WASHINGTON, D.C. -- More than 51,000 builders, remodelers and other members of the home building industry crowded the aisles of the National Association of Home Builders' International Builders' Show (IBS), which ended its four-day run Friday at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, FL, last week.

Signs of optimism for the industry's recovery could be felt throughout the show, as exhibitors noted increased booth traffic and solid sales leads.

"We were so happy with the show this year--it was truly unbelievable. We barely had time to take a break," said Brian Stowell, CEO of Crown Point Cabinetry, who noted that they will exhibit again at IBS 2013 in Las Vegas. "If you supply the construction trade, you are crazy if you don't have your product here. This is your one chance all year to get in front of a national audience of builders that have projects. This show is a must for us."

The 2012 IBS featured exhibits from more than 900 suppliers representing all facets of the home building industry. Builders and remodelers also attended more than 165 educational sessions on design trends, green building, marketing, remodeling and other building industry topics.

Nearly 2,500 people attended a special address by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, where he discussed how restraints on credit for home buyers and home builders alike continue to impede the housing and economic recovery.

Attendees also flocked to IBS Live, a new theater-like venue on the show floor that featured several exciting sessions throughout the week including an appearance by "Dancing with the Stars" winner and Operation Finally Home spokesperson, J.R. Martinez; a live airing of the popular Los Angeles-based radio show, "Home Wizards;" and a number of presentations on topics like green building, consumer trends and home financing.

"We really enjoyed our experience at the 2012 IBS. We were able to meet with vendors and see the latest product innovations, attend a wide variety of education sessions to learn new ideas and sharpen our skills, and hear from a great line-up of speakers, said Steve Spanjer, President of Spanjer Homes. "We returned to work recharged and inspired. The IBS is an event our firm will not miss, as it helps enable us to be better prepared builders."

Other highlights of the show included The New American Home 2012 (www.tnah.com), NAHB's official show home, and the IBS Opening Ceremonies featuring world-famous magicians Penn & Teller as keynote speakers, and Aron Ralston, whose inspiring story of bravery was made famous in the acclaimed movie "127 Hours."

The next International Builders' Show takes place January 22 to 24, 2012, at the Las Vegas Convention Center.