, measurable improvements -- most of our builders have downsized dramatically and have been in hunker-down mode, and all of a sudden we’re … going back into production as an industry,” Baysari said.
As part of the PCBC, Baysari has looked for ways to reinspire the remaining team, which has been under pressure and working multiple jobs, she said.
“How do we reinspire the team, get back into the sales mentality; how do we give them a new way of thinking?” Baysari asked. “The PCBC has always pushed the envelope. It has always been progressive about the trends and innovations and about what’s coming.”
Baysari referenced organic farmer, Farmer D. “What does he have to do with housing? There’s a trend to introduce agriculture as an amenity. Agriculture is starting to take place in community development much like other amenities, like parks,” she said.
“The venue change is certainly the biggest change this year. Every year, it’s a clean slate. It’s a provocative and compelling event,” said Baysari.