The SNEWS Team appreciates all the effort that goes into creating trade show exhibits. We know it takes a lot of hard work to build a booth that promotes the company and shows its products in the best and most persuasive light. So, in deference to SNEWS' founder, Bob "Woody" Woodward, we've create the BOB (Best of Booths) Award to recognize those companies whose booths are outstanding because they show creativity and cleverness, humor, good design, effective use of space and excellent product presentation (or not, as the case may be).
BOB award winners receive an inscribed certificate of recognition and all the prestige that goes along with this soon-to-be-coveted award. So without further ado, we're pleased to announce the 2003 Winter Market BOB Award winners:
Top BOB -- GSI
The Top BOB Award goes to the booth deemed best in show by our team. The booth, which was packed every day, had a lot of product to show and did it with great attention to detail. It wasn't the slickest, or the biggest, booth in the show, but it worked and worked well. From cook sets to picture frames, this booth had it all. Walking through the booth was like a visit to your favorite hardware, kitchen or china shop -- there was cool stuff everywhere and the way it was displayed made you want it all.
Individual display units were placed on diagonals creating "come on in" entrances all around the periphery of the peninsula booth. Each unit contained a separate category of must-have outdoor camping items. The company's new, shaped water bottles were placed in backlit shelving units facing the main aisle where the rainbow of colors attracted attention.
Lexan and enamel tableware were shown in place settings by color groupings of blues, greens and reds. Green apples filled the bowls. Displays of cook sets, mess kits, fry pans and outdoor barware, like the Vortex Blender, were accessible to buyers who wanted to handle the products.
Our hats are off to GSI for creating a booth that displayed innovative product in an interactive atmosphere and employed excellent displays and time-honored merchandising techniques.
Fun BOB -- Horny Toad
They've done it again! Horny Toad's "film" theme was ab fab -- "absolutely fabulous." Giant film reels were used for display on the outside walls of the booth, while smaller reels supported hang rods in the individual writing rooms. Wine-red velvet curtains worthy of Grumman's Chinese Theater hung from the ceiling and the sides of the booth completing the Hollywood stage look. Clever and fun!
Display BOB -- Arc'Teryx
Congratulations to Arc'Teryx for doing the best job of product presentation. The clothing and packs lined up on diagonal rows from the front to the back of the booth gave buyers the opportunity to walk up and down the rows to view the products. The repetition of apparel and pack styles in different colors helped buyers make their choices. The white walls behind them amplified their colors. All in all, Arc'Teryx created a simple but great booth in which to show product and make it easy to buy.
Mini BOB -- Solo Lighter Co.
It's hard to create an exciting and eye-catching booth in a 10-foot by 10-foot booth, but the Solo Lighter Co. succeeded in getting its booth seen on the crowded show floor. Blonde wood walls wrapped the booth and a simple shelf across the back held lighter displays with point-of-purchase signage above. A small reception table to the left side and display of promotional product to the right completed the booth. While the products and informational signage added color to the booth, it was the exceptional lighting that made the booth stand out and capture our attention. Small isn't so bad!
Improved BOB -- Gramicci/Icebreaker
New booths can give a company a fresh image and that's just what Gramicci/Icebreaker was after. Along with a new ad campaign, the company designed a booth that would accommodate its Icebreaker line, provide room for an in-booth fashion show and show its product line comfortably. The booth could be approached from all sides, as there were no solid perimeter walls. A reception table formed the hub of walls that radiated to each corner of the island-configured booth creating bays to showcase individual clothing categories. Its openness was refreshing and the creation of a new booth revitalized the company's brand identity.
Almost BOB -- Grivel North America
Honorable mention goes to Grivel North America. If you missed the Grivel booth, you missed some of the most inventive display fixtures at the show. If necessity is the mother of invention, then Grivel is the master of necessity. The company needed a display table to showcase its crampons, so a friend welded a twist of acid-rusted expanded metal pieces to create a base for a rusted metal grating tabletop. Diamond-plate storage boxes made for long-haul trucks provided storage. Ice axes and crampons hung on more steel grating serving as a screen. And ice axes transformed into art objects graced the back walls. Rebar supported round metal tabletops serving as writing or display places. "If you like this, you should see our office," said a company spokesman. Can't wait!
Almost BOB -- Vortex
Vortex Backpacks deserves an honorable mention for doing a great job of stopping traffic with its Coraplas (translucent material used in greenhouses) panels lighted from the sides with colored bulbs and backlit with white light. Sona tubes (lightweight cardboard tubes used in concrete molding) supported the panels and the hanging packs. Vortex used its space efficiently and lighted it well creating a luminous presence in the dark hallway space it occupied. The company utilized lightweight, inexpensive, versatile materials and creative lighting to create a great trade show booth that, jeepers, cost only $140!
Not BOB -- Kavu
While most exhibitors continue to upgrade or change booth designs, some continue to beat a dead horse. Kavu wins the Not BOB Award for its continued use of wrinkled sheeting surrounding the booth on all sides and a stealth entrance that disallows any glimpse of product inside. Is there anything in there besides sales reps? Who can tell? Kavu, it's time to get rid of the sheets and come up with a new booth design.