The World’s Leading Home + Housewares Show

March 2–4, 2025 | McCormick Place | Chicago, IL

The World’s Leading Home + Housewares Show
March 2—4 | McCormick Place | Chicago, IL

Sure, there are plenty of parties around major events—graduations, retirements, birthdays and the like. But sometimes even the littlest things are cause for celebration (hello, upcoming summer solstice!). And it may just be that the best gatherings are the ones for no reason at all…other than kicking back, relaxing and spending some quality time with friends, family and neighbors.

Though sometimes overlooked, these types of informal gatherings present a real opportunity for sellers of housewares and home goods. After all, IHA’s 2023 At-Home Entertaining Survey found that most consumers’ at-home gatherings involve less than 10 guests, and feature self-serve/buffet meals and self-serve drinks.

And that’s on top of that same survey finding 82% of consumers plan to entertain at home at the same or increased frequency as 2022; 35% of consumers plan to host gatherings much more or more often.

Ideas and Inspiration

But that’s not to say most consumers won’t benefit from ideas and inspiration along the way. When they see their favorite stores or brands suggesting event themes or products, that might just be the encouragement they need to dive in and throw together an everyday gathering.

Tom Mirabile, principal and founder of Springboard Futures and IHA’s trend expert, recommends using store end caps and social media to inspire shoppers with timely ideas for informal events.

Be creative with events and themes that fit into your brand’s DNA. Gatherings tied to informal events could include national or local food days, game nights, backyard luaus, summer garden brunches or regional wine and cheese tastings.

Easy, Affordable and Attainable

It’s also important to make hosting everyday get-togethers feel easy, affordable and attainable.

When asked “How often do you try to create new experiences at your home, such as meals, social gatherings or replicating paid experiences (spa, movies, etc.)?”, the newly released 2023 IHA Market Watch Report found that 11% of respondents said “only for special occasions” and 5% said “not yet, but want to.”

Eliminating the perception of barriers like time, effort and cost will likely go a long way in spurring everyday gatherings. This could include anything from sharing easy recipes or creative “potluck” themes to emphasizing products at lower price points or those that save time.

Keep in mind the biggest entertaining challenges cited by consumers in IHA’s 2023 At-Home Entertaining Survey are: clean-up (30%), getting all the food ready at the same time (22%) and general meal prep (15%).

There’s also something to be said for helping to lower the bar for consumers expectations of a “perfect” gathering and emphasizing the sheer comfort and delight in spending time with friends and loved ones in a relaxed setting.


The International Housewares Association (IHA) just released its 2023 IHA Market Watch Report, which is designed to assist the home and housewares industry with connecting to consumer values.

Get Ready for The Inspired Home Show 2024!

March 17-19, 2024