Determining the winners of the inaugural SNEWS® “Best of Booth” (BOB) awards during the SIA Snow Show in Denver, Colo., Jan. 27-30, 2011, was no easy task. The goal was to find trade show booth merchandising “bests” that were not only effective at attracting the attention of show attendees, but can also be adapted for use at retail to draw in customers and motivate purchasing.
Visual stimulation and competition between booths of snowsports apparel and hardgoods had our team wandering the floor and sifting through some extraordinary visual merchandising ideas. Read on to learn who stood out among the crowd and why:
Best BOB – Large Booth:
Burton (www.burton.com) won the large booth category by taking retailers to a new level by telling a story, and providing product knowledge as well as merchandising guidance. Burton paid as much attention to the merchandising of its exterior walls as it did inside the booth. The outside walls did double-duty by simultaneously providing a history of snowboarding and of Burton’s evolution as a company. Cutouts of prominent snowboard athletes behind plexiglass created a relationship with product, as well.
The booth interior included a display “in the round” with mannequins grouped with backs together, so no matter which way you entered the booth, attendees were treated with product eye candy. Color and category stories completed the effect.
Best BOB – Small Booth:
MeCo Designs (www.mecodesigns.com) took the small booth category (10-by-20 or smaller) by keeping its booth simple and working its product hard. This three-year-old manufacturer of women’s outerwear really knows how to stand out amidst the visual noise at a trade show like SIA. Merchandise was front and center, and thanks to a wise investment in body forms, got all the attention against the calm background graphic and inviting burlap-covered chairs.
Best BOB – Creative Merchandising on the Cheap:
Chaos (www.chaoshats.com) won the creative merchandising on the cheapcategory by recycling an old fence, chopping it up, placing a twig in the middle and, voila, creating natural display tools for its large variety of hats. Chaos also made its black-colored hats pop by painting the Styrofoam heads they rested on a bright orange (if you try this at your retail store, be sure to use water-based spray paint).
Obermeyer (www.obermeyer.com): Its displays were crisp, bright and playful, and demonstrated the brand’s longevity and relevance in today’s market with throw-back and current period graphics interspersed among the displays.
Spy (www.spyoptic.com): Who said a display of goggles and water bottles can’t be eye-catching and fun?
Nutcase (www.nutcasehelmets.com): Take your helmets off the wall and encourage more product exploration.
Venture Snowboards (www.venturesnowboards.com): When your product is a work of art, keep things simple and let it do all the talking as Venture did here.
Robin Enright is the founder of Merchandising Matters (www.merchandisingmattersnow.com), which provides visual merchandising support and merchandising training and education to brands and retailers.