MILWAUKEE — It's one of the first major exposition events we've seen since the pandemic. The NARI home & remodeling show kicked off Friday.
It featured a showroom filled with home show exhibitors, similar to what people are used to at the home show.
“It’s a big space. I figured there’s lots of room,” said customer Linda Bevitt, who is remodeling her condo.
Another customer, Mai Xiong, said she felt comfortable coming out.
“I think it’s beneficial to come to shows like this so we can get ideas,” she said.
This year, things are a little different because of the pandemic. Hand sanitizer stations, one-way walking lanes and lots of masks.
"We were actually leading in terms of running a consumer show and we had to develop all these safety plans on our own,” said NARI Milwaukee Executive Director Diane Welhouse.
It’s a safety plan that comes with some sacrifices. Many vendors weren't able to set up in the limited space. The number of customers they let inside is also limited.
Vendors like John Nehmey said going on with the show was important, because one thing people have been doing a lot during this pandemic is home improvement projects.
“We’ve actually seen an increase in our business. Because of COVID. Because of the way homes have changed,” Nehmey said.
Across the State Fair grounds sits a grim reminder of the state of the coronavirus in Wisconsin: a field hospital opened this week to assist with hospital overflow.
Organizers of the NARI home improvement show say the rules and precautions they have in place, should keep vendors and customers safe.
The show goes on through the weekend. Saturday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.