A kick in the pants -- merch ideas from ORWM

Trade Show Ideas You can Use: Every so often retailers need a kick in the pants or a whack on the head to get them to take a fresh look at their stores and make some changes.
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Trade Show Ideas You can Use

Every so often retailers need a kick in the pants or a whack on the head to get them to take a fresh look at their stores and make some changes. They need new ideas and one of the best places to find ideas specific to outdoor products is Outdoor Retailer Winter Market. At this year's show, exhibitors used interesting materials, lighting, signage and props to attract attention to their booths and product lines. The way they chose to display their products could easily be adapted for retail use.

One of the first displays retailers saw upon entering the Salt Palace Convention Center was a large display case framing informational brochures sandwiched between two large pieces of thin acrylic held together with photographer's clips. Flat items like clothing, hats, socks or T-shirts could be merchandised between acrylic panels in the same way and hung in a window or from the store ceiling.

Gramicci displayed a range of color in one of its pant styles by folding and fanning a dozen of the pants out on a table. Repetition of an item (or a color) is a useful and effective merchandising technique.

Flyshacker enhanced the look of its hanging outfits by placing dried flowers in the necks.

In the Sidi booth, five mannequins stood in front of an 8-foot-tall corrugated metal panel each wearing black pants and colorful fleece tops. Pant legs were twisted and wrapped at the ankle giving a stylized look to the figures and making awkward pant legs look neat.


Water bottles took center stage in displays by Ultimate Direction and GSI. UD hung a collection of its FastDraw bottles at random lengths in front of a metal screen backlit with twinkle lights. GSI lined its colored bottles up on shelves in front of a backlight translucent panel. Back lighting gives bottle displays pizzazz.


Two favorite shoe displays could be found in the Vibram and Keen footwear booths. Vibram hung strips of rubber from the booth ceiling and tied boots at random heights on each. Keen showed its latest styles on round yellow disks elevated off the floor at varying heights.

The oversized chairs in wild colors and prints in the Moszkito orthotics booth were both practical and outrageous. Why not do the unexpected?

The large graphic banners hanging around the Sierra Designs booth added color and interest. Large-scale image graphics are affordable and effective ways to promote the outdoor lifestyle.

If you happened by the Jibs booth, a disembodied leg wearing a Jibs boot welcomed you. What a kick!

Next time you attend a trade show, grab your notebook and set aside a little time to cruise the floor for ideas. Make finding them a goal and you'll begin to see them everywhere.

Sharon Leicham writes a merchandising column that appears twice a month in SNEWS in the Business Nerve Center. Leicham is the author of Merchandising Your Way to Success and How to Sell to Women and is a frequent contributor to trade magazines writing on merchandising and marketing topics. She recently launched a website, www.merchandisingHUB.com, with information targeted at the independent specialty retailer.

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