08 December 2012

More big news

This was the week for big announcements. I was on the road for most of the week and I missed out on the hoopla that attended each of these announcements so I'm going to generate some of my own hoopla now.

For the second time in two years, I'm headed back to Germany to attend IMM. IMM is one of the world's largest design trade shows and my experiences there two years ago opened up a universe to me I never knew existed.

I'll be in Cologne (and later, Amsterdam) as part of Modenus.com's latest iteration of BlogTour. I was on the original Blog Tour last year in London for the Design Festival and it is a thrill to be selected to participate in another of these storied events.

I am one of 15 design bloggers from the US, the UK and the EU selected to take in the sights and sounds of this massive trade show and to report back. It's an absolute honor to be counted among some of the most influential people in the design world.

We'll be meeting up with hordes of people I know and I cannot wait to see everybody again. I've met some of my best friends through this blog and the places its taken me over the years and our regular get togethers are legendary. I'll keep the self-indulgence to a minimum while I'm on the road and will instead concentrate on the cool, new stuff I'll find over there. All of which will be documented here.

Beyond turning Germany into my personal old home week while I connect from people who are usually far removed from me, I'll be in Cologne. A city founded by Julius Caesar and a city whose Roman origins are everywhere. I'll get the chance to go back to the Cathedral and marvel at the fact that it was built by human hands and minds. I'll light a candle while I'm there and in a way, hold hands with a thousand years of humanity.

If you've never been to a Gothic Cathedral, make it a point to, regardless of your religious sensibilities. Nothing helps me see my place in the continuum of human history like walking into a thousand-year-old building does.

Thank you to Modenus and the sponsors of our upcoming adventure. This jaunt to Cologne and Amsterdam promises to be the most successful BlogTour ever. To see a list of my fellow attendees, click on this link.

KBIS identifies Agency Collaborative and marks a new direction

For the first time in my blogging life, I am going to post a press release verbatim. Also for the first time in my blogging life, I wrote the press release in question so it doesn't feel strange at all. For anybody who doesn't know this already, our industry's primary trade show, KBIS, is shaking things up in a really big way this year. I am privileged to be part of the team who'll be doing the shaking.

LANCASTER, PA., November 30, 2012 -  KBIS, North America’s premier showcase of what’s new and noteworthy in the Kitchen and Bath industry, has announced its new PR and marketing affiliation for KBIS 2013. For the first time in KBIS history, a hybridized agency collaborative will lead all marketing and communications efforts. The players involved come from Flying Camel in Brantford, Ontario, O’Reilly-DePalma in Atlanta and Chicago, White Good in Lancaster, PA and Modenus in Orlando and London.

“Drawing upon the respective strengths of four different agencies and entities that specialize in the building and design industry is key to transforming this year’s show in New Orleans from a trade show to an annual industry event,” says Jim Scott, Managing Director, Kitchen and Bath Show Nielsen Expositions. “In this new social era of connecting and collaborating, we’re confident this team will help to bring new insights into KBIS making it an inspiring, interactive showcase of everything new, where the brightest and best assemble to spot trends, experience product introductions and find the practical solutions and valuable connections that will take them into the future.”

White Good & O’Reilly DePalma – Marketing & Public Relations
White Good will lead on all Marketing and Public Relations initiatives. New for 2013 includes a revamped Digital Pressroom to better communicate the latest industry news, product introductions and show information for both exhibitors and attendees and a VIP Media Tour for select shelter and architectural media.

“New Orleans stands out as an opportunity to the rest of the US to rethink the obvious, it’s a place that encourages people to see things from a new perspective,” explains Sherry Qualls, President of White Good. ”New Orleans is a hotbed of creative impulses and rebirths. To that end, KBIS is embracing the idea of a collaborative effort between agencies to present the show’s new face.”

O’Reilly-DePalma contributes to strategy, adds voice to social discussions and provides measurement analysis for the effort. “The open innovation among our agencies is the new model for revenue growth in the social economy,” noted Nora DePalma, principal of O’Reilly-DePalma. “It is analogous to the spirit of KBIS, where all of the industry’s audiences come together to get business done.”

Flying Camel Advertising, Design + PR – Social Media
“We’ve collaborated with O’Reilly DePalma before, worked with Modenus on behalf of our agency clients, and have admired the work of White Good for years. We’re so thrilled to be part of this select group,” says Leanne Wood-Newman, Principal of Flying Camel. As the social media lead for KBIS, we are not only involved in the overall strategy, but will be the first to break news and engage with the community through the KBIS social media platforms. “It’s an exciting time to be in the thick of the conversation when KBIS is undergoing so much positive change,” adds Wood-Newman.

Modenus – Digital Platforms
Spearheaded by Founder and CEO, Veronika Miller, Modenus is the essential hub for manufacturers and designers. “We are thrilled to be part of the team that was created to help KBIS evolve from a trade show to a year round industry brand that provides inspiration, information, education and an opportunity for all participants to engage with one another through social and digital initiatives and events,” said Miller.

Modenus will curate and promote a product showcase in addition to featuring KBIS' Lifestyle Quarters through the extended reach of the highly visible BlogTour campaign that brings a carefully selected group of influential kitchen and bath bloggers to New Orleans during the show.

New Orleans is an ideal location to launch these new initiatives. It’s a new city and a chance for a new beginning. Just as the “Crescent City” encourages creativity and the excuse to see things from a different perspective, so too has the show embarked on a new way of thinking about itself.

KBIS is embracing the new and the now and New Orleans is the perfect city to show that to the world. The wealth of historical and cultural diversity the city offers, as well as its rich culinary tradition and musical stylings will be felt both on and off the show floor.

Through KBIS’ embrace of its new hybrid agency, the show is also setting itself up to be the year-round event it’s always needed and wanted to be. Look to the KBIS brand for a variety of regional, micro-events throughout the year, as well as being a resource for the latest trends and industry news.

“We’re setting the stage now to be ‘the go-to place’ for not only what’s new in the industry, we’re a resource where our attendees can learn to be successful over the long term,” says Scott. “KBIS is a culmination of many months of effort and planning, and it represents something that won’t go away --the resilience and passion of the Kitchen and Bath Industry. As we move forward, KBIS will make itself a more vital and enthusiastic partner as you embrace your future.”

This year’s event will take place from April 19 through April 21 at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans, LA. To learn more or to register for the show, visit www.KBIS.com.

About White Good
White Good, a member of the American Association of Advertising Agencies, is a professional service operation offering integrated marketing communications including advertising and public relations geared to manufacturers and marketers of furnishings, flooring, decorative finishes and allied building products for the residential and commercial industries. For more information, call 717-396-0200 or visit www.whitegood.com.

About O’Reilly DePalma
O’Reilly-DePalma is a full-service marketing communications agency, dedicated to helping building and architectural brands achieve their business and profitability goals. With agency roots in the industry going back 40 years, the firm's reputation is built on its deep commitment to client service, collaboration and measurable results.  For more information, call 815-469-9100 or visit www.oreilly-depalma.com.

About Flying Camel
Flying Camel Advertising, Design + PR is a full service agency providing creative and design work, public relations and corporate communications services in the home design and financial service industries.  Established in 1995 and located just outside of the Greater Toronto area, Flying Camel works with clients across North America. Visit www.flyingcamel.com for further information.

About Modenus
Modenus.com, the digital design resource for design professionals and design enthusiasts, is a carefully curated collection of the most innovative and inspired kitchen, bath and home furnishings products from around the world.

Modenus engages site visitors and social media followers alike through a continuous flow of fresh design inspiration and product information and connects its communities through highly visible real life events and marketing campaigns in North America and across Europe.
For more information please call 321.280.6868 or visit www.modenus.com.

27 November 2012

New challenges, new location, new blog

After a couple of years of hemming and hawing, I've made a decision. 

I am going to leave Florida and throw myself into a new challenge. A new challenge and what's increasingly looking like a new life.

At some point this winter, I'll be relocating to Pennsylvania and the place where my life began nearly 48 years ago. Never in a million years would I have predicted this move until the last year or so. It's funny though, the same things I ran from when I was in my early 20s are what I crave now as a middle-aged man.

Check out my new masthead, and yes that's an original photograph.

This blog and its archives will remain here in perpetuity and I'll be updating it as I come across things that pertain to its niche. In the meantime, I'm starting a new blog that will document my move and adjustment to my new surroundings. I'll list the link here when it's ready for prime time.

I started this blog five years ago and it was before I knew what a blog was. In the ensuing years, it has showered me with more good fortune than I could have ever imagined. Over the course of those five years, I've gone from being a struggling designer faced with a collapsed housing market, to a power blogger, to someone who's now plying his trade as a blogger and marketer for other people and entities.

I made my blog into a career path and trust me, if I could do it, anyone can.

People who blog their way through life transitions are some of the most self-indulgent people there are and I cannot wait to be one of them. I hope you follow me through my new ventures and adventures and again and as always, thank you for being part of all of this. I promise to keep my new site entertaining if nothing else.

In the meantime too, I have a bunch of trade shows in North America and Europe on my calendar for 2013 and my findings at them will end up here, on good old K&RD. This site and the community that's grown around it is one of my most cherished accomplishments and even though it's not over, it feels like things are changing.

Thanks for reading me for the last five years.

08 November 2012

Architects and designers, wanna go to Spain?

Tile of Spain is running a contest they're calling Passport to Creativity. Four credentialed designers and or architects will be selected to accompany the Tile of Spain team from the US and Spain as well as six journalists on a week-long immersion in all things Spain. The trip will end in Valencia when everyone on the Passport of Creativity tour will attend Cevisama, one of Europe's (and therefor the world's) largest tile and bath trade shows. The four architects and or designers will earn 4 CEUs in addition to winning an all-expense-paid trip to Spain.

Entering takes just a few moments and you can find an entry form here. Hurry though, the deadline's December 3rd, 2012. Be warned, Spain bites deep and you'll come away from a trip like this a different person. I did at any rate.

Nearly two years ago, I boarded a plane in Tampa and I was bound for Madrid. I'd been selected to be a part of the press corps for Tile of Spain's "Reign in Spain" tour. My week in Spain as a guest of the Spanish Ceramics Industry and the Spanish Trade Commission was something I'll never forget. We were treated like royalty and in a country that still has a monarch, that's really saying something.

Though it was a press tour and though I was only there for a week, I came away from that experience with a far deeper understanding of the Spanish people and their culture than I'd had before I arrived. Between factory tours, a massive trade show, and some of the most extravagant meals I've ever eaten, I got to know our hosts from the Spanish embassy. I bonded with my fellow journalists in the press corps and the winners of that year's contest in ways I hadn't expected to. Our shared experiences in Spain more or less cemented us together and I've stayed in touch with most of those folks.

Wandering down the cobblestone streets of Valencia and Zaragoza in the wee hours with new Spanish friends and the conversations we had will stay with me for the rest of my life. The chance to sit and compare notes with people from other countries on their home turf is why I love to travel so much.

Spain's financial woes were just becoming clear while I was there and the truth of the matter was a bit difficult to come by in the US. So I sat in a hotel lobby in Valencia with the Spanish Trade Commissioner and we talked about it until around four in the morning. He explained to me what was really going on and further, he told me the story of modern Spain from the perspective of a man who lived through Spain's transition from Fascism to a Parliamentary Democracy.

Those experiences aren't something you get on a package tour to Barcelona or Málaga.

In that too-short week I saw some incredible sights, gorged myself on Spanish cuisine but more than any of that, I had extended to me Spanish hospitality and kindness.

I hope you enter this contest. Wonders await you on the Iberian Peninsula.

01 November 2012

Cool table!

One of my brothers just sent me a link to this table.

My initial reaction was, "Oh man, I hate round dining tables." Then I watched this video.

Holy smokes!

What's featured here is the Capstan Table by DB Fletcher in Dorset, UK. Though it's not cheap by any means, they're produced in a limited quantity and retail for anywhere between $25 and $50,000, it's just fascinating to watch one in action.