Tuesday, August 31, 2010

still more great booths!

My booth piece continues with  more of my favorites in the simple, clean, lower budget-but-fabulous category from the August 2010 New York Gift Fair,  here they are:

http://www.9spotmonk.com/ did a GREAT booth! foamcore white walls, covered in a fabulous high gloss orange vinyl adhesive. They also built a wall right in the middle of their booth which not only added 2 extra walls for displaying but also added architecture to the square booth. They used a craft paper brown to offset the high gloss orange to make their wall, for their bench at the back of the booth and for their floor.
LOVE this booth!
(and hope to have a link to share with you soon on where they got their orange high gloss vinyl!

http://www.flipandtumble.com/ took white and clean to new heights!
They did a floor that looks like wood, simple white furnishings (Ikea) and white walls.
They lined their white walls with their fantastic bags, making the colors simply POP!
I think the simplicity of this booth and the almost laboratory look of it was a really smart way to showcase their products, let me tell you, walking down their aisle, you HAD to look in their booth, and that, as the fabulous martha would say, is a good thing!

Lastly in this series, one of my favorite little booths at the show, http://www.baileydoesntbark.com/ .
Everytime I walked past this booth, I would admire and swoon a little...
Using simple dark stained wooden shelves and tables with non color, natural textured extras and vintagy details they acheived a beautiful soft look yet with a very sophisticated feel, right down to their beautiful sign! (the font is amazing!).
Through their display, they did a great job showing their clients how easy and impactful it could be to show their products once clients order them and have them in store.
They are showing retailers that their products look great grouped  (hey retailers, buy a bunch of our stuff and you too can have this look!) Hello? who wouldn't want this look!?
So smart! So effective...YAYE Bailey Doesn't Bark!
(for some crazy reason I didn't ask...but I hope Bailey is a cat or a fish...or a pet rock...)

Sunday, August 29, 2010

lots of really great booths!

The NY Show, especially (in my humble opinion) the Accent on Design and Studio sections of the show had lots of really great looking booths. Again, my focus here, is not to show you the booths with endless budgets, big ole bells and crazy loud whistles, but rather, the simpler, smaller, lower budget, everyone-can-do-something-great, type booths!
As a reminder, these 2 sections are not pipe and drape sections, so this will change the overall look of the booths in general. These 2 sections are also quite a bit more costly per square foot than some of the other sections of the show.
Here are a few booths that caught my eye:

The Vie Luxe booth in Accent on Design. They used beautiful screens with their logo and pattern. They also took a simple square booth and added some architecture to it by simply creating a wall in it, with the screening. Other than some simple white modern tables, the shelving unit they used at the front and some great little bouquets of flowers in and around their products the rest remained simple and clean with the focus on their products and the amazing press attention they have received.

Here is a little booth I spotted while walking around Accent on Design. I normally would never snap a shot of a booth if the exhibitor is not around, but since this was the last morning of the show and since I only had really nice things to say about it...I took a chance! Hope you don't mind Tedde!
Again, in my opinion, here is a perfect example of simple and clean!
The company logo clearly visible, the products displayed on these chunky looking blocky shelves (LOVE THIS!) and the overall feel of the booth is soft yet sophisticated and elegant, without being unapproachable, which is also very important in my opinion.
This booth says, "Hey, I'm hip, I'm hot and I want you to come in and check me out!" They even put up this cute little Back Soon sign, right in line with their look! Nice work Tedde!

Here is the adorably stunning booth of Andrea Panico or Pico Design and her Little Architecture line. As simple as this booth looks, don't let it fool you, Andrea spent hours and hours cutting out the hanging diplays so that they looked just perfect...and they did! She opted for no floor covering, which I think looks great and dark grey walls. She added a mustardy yellow table and 2 white stools and her logo and that was it, simple can make such a statement when done right! http://www.picomeanslittle.com/

Lovell was a first time exhibitor and WOW, I thought she did a fantastic job! It helps that her product is really great looking, but again, she kept it simple. She had the show install her walls (as she was not too sure how to get that done simply...she will read my blog and know all the ins and outs! :-) ) and she also rented her shelves from the show. These things really add up, would you believe in the 3 digits?...trust me, I know...but, I have to say, I think she was wise in not making herself crazy and trying to do it long distance without having the resources in NY...She won't do it this way again and can achieve this same fantastic look for a lot less money, but if we simply look at the aesthetics of the booth...I say she did GREAT! She also did something really smart, by making little canvases of her product patterns and displaying them right below her logo...I thought this was a really nice touch.
Now, as you know, I pretty much think I know all the low budget tricks, but Allison showed me a new one and I think it's pretty spectacular! The Hercules Hook! (I am watching way too much Elmo and not enough informative TV!) anyhow, take a look, she used these right through her foamboard and they WORKED!
Allison...I am impressed! great line, great booth, great hooks! (and Canadian! of course!)

Right across the aisle from Lovell was another Canadian company called Pi'lo. I have to say, out of all the booths in the Studio section of the show that actually used the supplied stretched canvas walls, this one was one of the best! It looked fantastic and blended with Heather's line beautifully. Every time I walked past this booth I wanted to go in and look, or curl up and have a relaxing little snooze. It was soft, serene, soothing and so pretty! Simple wooden shelving, bamboo matting for the floor, a white console that tied in with wicker drawers and a white standing shelves. Heather kept the palette neutral, soft and natural, the result was a unified booth with a real feel to it, not just products lining shelves. http://www.pilo.ca/

more to come....stay tuned...

Saturday, August 28, 2010

New York International Gift Fair - August 2010

Yes, I survived another NY Gift Fair...I would have posted sooner, however, I came home with a terrible cold and guess who got it?...Tess! The little one has been sick for a full week, fever, rash, no appetite, trouble sleeping, crying and so unhappy...it has been a LONG week, let me tell you! (happy to report that she is starting to turn a corner and it seems she is feeling a bit better...phew!)
I actually went into this show not really knowing what to expect. I think that generally, we are all hoping that something magical will happen, that suddenly trade show aisles will fill up with buyers aching to spend huge amounts of money, but so far, unfortunately, this is still not the case. Buyers are still careful, understandably so. There seemed to almost be high fiving going on, lots of "so happy to see you here" comments, lots of buyers stating simply, "well, you are still here and we are still here and that's something!".
We are all trying to weather this storm, come out the other end and still be standing somehow.
I suppose hearing everyone say the same thing in some way is reassuring. It's nice to somehow know that BlueDogz Design is not the only little company struggling. And it was great to see some of our long standing clients. Not necessarily buying HUGE, but buying nonetheless, and every little bit counts!

Arriving at the booth was a bit messy...my pallet, which I reported would be sitting quietly in my booth, waiting for my arrival and eager to be set up, was NOT waiting for me in my booth, but rather halfway up the aisle and partially in another nice exhibitor's booth...this was so NOT the plan.Getting that reassuring email from Freeman (the company in charge of drayage at the show) saying that my pallet had been delivered to my booth the day before leaving to drive to the show was apparently a bit of a stretch.
It would not have been so bad if the aisle had been clear enough to get one of the Freeman gentlemen to move my pallet to my booth for me, but our aisle was piled high with crates and bins and booths and junk, there was barely enough room to walk the aisle. This made life a little more complicated. I had to tear down the pallet up the aisle and lug everything piece by piece to my booth, via 3 aisles east and through other people's booths, where we could actually get stuff through.
Honestly? I don't have much compared to other companies in terms of booth decor and storage but this alone took about 3 hours, (always be ready for the worst!).
Ah, the booth...without the stretched canvas walls (as requested) and with the booth carpeting (which we had requested NOT be installed). Well, one out of two ain't bad!
We usually get the canvas and no carpet, eventhough we don't use either, but this time it was reversed.
I italisized the word carpeting because I have to say, WOW, that was a sad excuse for a Carpet!
Not only did it not cover the whole booth space that we rent, missing almost 2 feet along the entire frontage of the booth (if my math is right, in a booth that is 25 feet long that is about 50 square feet, right?). It was even more skinny and non carpetish than ever. Kind of like a piece of black felt taped to the floor. I'm very happy that we don't count on the show carpet to complete our booth look.
Here is the booth:

We ended up ordering electricity this time even if our booth comes equipped with lights. The extra lighting supplied by the clamp lights really brightened things up.
more to come ... stay tuned!

I hate to waste...

I am back from the August 2010 version of the New York International Gift Fair, and, suprisingly (yeah right!) I have alot to say!
Before I start however, I wanted to keep you up to date on my new business cards and postcards, the ones I mentioned here . I used a new printing company, http://www.gotprint.com/ and it was also the first time I sent my documents to print without having a real graphic designer format everything for me...this is where you might be thinking - "woah, Nadine...times tough?"... the answer is YES! So, I did what I had to do and you know what? I am SO capable of doing that part myself...big round of applause for me! hip hip horray...ok, enough.
Here is what I ended up with.
these are my new business cards...a new look to freshen things up. My pertinent info is on the front side and I simply used a new design element on the back side (sketchy roses) with some sketchy lines, for an area that can be used to jot down a note or reminder...a dual purpose business card!

Here is the front side of my new 4x6 postcard...a photo I happen to LOVE! taken by my friend http://www.lyndahkicks.com/ (she took all the fabulous photos of Tess that you see on the blog also!). At http://www.gotprint.com/ you have the option of rounded corners (je LOVE) for a few dollars more!

Here is the backside of the postcard!...I was really happy with the result and most of all, I am thrilled that I was not forced into buying 5000 of each...I love changing things up and keeping things fresh and having 5000 of anything these days is just too much, even if the price is right. So this time it felt good knowing that I did not have to throw a bunch of pretty postcards out at the end of the show. I ordered 250 each of the postcards and the business cards and I feel free now to design a new card or postcard in the next month or so! May I also say that their customer service was so great that when I had ordered UV coating on the backside of the postcard, they emailed me to ask me if I was sure that I really wanted that...they were right, I didn't! Writing on UV coated cards sucks! (unless you use a sharpie), so I opted out of the UV coating on the backside. Thanks GotPrint!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

press kits

I mentioned that I had some news for you in my last post...I do, but first, I want to show you what I was working on yesterday. The news is actually wrapped up in my new little press kits for the NY show, the press kits are what I have been working on...
I wanted to have them professionally printed, I had this very complicated idea....had to scrap that...then I decided to print them myself...the printer decided to have a break down and I had to uninstall it reinstall it and mess with it for almost an entire day...fixed it. This of course came after a total PC melt down last week, where apparently I contracted some horrible virus, that I also somehow fixed!...and then, last, but certainly not least, as I was using my sewing machine for this project (a last minute, almost throw in the towel on the cool press kit idea, IDEA) it too, decided to have a tantrum!...I fixed that too.
Here is a little peek at what the press at the NYIGF and some select companies are going to get this show.
They are 4" x 5" and are printed on card stock. I then sewed them together to make little books.

I am going to package the whole kit in a cello sealed transparent envelope with my new business card and my new postcard...photos to follow!

Monday, August 9, 2010


there I was on a roll...and you all decided to email me offline and ask me a gazillion questions about booth design and ideas...first off, thanks for all the email and feedback, it's nice to know that you are reading these postings, remember, you can leave your comments right here, yes, here! right on the blog...don't be shy!
secondly, we are leaving for the show this weekend, in other words, time is running out on this stuff...
thirdly, it really isn't, so relax.
as I found out, many of you have great ideas and are using this information to tweak your booth more than anything, I like that!...given this knowledge, I will make sure that I spend some time taking photos of great booths or great booth elements for you to peruse. I will stick with the chiconomy style booths, where my experience is based, fun, clean, impactful stylish looks for those who can't or are not willing to break the bank or ship a house across the country. I look forward to taking some time to walk the show and check out the booths and to share them with you within the following few weeks.
I will also have used the new Foamwerks tools, so I will  also have all the news on that. Plus, of course the show news!

I have also been sidetracked by a few other things recently...
it's pretty new news, so hold tight and stay tuned...I am feeling ready to announce...(NO! I am not pregnant!)
In the meantime, happy boothing and you'd  better stop by our New York International Gift Fair booth! #4149