Outdoor Retailer Summer Market '07: SNEWS® BOB Awards

It took a lot more pizzazz to attract attention at Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2007 because everything about the booths was better than in past years. It's obvious that exhibiting companies are spending more time and attention in planning their booth presentations. The following are proud recipients of a BOB Award at Summer Market.
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It took a lot more pizzazz to attract attention at Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2007 because everything about the booths was better than in past years. It's obvious that exhibiting companies are spending more time and attention in planning their booth presentations.



A great looking, functional booth is de rigueur for exhibitors these days. At SNEWS®, we look for those companies doing the best job of creating enticing environments to display and merchandise their product lines. But, as we all know, beauty is only skin deep. It's not enough to construct an eye-catching booth. It must be efficient for the sales staff, have good lighting, ample storage, sufficient writing and display space, and, as sustainability is a big concern, utilize green materials in booth construction.



As we do at each show, we recognize booths that have "the right stuff" by awarding our BOB (Best of Booth) Awards. The following are proud recipients of a BOB Award at Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2007.

Top BOB – Keen

Keen has done it again. At Outdoor Retailer Winter Market 2005, Keen won the Top BOB award for a booth designed by Salt Lake City design firm, Atmosphere Studios LLC.



Keen again utilized Atmosphere Studios to design its new booth. Gone is the dark, moody booth of old and, in its place, is a light and airy 80-percent green booth that works well for the sales staff, displays the products effectively and is easy for the buyers to preview the product line.



The exterior walls of the 50-foot by 60-foot booth are constructed of Sono tubes (used for forming concrete) interspersed with small panels of HDPE, the material used in milk jugs. Tyvec walls enclose the rooms along with inserts of perforated cork doors. B-board (honeycombed cardboard) is stacked to form the reception table and is also used on desktops and shelving. The booth houses 10 writing rooms and a kiva for the company's bags. The lighting is outstanding and the storage ample. This booth is a good example of simple materials repurposed for use in creating a workable, efficient, well-organized booth that sells not only product but also a sustainable ethic.

Fun BOB – Juniper Ridge

In the somewhat sterile atmosphere of the Salt Palace Convention Center, one booth transported buyers to a tranquil, outdoors place filled with the smells and sounds of the mountains and meadows. Actually, that place was a "hippie shack in the woods" created by the folks at Juniper Ridge.



The 10-foot by 20-foot booth floor was filled with fragrant cedar chips. The walls of the booth were fashioned of boards reclaimed from a Petaluma barn, prune-drying racks and a chicken coop (the you-know-what had to be scraped off the chicken coop boards before using!). The company's product line of sachets made from wild plant trimmings created engaging smells that reminded one of mountain hikes and camping trips. Every detail of the booth from the exhibit elements to the product itself was sustainable. How much more green can you get?

Most Improved BOB – Fox River

Fox River's new 20-foot by 30-foot booth is a perfect example of what can be done with sustainable materials when the desire to make a difference is present.



From the cork floor tiles to the certified-sources plywood and water-based stains to the corrugated paper panels forming the center round of the booth, Fox River, working with MG Design in San Francisco, paid attention to every aspect of the booth making it sustainable and workable. Even the sock boards were switched from foam core to a durable, reusable, lightweight and biodegradable rhythm board.



Two writing stations flanked the booth entrance and a corrugated cardboard circular wall surrounded the center of the booth, highlighting a large plasma monitor showing the sock knitting process and features of the company's plant. More private space was in the rear of the booth adjacent to two more booth openings.



The new booth is lighter weight, easier to put together and looked great. It is simple, sustainable and smart.

Mini BOB – New Tribe

When you find yourself with a 10-foot by 10-foot booth against a back wall, you have to be creative. New Tribe was up to the challenge. The company's product line is a system to make tree climbing easier so it made sense to go vertical.



A large fabric redwood tree, made by the company's owner Sophia Sparks, was affixed to the wall a good 16 feet above the booth with its roots winding down to the booth proper. Scaffolding supported a back wall and side panels painted to replicate the forest. The floor of the booth was strewn with pine boughs transported from the company's headquarters in Bend, Ore. The goal was to engage all the senses of look, touch and smell, and they did it in fine fashion.

Display BOB – Ergon

The Ergon booth was tucked away in the meeting rooms area of the trade show. You might not have made it there but, if you did, a beautifully executed booth greeted you. Designed and manufactured in Germany, the booth consisted of black curtains of square 6-inch by 6-inch plates on both sides of a black raised platform. A single Ergon pack was hung inside a moveable gyroscope. Techno sounds emanated from a speaker housed in the platform, creating an eerie, mechanical atmosphere.



Detailed drawings of the pack construction were painted on the black curtains on each side of the booth and, in front of the drawings, hung three packs. Theatrical lighting was trained on the gyroscope and on the booth sides. A solid black back wall hid the booth storage. The presentation was very dramatic, and the use of black throughout, the focused lighting and limited product contributed to the dramatic, stark and engaging presentation.

A few notables...

Brunton's new booth and product displays both inside and along the perimeter of the booth were beautifully done making the company's products easy to see and evaluate.

Banners hanging over the booths were more numerous than ever at this show creating competition for airspace. The best were Jansport's giant packs, Ful's red squares and, as always, SmartWool's Chinese lanterns swaying in the wind.

Clif Bar's neat four-sided counter hub in the center of the booth set on an angle helped differentiate product categories.

Hi-Tec's new system for showing its footwear on shelving spanning both sides of the booth with tables in front made the line easy to show.

Black Diamond's chocks display on acrylic panels replicating icebergs was an eye-catcher. Cool.




Top BOB -- Keen




Most Improved BOB – Fox River


Mini BOB – New Tribe




Display BOB – Ergon


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