Archive for the ‘Tradeshows’ Category
After a long, eventful, and very productive week Chris, Andy, and I have parted ways and returned to our respective homes. We lived the life for four days in Las Vegas walked numerous miles through the convention center for the National Hardware and Garden Tradeshow and had many great business dinners and breakfasts. All in all it was one of our most productive tradeshows to date. We secured many great leads for licensing products, caught up with old friends and and industry contacts and made new ones. Las Vegas is an interesting place its like a huge mirage in the middle of the desert, nothing seems real and it at times seems like one big illusion. The fun things I highly suggest you doing when in Vegas: If you have a chance, see a Cirque De Soleil performance( there are seven to choose from) they are all stunning, visit Tao in the Venetian Hotel there is 30 foot Buddha in the dining room and the food is amazing,lf you need a break from the bright lights head out to the desert,within 45 minutes there are several fantastic national parks.
A few things that we noticed from the show and everyone should keep their eyes open for are:
1. Powersquid- Had great exposure at the show, it was relaunched under the Stanley brand and was front and center in their booth, they are releasing four new models and have more lined up for the future.2. Command 1- The line of 14 products that we redesigned for the Westinghouse brand were out front and center as well, looking very stunning I might add.3. The Tough horse- is an innovative take on the sawhorse which solves the problem of them just being awkward and having multiple components. Not to mention its just cool which means a lot in the world of design.If you want a closer look at our trip you can see our pictures on our new facebook page at Trident Design, LLC.-Nile
Trident Design goes to Vegas! well really just Chris, Andy, and I, but we will be representing the whole office. Besides some small time gambling, mingling and checking out cirque du soleil, we will be attending the worlds largest annual Hardware and Garden show. Buyers from nearly every large bigbox retailer will also be attending the show to make purchases for the upcoming year.The Powersquid will be front and center represented by the world famous Stanley brand. Under the new brand and with an attractive price point we are confident that the squid will perform in a big way this year. In addition there are quite a few products from independant inventors that we will be privately debuting to our favorite buyers. We are expecting some great things from the show! When I return I promise to bring my best and worst of the show, and give you some insiders info on what trends to look for from the hardware industry in the upcoming year.
After a long hiatus of various events, eleven days spent with his family in St. Croix immediately followed by four days in Chicago for the Housewares show, Chris has made his way back to Trident, Columbus, and all the other things in his life. Besides a tan, he brought back some interesting tales of things to come in the houseware market, some from Trident and some from others. I would imagine that most people who read this blog are familiar with our company, but for those who aren’t a large portion of the products we work on are in the kitchen department. Some of the products we have on the market like the Perfect Peeler, the Onion Goggles, or the Cut N’ Serve were born at the housewares show, and this year a few more made their way to Chicago to be oohed and awed. Amongst those were the java mitt(with RSVP), a flexible silicone cup handle for take away cups and the Pitzo(with Lifetime Brands and Rosle), an innovative pizza cutter that has yet to hit the market. A few more things that Chris mentioned to look out for were:
·Black and Blum- a very stylish and well designed line of kitchen gadgets
·Joseph Joseph- innovative utensils for your culinary needs
·De La Terra- one of Chris’s favorites, this line is composed of beautifully crafted organic culinary pottery
Another winter week in the northern hemisphere and Columbus, Ohio, down in the books. With no shortage of freezing rain, light and heavy snow, and my favorite, black ice. I would not have a problem curling up on my couch and hibernating for the next 2 months, sometimes I wish I was a bear. One person, who is not a bear and definitely doesn’t afford the luxury of hibernation, is Chris Hawker. He was however fortunate enough to skip out on the cold for a few days and jet down to Orlando, Florida in the sunshine state. Why you might ask? Because of the PGA trade show. The trip began with a U.I.A. (United Inventors Association) board of directors meeting. This is their annual strategizing session and planning their approach for the year to come. A few of the members (Chris included) from the board also judged a group of up and coming inventors. These aspiring inventors all designed products pertaining to golf in some form or fashion and were competing for the inventor’s spotlight, a few awards, and prestige. Amongst other things Chris gave a speech at the invention education seminar to a group of 50 aspiring inventors on his early days of inventing and the lessons learned, hopefully he didn’t scare to many people off. A little closer to home our designers are whipping out some whisks, CPAP masks, and some new baby potty designs. Now that Chris is back he’s taking care of his To-do list which includes sending off the last of the Christmas presents, “better late than never.” In case you already forgot my name is Nile Woodson, and I will be back here next week for another exciting report on trident Design.
The last few days as I have been at CES, I have been hanging around a lot with my good friend Thomas Meyer of Sonos, my favorite technology company. I don’t say that lightly. They are truly my favorite. Thomas is maybe the most amazing connector I have ever met. He appears to love nothing more than introducing people who he thinks might like to know each other. And in the consumer electronics world, he knows seemingly everyone. He is like a guardian social angel for a large contingent of people at every CES, making sure everyone is having a good time, meeting good people, and getting into whatever parties they want to. I typically see him once a year, at CES, but I consider him a great friend.
As I hang out with Thomas, I meet lots of the Sonos people. Everyone I have met there projects a similar positive, passionate, obviously skillful vibe. Everyone of them is open and interested and interesting. They are all youthful (in attitude if not in years) and excited. Seeing this consistency made me realize how important choosing team members is to creating a company culture. You can intentionally try to create a culture, but picking the people who create the kind of culture you want is the only way to ensure that you’ll have what you want over time. And nothing is more important as the culture of the company, both in insuring that a company is going to be effective at accomplishing its goals and in making it a place where you want to spend your days.
I just returned from the National Hardware Show in Las Vegas where we observed the soft launch of our new product, the Straptor. The Straptor is an innovative bungee cord that we licensed to Olympia Tools, Inc.. It has some cool features and a cool look and will show up later this year (on our site and hopefully in stores!). I was there with my Vice President of Sales, Andy Welty, and Abe Alexander, who is a project manager here at Trident… and also my realtor!
We met up with Allan Thorne (and his lovely wife Lacey), who is the inventor of the Straptor. We helped Allan develop his product and license it to Olympia. Allan is a guy who had an idea and believed in it and went for it. He came to us with amazing prototypes that won me over immediately. Very few people actually take it all the way, but Allan executed.
Olympia is a California (and China) based hand tool company. They are lean and mean and of a nice size to do business with. Big enough to get some work done, but you can still meet with the president. He is a very obviously sharp guy, as is everyone there. Hopefully they will have success with the Straptor and we can work with them to expand the product line. That’s how it works: you can’t expect a company to get whole-hog behind your product without establishing a track record first. You may want them to launch with 10 models, but realistically, they will usually start with one. And it makes sense. They want to test the waters before they jump in.
Plus, there are always issues when you first launch a product. You ALWAYS learn something in the first few runs that makes you want to change something. Better to not have to change 10 sets of tools! The market will give you feedback about which path to pursue next. Of course, it is still helpful to conceptualize the potential future product family. This helps show your partner the potential value of your invention should it succeed enough to warrant further development. You want to spend just enough energy developing these line extensions that you can show a nice picture of something, but you shouldn’t sweat too much over the details until it appears there will in fact be further development.
Anyway, the Straptor was well-received, which means people said “That’s interesting. Let me know when you have pricing”. And then, of course, it will be time to try and write actual orders. So wish us luck!