REVIEW: BDNY 2016

BDNY 2016 – Award winning British Designs make their mark!

Boutique Design New York, now in its seventh year, is the leading trade fair and conference for hospitality design on the Eastern seaboard of the USA.

The 2016 edition took place over two days at the Javits Convention Centre situated on the Hudson River in the redeveloping Hudson Yards area of Manhattan.

BDNY 16 2Following reports from BCFA members who had visited the show in 2015, combined with interest from other BCFA member companies keen to exploit the growth in the US boutique hospitality market, BCFA facilitated and managed a group of 12 British companies to participate in the event.  This was the first time a UK group of manufacturers had attended the show, joining an Italian and Spanish presence who had been there for many years previously.

For a first time of visiting, the structure of the building with its scaffolding like construction was certainly eye catching. Even more extraordinary on arrival for the build was the de rig of the millions of pounds’ worth of equipment set up in the atrium for Hilary Clintons’ presidential party, which delayed the set-up of the show somewhat!

BDNY 16 4Ranked among the fastest-growing trade fairs in the U.S. for the past three years, this extremely high end show has doubled in size during that time. The quality of the product on display by the 600 exhibitors was exemplary, and this was reflected in the care and attention to detail that exhibiting companies had put in designing some truly eye catching stands.

The range of products was evenly spread through manufacturers of furniture, fabrics, lighting, flooring, carpets, beds and wall coverings and those companies that had made significant investment in the originality of their stands were rewarded by high visitor traffic. The majority of the exhibitors were US based but there were also significant Italian and Spanish contingents.

BDNY 16 1The visitor attendance, although of high quality, went in waves, coinciding with conference scheduling which removed delegates from the show floor. Besides the US design community attending there were also a number of high profile British designers wandering the aisles.  After 3pm there was a heavy emphasis on the supply of liquid refreshments and visitors congregated towards those stands that were operating as virtual bars. Two days of show hours from 10pm to 5pm seemed slender for such a large show and stands of such quality.

BDNY 16 7BCFA members attending were Chelsom, Lincrusta, Hypnos, Loomah, Sunbury Design, Style Library contract and Fameed Khalique – who won two Best of BDNY awards for their embroidered raffia wallcovering and their Alumalux flooring.

This show was a learning curve as to how to operate in a very different environment than major European or Middle Eastern shows. Display products must have a high design quality and be matched by the originality and visual distinctiveness of the stands.

BDNY 16 5Those exhibitors who are awarded with BDNY event awards are rewarded with significant visitor traffic and these awards should be pursued. Exhibiting at the show must be viewed as part of a long-term strategy to develop the US market and for those exhibitors willing to make this investment, this event will play a crucial part in developing brand awareness and in developing delivery channels in the US.

The BCFA will be offering a specially designed and built Pavilion to members in 2017, so early expressions of interest are advised.

The show dates for 2017 are 12/13 November.

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About Alys Bryan

Alys' experience as a furniture designer, along with her in-depth marketing knowledge, makes her uniquely placed to work with the BCFA as the Editor of Design Insider and run her marketing business, Method Communications.
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