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The Indiana Armstrong Builders Association is pulling together a virtual home show to be conducted online March 19-21, then remain available online for three months thereafter.

“We’re doing a virtual home show on the same days that we would normally have the home show,” IABA Executive Officer Dick Clawson said.

IABA is taking the annual expo to www.indianahomeshow.com, dealing with the continuing uncertainty around the COVID-19 virus pandemic, as well as concerns over the health and safety of vendors and attendees.

“We have 28 vendors,” Clawson said. “We were shooting for 40.”

And the organizers will take 100 if they can get them.

“We are going to be doing some more phone calls next week and the week after,” Clawson said. “We’ll call all the prior exhibitors and then open it up to the members, and we have a couple non-members who heard about it and wanted to get in.”

The pandemic forced a shutdown of last year’s show just days before it was slated to begin at the Kovalchick Convention and Athletic Complex on the Indiana University of Pennsylvania campus. Efforts to hold the home show in May also faltered because of pandemic concerns.

So, “we decided in November to go with a virtual one in 2021,” Clawson said.

IABA has bought the rights to at least 10 years of virtual displays.

“Perhaps once we go back to doing it live, we may continue to do it online,” the IABA executive officer said.

Each vendor will have a booth that basically will have a video link. There also will be a link to allow for submitting email addresses to be part of drawings. The base cost of a booth is $200, with additional options available.

So far, all the vendors are from Indiana County.

“Right now we don’t have anyone from Armstrong County,” Clawson said. “Last year we probably had 10 booths from Armstrong County.”

He said at least one vendor across the county line is still thinking about being part of the show.

Clawson understands a preference for a live Home Show, but he talked about an experience in his own family.

He said his daughter built a house and that she and her husband went to dealers for cabinets and brick, while the rest of their home they bought online.

Those wishing to see what a virtual booth can be like can access www.indianahomeshow.com/demo or go to the association’s www.iabuilders.com website.