5 ways to stay on top of the latest trends

Products that meet the needs of an ever-changing customer audience can be the differentiation a retailer needs to succeed against its competition. But where can retailers go to learn about product and consumer lifestyle trends and how they may change in the future?

The 2019 International Home + Housewares Show, 2-5 March at Chicago’s McCormick Place, offers buyers myriad opportunities to learn about trends―from special product displays to the Global Innovation Awards to educational seminars, the Show makes it easy for retailers to access and understand the trends affecting the industry and their business.            

First there are the previews

Before the Show opens on Saturday, 2 March, buyers can visit two pre-Show events featuring 150 new and current exhibitors. The New Exhibitor Preview offers 90 first-time exhibitors in all Show categories. The Trending Today Preview will present ‘A Marketplace for Specialty Beverage’ and highlight 60 new and current exhibitors focused on products and accessories for specialty beverages, including craft beer, cocktails, coffee, tea and water.

Products galore

Buyers can also view product trends in the New Product Showcases, located in the Buyer’s Clubs in each building. The Showcases feature nearly 500 new items debuting at the Show. At the Showcases, buyers can scan products of interest and leave with a list of companies and booth numbers for easy follow-up on the Show floor.

Stay connected

Trends in the latest smart and connected products can be found in the IHA Smart Home Pavilion, also located in the Hall of Global Innovation. For 2019, the pavilion expands to more than 30 exhibitors and features a display by b8ta, a retail store and platform that helps bring innovative, smart and highly designed products to market in a new retail-as-a-service model. B8ta will provide attendees with the newest ideas in smart-related products for the home, housewares and more. The Smart Home Pavilion also includes the Smart Talks Stage, offering a menu of snack-sized information from established experts discussing the rapidly evolving Internet of Things (IoT) technologies and how these developments impact the housewares industry.

Best in retail

Attendees desiring retail merchandising trends will find them in the IHA Global Innovation Awards (gia) retail merchandising exhibit in the Hall of Global Innovation. Thirty housewares retailers from around the world are honoured, with five receiving Global Honouree recognition. Pick up best-in-class visual merchandising ideas from these innovative award-winning retailers.

For future colour trends, visit the ColorWatch by Pantone display in the Hall of Global Innovation. View Pantone’s colour palettes for 2020 and see exhibitors’ products highlighting those colours.

Listen & learn

The Show is also known for its world-class educational offerings, including keynote trend presentations by colour expert Leatrice (Lee) Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute, and consumer lifestyle guru Tom Mirabile, senior vice president, Global Trend & Design, at Lifetime Brands.

Eiseman will present two sessions on colour: Colour in the New Era: Trends, Twists and Tweaks at noon on Monday, 4 March, and Colour/Texture/Finish: Back to the Future at noon on Tuesday, 5 March. Mirabile presents his annual Top Trends program at 7:30am 4 March.

Erika Sirimanne, head of Home & Garden at Euromonitor International, will explore consumer and retail trends worldwide in the keynote seminar, Digital Disruption: Exploring Underlying Consumer Trends Influencing Retailers of Tomorrow at noon on Sunday, 3 March.

Experts in the smart home, digital commerce, omnichannel marketing and global consumer trends will share their insights during sessions in the Innovation Theater. Presentations include Global Home and Interior Trends for 2020 by Naomi Pollard of Trend Bible and Omnichannel Impact on Housewares: Havoc or Opportunity by Peter Greene of Numerator.

To help plan your Show before arriving in Chicago, visit www.housewares.org for complete Show information or download the mobile app at http://m.housewares.org. Register for a free Show badge at www.housewares.org/show/register-plan 

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