NY Now Trade Show Booths part three

Many vendors, sales representatives, artists and manufacturers attend trade shows to gain exposure for their products. Booth costs vary by location within the show, square footage of the booth space and the amenities provided. Some designers build entire storefronts and others simply set up a table within a white-curtained booth. Creativity is key to an effective booth, regardless of the trade show set-up budget. Smart retailers take note of display ideas and techniques used at the shows and find ways to incorporate display trends in-store once the show season is over. I walked the aisles of NY Now at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center and gathered pictures of some effective booth designs and trends in visual merchandising. Enjoy and stay display inspired!aug2015craftholicnynow1I’m always on the lookout for unique ways to display plush animals and dolls. A display dilemma that many retailers face, it is one of the most requested topics during the years I have been writing this blog. The playful simplicity of the Craftholic booth is eye-catching and the circles and stripes actually reflect the patterns on the plush toys.aug2015craftholicnynow2Creating a similar “stripe” wall in a retail setting would not be difficult. Not only does it work well to display multiple sizes of plush animals, it could be used to display clothing, throws, tables linens and would be especially fun for a pillow display.


Plush company, sigikid-usa “pulled” the focal point of their booth display all the way from California…

aug2015sigikidusanynowThe owners of sigikid-usa, along with their 5 year old son, left California at the beginning of summer and pulled the branded teardrop trailer all the way to NY for the show, stopping at retailers along the way. I was fortunate to follow their story on behalf of Playthings/Gifts & Decorative Accessories Magazine and you can click here to read the article about the journey.


Before leaving the plush theme, I must mention one of my favorite display ideas spotted at the show. The display cubbies in the Elegant Baby booth were filled with floating products, playfully suspended by thin rope in various configurations. Sometimes the best ideas are so simple, yet create superb results!aug2015elegantbabynynow
Booths may come with a small sign showing the booth number or it may be placed on the floor, but in most cases, vendors are required to provide their own signs. I use the word in plural, as it is important to show brand identity from several angles since you want to catch the eye of attendees coming from either direction.aug2015spitfiregirlnynow The brand name at the Spitfire Girl booth is a great example as it is easy to read and is included in a spot that includes products and a theme that represents the line perfectly.


Tinsel Trading had an easy-to-read sign at the NY Now show and an interesting display theme that was practical and functional!aug2015tinseltradingnynow3
aug2015tinseltradingnynow1Most of the booth displays were created from corrugated cardboard.
aug2015tinseltradingnynow2Lightweight, yet surprisingly sturdy, cardboard is easy to work with and provides great texture in visual merchandising, too!


Some booth builders and display designers arrive a few days in advance of a show and head straight to thrift stores and Ikea to purchase tables and fixtures and props for trade show booths. Other vendors ship in elaborate booths designed by a corporate team. There is much to be learned from all of these efforts. A key component of an effective booth ambiance is the vibe of the area and how it relates to the product being sold.
Note how the hutch in the Drumming Beetle booth, represents the country feel of the soft fruits and vegetables on display in the baskets. Sometimes you need a large piece to display smaller items.aug2015drummingbeetlenynow


Desks become useful display tables, especially when they have several shelves. Sometimes they even have a drawer for brochures and business cards. Also of note in this Kobo Candles booth was the use of relevant props and clear branding. This corner was so inviting.aug2015kobonynow


Another of my favorite displays was this tabletop house-shaped installation at the Ore Originals booth.aug2015oreoriginalsnynow


At trade shows, just like in a retail setting, you cannot count on overhead lighting to show products at their best.aug2015OlivinaNyNowbooth
The Olivina booth is a lovely example of product lighting done right. The lights are adjustable and extend far enough from the wall to illuminate an entire bank of shelves.aug2015olivinanynow2


Before concluding this wrap-up of the booth displays at the Summer NY Now show, I’d like to remind readers to watch for display inspirations in the lobbies of trade shows, too. Many shows have special areas that spotlight new products and featured sections like eco-friendly or fair trade products or products that win awards like Best New Product.
Vendors can opt for space in the lobby to give a preview of new products and lure you to visit their booths inside the show. Easy Tiger used the space to place their signature card vending machine.aug2015easytigernynow2A sucker for renovated vending machines, the lure worked and I visited their booth to see what fun, new products they have, shown here:aug2015easytigernynowI have enjoyed watching Easy Tiger grow over the years and I hope to visit their home office in Kansas City, MO, someday. I hear it is located in an converted chemistry lab which sounds like it is right up my alley! Perhaps I can add it to the next retail roadtrip itinerary.

I hope you are inspired by the posts of some of my favorite displays from the NY Now show. It was a busy summer with seminars, writing assignments and speaking engagements at various gift shows. The highlight of the summer was a retail roadtrip that included dozens of stores in CT, NY and MA. Stay tuned for lots of display ideas found along the way. I invite you to follow the blog on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, too. Those links are in the sidebar of this blog post.

Stay display inspired!

NY Now Trade Show Booths part two

Trade show booth designers are charged with enticing customers to pause and linger with only a few seconds to do so. At a huge show like NY Now, standing out is a challenge. Here are some examples that caught our attention while walking the show aisles at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center. Enjoy and stay display inspired!
aug2015wolfumnynow1 Effective booths reflect the branding of the company in color and style. The company name and logo should be prominent. If products are bold and colorful, it is best to stay neutral and use solids when choosing colors for the wall, shelf and floor coverings. Shown, here, in the Wolfum booth.
The Langdon Ltd. booth had black walls and floor which allowed the accent colors of the textiles to really pop!
The pillows at the País Textil booth stood out against a grey wall and the thick white shelves were an effective choice, too. Note how the stripes alternate in horizontal and vertical positioning, creating visual interest in the booth. aug2015paistextilenynow

Bold shapes really stand out when arranged in a non-symmetrical configuration surrounded by plenty of white space, as seen in the Alice Tacheny booth. aug2015alicetachenynynow

Many booths chose to leave the plywood walls and tables unpainted, as shown in the Skinny Vinny booth.aug2015skinnyvinnynynow

In some cases, the unpainted trend was the ideal choice to match the products, as seen at the Michael Roopenian booth.aug2015michaelroopeniannynow

Vendors that sell small items, like jewelry, find it difficult to attract attention with product alone. Choosing colors and geometric patterns representative of the line worked at the Foxy Originals booth. aug2015foxyoriginalsnynow2I really liked the earring cards they used, too. Thick and sturdy enough to stand in the slots of the display, they invited customers to touch.aug2015foxyoriginalsnynow1

Another trend in booths at NY Now was pegboard in various shapes an sizes. Etsy’s signature jumbo pegs defined the area that filled the hallway connecting the buildings.aug2015etsynynowEach vendor showcased within the Etsy Wholesale area had uniform booths, but the pegboard walls allowed each artist to configure the space to fit their products.aug2015ashwareetsynynow1
Note how this works for displaying very different products, like the pillows from Broderpress and ceramics from Ashware, both pictured below.aug2015broderwareetsynynow


Bando is another exhibitor that chose pegboard for displays.aug2015shopbandonynow

I especially enjoyed how the booth designers at Harry Barker used the frame to isolate a display area to feature small items on the pegboard wall.aug2015harrybarkernynow

View part one of the show booth review here. The next installment of the NY Now wrap-up will feature a booth decorated entirely with corrugated cardboard and wait until you see how they “fringed” it!
Until then…
Stay display inspired!

NY Now Trade Show Booths part one

Trade shows are a key place where buyers and sellers meet. With a bit of research, trade show booths can be designed to attract potential customers, draw them in and dazzle them to close a deal.  A booth should be remarkable enough to create a positive memory of a product or company in the mind of potential customers or clients. This month, I walked the aisles of NY Now at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center and gathered pictures of some effective booth designs and trends in visual merchandising. Enjoy and stay display inspired!


Attract attention with colors, textures and shapes for visual interest.


A closer look at the tissue paper installation at Seedling’s booth:


Paper Mart had a bold booth topped by a giant, attention-grabbing bow.


Square panels displayed paper goods and trims showing colors, prints and textures in interesting configurations that encouraged customers to touch.

Hester and Cook always has lovely permanent showrooms at the major market centers and the vibe continued in the trade show booth where paper flows like fabric in displays that are elegant, yet approachable.


Emily McDowell’s dress made of cards was a big hit at the National Stationery Show in May and it made an encore appearance at the NY Now summer show.

Creating unique displays that are instagram-worthy or an invitation for a selfie shot, invite customers to pause at a booth providing opportunities for product introductions and sales.

Stay tuned for additional blog posts about booth lighting, signage, branding and more of our favorites from the NY Now show!

Stay display inspired!

Stores That Shine! Display Contest Launch

Click here to start voting!

August 2015: Paddywax Candles, Gifts & Decorative Accessories and Retail Details blog join forces to sponsor the Stores That Shine! store display contest. Brick and mortar stores in the US are invited to submit images of displays that include Paddywax Candles for a chance to win a bundle of prizes including free product, a magazine feature, a visual merchandising consultation and magazine subscriptions. Scroll to the bottom image in this post to view the contest flyer with details and visit http://bit.ly/GDAcontest for the official rules and entry instructions.


Need some ideas and inspiration for candle displays? Here are a few from Paddywax Candles social media pages and pinterest boards.


Showrooms at the gift shows are great resources for display ideas. Take notes and pictures when at market. Many of the showrooms and vendors post pictures on instagram and facebook, so follow your favorites for more inspiration!



Browse magazines, blogs and gift guides for display theme inspirations.


Photograph your displays with social media in mind and search instagram for flatlay ideas that provide inspiration for display combinations and interesting use of props.


Customers like to see products in use and styled in realistic settings, so they can envision the merchandise in their homes.


Cross merchandise brands and products for visual interest. Contest entries may contain products from other lines mixed with Paddywax Candles.


Submissions will be accepted through October 9, 2015 and the winner will be announced on December 1, 2015.


GOOD LUCK in the contest. We can’t wait to see your STORES THAT SHINE!