Everyone knows winter, spring, summer and fall as the four seasons of the year, but we’d like to add a lesser-known one to the mix: Crazy Trade Show Season. It’s that special time when all the best expos hit at once, spiking the mileage in our frequent flyer accounts and skyrocketing our inspiration and brand admiration for months to come. It’s also known as the “Time of Year When David Lives Out of His Suitcase, On his Laptop, iPhone and Back-up Battery-packs For a Month While the Gang Holds Down the Fort in North Hollywood” – but we know that moniker is slightly less popular. And let’s face it…when we’re having this much fun, who needs sleep?
DRS’ 2015 tour de shows started not-so-long-ago (April) in a galaxy not-so-far away with BDWest (that’s “Boutique Design”) touching down in San Diego. BDWest is where hospitality trends reign supreme and is also where we got to spend time with some of our favorite clients, including Littman Brands (Troy Lighting, Corbett Lighting, CSL (Creative Systems Lighting) and Hudson Valley Lighting), THG-Paris and Hardware Renaissance. Our April show showered us with more than just the latest and greatest in design and creativity…it’s also where THG unveiled a slew of brand new lines, including Saint-Germain, Beaubourg and their Downtown Collection. And it was at BDWest 2015 where the stunningly modern and geometric Metamorphose won a much-deserved “Best of BDWest” Award. Not a bad way to kick off trade show season!
In May, it was eastbound and up for David, Mariakay, and Jocelyn as they lit up LIGHTFAIR at the Javits Center in New York City. With the spotlight (pun very much intended) on Troy RLM and CSL, we couldn’t wait to put the shine on the world’s biggest annual lighting show. Our favorite bright spot? DRS’ “Mark Your Way” contest, which gave booth visitors a chance to design and win their own custom LED Waymarker wall light fixture! The contest generated such incredible buzz that we helped CSL take the vote online so that non-show-goers could participate in the competition. (And you still have until July 8th to pick your favorite design!)
Mid-May seemed to be one continuous trade show with very little sitting down. We’re talking about the first ever Maison & Objet Americas, which ran from the 12th through the 15th in sunny Miami. With over 300 high-end luxury furnishing brands from around the world unveiling their products to the American market (you know, over the course of four hair-raising days), it was an incredible whirlwind for the team. The highlight was the debut of new collaborations from THG-Paris, with their reveal of new Lalique collections and the decadent Manufacture De Monaco line, both of which were met with fantastic reception for their impeccable design and incomparable quality.
And from the other side of the country, what happened in Vegas happily did not stay in Vegas, as MK made a splash for DRS and Littman Brands at HD Expo, the premier show for hospitality trade specifiers and designers. And by “splash,” we mean that Littman Brands Contract kicked off the event by winning an Award of Excellence for Product Design in Lighting. (If only all of our Vegas expeditions were so victorious.)
Fast-forward one day and a few thousand miles, and it was back to New York for the denouement of Crazy Trade Show Season: ICFF. They say “go big or go home” and “go big” we went. Our roster of talent was off the chart, and everyone, including ICFF-newbie Littman Brands, who exhibited here for the first time, brought their A-game. Everyone agreed it would be hard to beat our 2014 showing when Watermark Designs won a coveted booth award, but we went in swinging, highlighting their H-Line and Elan Vital collections. And when Watermark walked away with a #MetropolisLikes award from Metropolis Magazine (for their aforementioned H-Line collection), we knew we had hit a home run.
But the excitement didn’t stop there! The accolades kept coming, as MGS Faucets and THG-Paris each celebrated Innovation In Design awards from Connecticut Cottages & Gardens. Hardware Renaissance had their hand-forged hardware on full display and were named a “must see” booth at ICFF by Styleture. And with Littman’s debut space lighting up the show floor, we just couldn’t be prouder of our clients!
Now back safe and sound in Southern California, we bid Crazy Trade Show Season, a month that will live in inspiration forever, a fond farewell. May our memories and laminated badges stay with us for a long time to come. And may David finally be reunited with his rotties.