By Vicki Matranga, Design Programs Coordinator
What’s new? That’s the question that drives retailers, marketers and consumers. Companies strive to develop innovative new products that set them apart from their competitors, retailers seek fresh approaches to attract purchasers, and consumers customize their homes and carefully choose the items that they bring into their lives. And it all starts with design.
In addition to the miles of aisles filled with exciting products, the International Home + Housewares Show offers many educational programs and events that help attendees improve their businesses. Now that the Show adds Saturday, you have four days to see it all!
Profit from the Experience: Visit Lakeside Center
Lakeside Center is the home of FIVE displays that spotlight design trends and successes PLUS the Innovation Theater, which presents 20 speakers, every hour over four days!
The Level 3 Lobby, now named the Hall of Global Innovation, hosts:
1. Going Green
The annual look at eco-friendly products and packaging. All exhibitors are invited to submit their latest green items for review. Sustainability experts consider manufacturing, distribution and marketing and select items that reflect the many ways to create appealing, sustainable products. Reporters from major publications zero in on exciting new ideas in eco products and the stories behind their development.
Going Green also includes a special hands-on exhibit by Material ConneXion®, an international resource for the latest materials for many applications and industries. Every Idea has a Material Solution™ and the representatives at the display will help you find the most appropriate materials for your needs. www.materialconnexion.com
Ask an Expert. Bring your questions about sustainability to the problem-solving innovators who will be on hand to help you chart your paths to more sustainable products, packaging or supply chains. Check www.housewares.org for Show events in February to see the schedule.
2. Pantone ColorWatch
Retailers think in color and the ColorWatch display provides a point of view to help buyers walk the Show. Exhibitors submit their products that fit the nine palettes in Pantone’s 2013 color forecast and Pantone selects the items to be shown in the display.
This display gives a 3D interpretation of the popular presentations offered at 12 Noon on Monday and Tuesday in Room S100 by Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of Pantone’s Color Institute. Also at ColorWatch, Pantone staff will explain Pantone’s many color tools to help you plan your next product palette.
3. Student Design Competition Winners
Get inspired by young talent—meet the six winners of IHA’s 19th annual student design competition. They will present their awarded product concepts and learn from business professionals like you. Winners make connections that lead to jobs and some have negotiated patents and taken their concepts to market. Submissions from U.S. and international universities are rigorously evaluated by a jury that includes designers and brand managers from major retailers and Show exhibitors, industrial design professors, design consultants and entrepreneurs.
4. Gia Honoring Global Retail Excellence
The popular display of international retail excellence, formerly located in the North Building Concourse, now joins the design displays in the Hall of Global Innovation. Individual stands will feature the best retailers in 25 countries around the world.
5. NEW!! IHA Innovation Awards display
The IHA Innovation Awards premier at the 2012 Show. Open to all exhibitors who submit their products to the New Product Showcase, the IHA Innovation Awards will recognize up to five finalists in 12 Show categories. Products will be selected by juries composed of retailers, designers and industry experts. The display in the Hall of Global Innovation will spotlight the 12 Best in Category winners; finalists will be featured in the New Product Showcases in each Show building. Join us on Saturday, March 10 at 4:30 p.m. in Lakeside Center’s Room E350, just steps away from the display, for the “The envelope please….” announcement of the winners and toast the display’s unveiling!
Find Inspiration at the Innovation Theater
Need to sit down after all the excitement in the Hall of Global Innovation or looking for a place to get some brain food? Stroll over to the Innovation Theater in Lakeside Center’s E350, near the entry to the Hall of Global Innovation displays and just a quick turn from the walkway to the North and South buildings. Conveniently located and with comfortable seating, the new Innovation Theater (formerly called the Housewares Design Theater) presents an information-packed series of sessions worthy of a pricey business conference. These 20 free, thought-provoking programs will inspire you in many directions. Lifestyle trend spotters, designers and product development innovators will share their insights, along with experts in consumer research and purchasing behavior, branding, social media, sustainability and patent protection. Audiences at past Shows have said that the networking and educational value of these engaging presentations provide benefits all year long. Check the Show events listing on https://www.housewares.org/housewaresconnect365 for a complete schedule.
But wait! There’s more! Programs and events elsewhere also bring design and innovation excitement to the Show. The Discover Design exhibitor area in South Building expands upon last year’s successful debut and the Inventors Corner and Inventors Revue, now in North Building, introduce enthusiastic newcomers to the housewares industry.
So much to see and do in FOUR days at the International Home + Housewares Show. See you there!