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New Products, Networking, Education Highlights of 2013 National Hardware Show®

National Hardware Show® attendees finished up the last day of the show by exploring new products, industry connections and ideas for doing business.

This year, the show focused more on what attendees said was most valuable to them—the newest products on the marketplace, networking opportunities and educational seminars.

“Our National Hardware Show team and association sponsors go to work for everyone here. We work hard to bring a valuable event to help you grow your business,” said Ed Several, senior vice president and general manager of the National Hardware Show at the show’s opening ceremony Tuesday morning.

That sentiment started at the show’s kickoff Tuesday and carried through the rest of the show.

Throughout the week, attendees and exhibitors explored products spread throughout the convention center, while the New Product Launch Spotlight and Innovation Station were popular areas for buyers interested in checking out the latest product trends.

“The show has really brought back its luster and is getting back to its core—big vendors and new products,” said James Cabirac, owner of Kief Hardware in Louisiana, who has been coming to the National Hardware Show for the past 10 years.

Vendors, both long-time and first-time attenders, also commented that the traffic at this year’s show was steady, which made the show worth their while.

Show representatives also said that while it’s too early to release a final count, predictions suggest an 20 percent increase in attendance over last year.

“We weren’t sure what to expect on our first show, but we had a lot of traffic through our booth,” Betsi Schumacher of Sleep Innovations said. “This was the perfect show for us to launch our product.”

The National Hardware Show also allowed manufacturers to connect with inventors and find new products for their portfolio. For inventors, it was their way of getting their products into the distribution channel.

“Of the new products we showcased at the National Hardware Show this year, three of them were from products we discovered at the show last year. One of them was a winner of the Retailer’s Choice award,” said Corey Talbot, vice president of marketing and new product development at Hyde. “The National Hardware Show is the best place to find great talent—inventors that need someone to help them move their product along the distribution channel. Those inventors typically have a new product 80 percent of the way developed, but need someone to take it the rest of the way.”

Once again the North American Retail Hardware Association (NRHA) hosted its All-Industry Conference concurrently with the show. The theme of this year’s conference was “The Changing Consumer,” and educational presentations throughout the event focused on that topic.

“NRHA continues to support the home improvement industry through collaboration with the National Hardware Show, and to utilize attendees’ time effectively, we held our All-Industry Conference here,” said Bill Lee, NRHA’s CEO and president.

About Amanda Bell

Amanda Bell was an assistant editor of Hardware Retailing and NRHA. Amanda regularly visited with home improvement retailers across the country and attended industry events and seminars. She earned a degree in magazine journalism from Ball State University and has received honors for her work for Hardware Retailing from the Association of Marketing and Communication Professionals.

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