Beyond Gizmos
& Widgets

If you’ve been to a trade show, you may have found the newest widgets and gizmos captivating, but eventually monotonous. Fortunately, examining the latest products is not what all savvy trade show goers come for. It’s the engaging and unorthodox space installations that captivate and generate the bustling traffic and talk-value everyone craves.

The Backcountry Hut Company, IDS 2019
Dutch “eating designer” Marije Vogelzang for Caesarstone, IDS 2019

Typically, only a handful of exhibitors are able to supply visitors with a memorable experience. Trade show organizers are aware of the gap between the monotonous and the memorable and compensate in many innovative ways.

Take the January 2019 Toronto Interior Design Show (IDS) for instance. Rather than the usual fare, the IDS organizers hired the notable Brooklyn-based Firm Architecture and Design to help them redesign the traditional format. The outcome? An exceptional number of captivating public spaces for everyone to unwind; a curated business-to-business exposition featuring innovative products and services; two full trade days (instead of the former one day) to boost businesses and careers; and naturally, the anticipated IDS Conference with a lineup of national and international speakers. And let’s not forget the popular Studio North with its 65 handpicked designers and their latest prototypes.

Haven by Tangible with a getaway for attendees on the trade floor, IDS 2019
Wynnaudio showcasing loudspeakers in an innovative way to create the best sound experience, IDS 2019

The 2019 IDS ‘Discovering the Power of Design’ has legitimately accomplished a sweeping step toward becoming a trade show of influence. Now, with added anticipation, what could be the IDS next big thing? One might be Kyle Bergman, the Founder and Director of the New York based The Architecture & Design Film Festival. He attended this show looking for opportunities to introduce the Festival to Toronto. As for the IDS organizers, they could consider a collaborative film screening with the TIFF Lightbox on culturally and socially relevant local, national and international designers. Perhaps a 4-day event that could attract new IDS attendees and give extra reasons for everyone else to come again? Above all, trade shows are as much about new products as they are about timeless ideas and the stories they inspire.

The 2019 IDS took place at the Metro Convention Centre South Building in Toronto from January 17 to 20, 2019.