Sydney 2015 FASHION EXPOSED REVIVED was the first trade show under the new ownership of Australian Gift & Homewares Association (AGHA) and it was a much anticipated event. It followed an international industrial trend and came to life with runway shows, a warehouse vibe, beautifully styled areas and polished cement floor in a newly purpose built hall.
AGHA understands the importance a good stand can have in the overall trade show experience for retailers and wholesalers, and it rewards the time and effort exhibitors place in creating their stands. A winner was chosen from each category; Best Small, Medium and Large Sized Stand based on a set of criteria created by Natalie Coulter from Belle Flaneur.
Natalie runs a sustainable art studio and awareness-raising organisation specialising in re-purposed materials, she also judged the 2015 Best Stand Awards. We can agree at a universal level that it’s important to display a product we are selling well, as best as time and money permits. With Natalie’s ethos in mind, people in the business of fashion can see that it can be done in a cost efficient manner. The message from Belle Flaneur is to upcycle, source pre-loved products and work creatively without cash flow as an obstacle to having a great looking stand.
The Best Stand Award winners are examples of the power of presentation in drawing customers and making products and brands memorable. And the winners are…
Best Small Stand
FASHION EXPOSED REVIVED was The Reader’s launch into Australia from South Africa. The Reader Australia felt FASHION EXPOSED REVIVED was a great launching platform nationally for their on-trend reading glasses.
When asked what they considered when picking the right items to best display their products, the length of the answer spoke for itself. They thought about this well, which is exactly the attitude that makes them a winner. Christine Law, co-owner of The Reader Australia was aware that the location of the stand near the coffee shop and fashion runway could draw crowds, and it did. They chose a corner position knowing they would lose wall space but loved the fact that they had two large access points. ”We also looked at the surrounding stands, which we felt were trendy, upmarket and would complement our product as we are not only a necessity (ready-made readers) but also a fashion accessory”, said Christine.
Husband and wife duo Christine and Trevor Law, built a mock stand before the fair to make sure their items would fit. They wanted their products to ‘pop’ and do the talking so opted to upgrade to white flooring with extra lighting. They also displayed with high gloss white and red tops, mirrored boxes and canvas printed marketing material. Their objective was simple; they wanted potential customers to be drawn to their stand and remember their brand. To achieve this, The Reader Australia aimed to be colourful, crisp, fresh, different and on-trend.
Christine and Trevor are both passionate about their product and believe it can make a visible difference. It is with this passion that they built their display.
What did the judge think? Natalie thought of three words to explain the stand; delicious, yummy and colourful. “A product you could almost eat”. Her image of the brand was quirky and fun and she thought the display matched this. “The stand was user friendly and it made you want to touch the product” said Natalie. She felt that Christine and Trevor were equally on trend, and as a package the stand had a ‘wow effect’. Natalie added, “Everything was well presented. If you looked closely from the storage, to the table to the packaging, everything connected. All the dots joined, a complete package, the colours drew you in and the stand was neatly put together. Christine and Trevor were part of the look; friendly, engaging, cool and edgy”.
Best Medium Stand
Andrea Hamblin from Zatini explained that FASHION EXPOSED REVIVED permitted the opportunity to showcase their new collection whilst giving brand exposure. Andrea’s objective was to see existing customers, develop relationships with new ones, and gain customer feedback and show possible ways to display her jewellery pieces.
Zatini’s stand is refreshed every few fairs to capture buyer interest and curiosity. This year it was a ‘dining room theme’. The jewellery was displayed on a table, and the wall had a window, picture frames and coat racks. “The customer leaves with not only a memory of the product, but a vivid image of the Zatini brand”, said Andrea.
So how do you match a display to a product or brand story in a creative way? “Zatini jewellery has an exciting and eclectic style, so of course it needs a display to complement the range. I always find it difficult to display so much jewellery in such a small space, but with this dining room theme we could migrate the jewellery effortlessly”, said Andrea. Jewellery was placed off the centre piece, draped over dinner plates, hanging off the picture frames and bright coloured lollies were placed in the wine glasses. Andrea states that “Zatini likes to demonstrate that the jewellery can not only be on display, but also be part of the display”.
Natalie thought the visual presentation was quirky by matching jewellery to a dinner party table setting. She thinks it was extremely clever to display products on everyday household items that most of us already own. “She wasn’t selling plates, yet she displayed her items on plates. It’s a lovely way to display products in a retail setting”, said Natalie.
Natalie also believes that Andrea was part of the installation; she wore the jewellery, her clothing matched. “You could walk past and say, yes – I get it. This is a great way to offer your buyers inspiration”, said Natalie.
Best Large Stand
Orientique is a long standing FASHION EXPOSED exhibitor, and one of the first to join FASHION EXPOSED REVIVED. As a wholesaler that exhibits show after show, how do they stand out and impact at a trade show when they are already so well known?
Natalie was impressed that Orientique not only worries about their vertical display but also displays horizontally. “They capitalised on the space in width and height, colour coding clothing to high visual colour themed banners. The colours talked to one another, the top band matching the bottom band, creating a wow appeal”, said Natalie. The award was granted based on this and also on how clear the signage was. According to Natalie it was clear who you were there to see, “They had a large stand, which created magnitude and was hard to ignore. It was an outstanding use of space”.
Overall, there were common denominators between the Best Stand Award winners. Natalie stresses to never underestimate the power of presentation. “The key is to put effort in what you are doing as the best stands really were the best package, a combination of well-presented and friendly staff members, good use of display, that overall do not have to cost you a large sum of money. Some of these materials may already be in front of you”.
Exposed Online Contributor, Australian Gift & Homewares Association