Sunday, September 11, 2011

Highlights From Charleston

As I said in my last post I was in Charleston for about a week and a half for our semi-annual Dealer Show (business only). This is basically a trade show of sorts where our company introduces the new products bought at the spring and fall markets each year to our dealers and corporate managers.

I was so excited about going to Charleston, because it was my first time visiting, but I did not get a chance to really enjoy it because I was MAD busy. I did visit downtown twice for dinner where I ate a this charming Irish Pub called Tommy Condon's where I enjoyed some delicious crab cakes for dinner with bread pudding for dessert and a great seafood restaurant called Hyman's Seafood where I had the fried flounder for dinner and key lime pie for dessert.

Back to business though...! It was a iffy week for us because we were not sure for a few days if Irene was going to come visit us. That was not the only drama for me that week (I will get into later)! The show was held at the Charleston Convention Center where we enjoyed staying at the Embassy Suites. My job as Visual Merchandiser and head of the design team is to design and display the exhibit hall to be as beautiful as it can be with all the beautiful new product which in turn show our dealers how beautiful it can be on their floors. 

This time was unlike any for some reason. I went through having the riggers hang signage in the wrong place, missing signage, and even having to make a lot of major on site adjustments while I was there, which is most times the case but not on the magnitude that it got to this time.

Here are some pics of my favorite highlights:

These were my two favorite groups for dining room and living room. Transitional in style and very sophisticated. It would work beautifully in my home.

I created some specialty areas for each category manager in their areas on the showroom floor. Of course accents and accessories turned out to be my favorite after a few hiccups. This is one of those last minute on sight decisions where I had one night to find 30yds of black and white fabric for each of the five style tents I created because I had to add about double the exposed wood I had planned before (due to bad support).  Don't worry, I did NOT build it myself, it's just called staying on budget which always gets blasted in the end!

There are five different colors to represent the five styles that we carry in our line-up to which each collection is assigned. Each canopy top corresponded. Of course there was not one black and white fabric at the local Hancock in on pattern, but I did manage to find 6yds of 5 different patterns. I was up cutting until 2:00am that morning before they were installed.

This orange with the zebra turned out to be one of my faves! This tent represented the transitional style!

For the casual tent, although I loved the pattern of the black and white fabric, its was way to small for the purposes of this tent, but I had no time to change it!

Casual Contemporary was my favorite black and white fabric of them all! It makes me smile every time I see it. I wish I ha better pics of the  fabrics.

Style wise, this is my favorite tent just looking at the accessories. It was sooo dark and handsome (just like I like my man)!

These are images of our big entry presentation that we do for every show although always different. It was where we had the snacks. I love that we always used a finished hard floor surface. This time we used light maple. On the right is a n example of the large graphics we used. On the right are those DANG round signs that the riggers got REAL mad over because they had to hang them twice (my bad)! I always fess up if its my mistake.

 My favorite part of the show were these cotton candy tress that I created for the kids specialty area. I did six trees in all in red, orange, pink, purple, blue,  and green. It sooo cute and sooo inexpensive. The only thing I wanted to do ,but did not have time for in the end was to add some type of fun finial topper to each.

Kids and Teens is always fun for us to set-up.We get to add lots of layers, color, and fun. We use white drape instead of black just to give it extra pop worthiness! It deserves it!

We augment by using purchasing items that are not necessarily in our line -up to be able to create a story! We do the same for the catalog shots. You just have to!

I can show you pictures all day but its nothing like seeing a big empty room with high ceilings and concrete floors turn into what it does int eh end in one week's time.  You really could not accomplish it without good people on your team to help you bring it all together!

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