The 2023 IHA Global Innovation Awards for product excellence will be celebrated during The Inspired Home Show 2023 at a special gala ceremony Saturday evening, March 4 at Chicago’s Radisson Blu Aqua hotel.
The deadline for entering the gia awards for new product innovation has been extended through January 28. Global product honorees in 13 categories are set to be selected from finalists by a panel of industry experts, including retailers, product designers and media.
The gia finalists and global honorees will be displayed during The Inspired Home Show in an exhibit in the Hall of Global Product Design in the Grand Concourse Lobby of McCormick Place’s North Building, as well as in the New Product Showcases located in the Buyers Club in each show building.
“Today, own-able, proprietary design is the last great differentiator,” said industrial designer and veteran gia judge Scott Henderson. “If you look at the most recognizable brands in the world, the Fortune 100 and similar lists, the common thread within these organizations is that they are design-led and design-centric. In fact, a quick glance will reveal that there is no way of joining these lofty ranks without a steadfast conviction to design. The gia awards are not only a celebration of the achievements of some of this year’s best product launches — they also are the pulse and undeniable metric that the industry must rise to in order to thrive”.
Past gia product honorees credited the awards program for recognizing and validating investment in design innovation while raising the profile of new products to retailers and consumers.
“The gia program is the Academy Awards of the housewares industry,” said Kerry Cooper, executive vice president of Polder Products, a multiple gia global honoree. “The gala is an incredible night; everybody gets excited for it. It can change the complexion of the whole show. The fact that you have immediate notification and can present the award at the show booth draws extra attention to the products.”
Past gia honorees said the diverse scope of the judges further enhances the credibility of products selected as finalists and winners.
“Having retailers, as well as designers, among the judges truly validates the marketability of the product,” Polder’s Cooper said.
David Shull, executive vice president, marketing and communications for multiple gia award honoree Jura Inc., agreed. “We like that the independent judging panel is a mix of industry leaders, retailers, designers and media, which allows for a unique, well-rounded perspective on the products,” Shull said. “Gia-winning design is a key talking point for our sales and marketing team to communicate to our retailers, buyers, and business partners. And we always reference the gia awards in our press materials.”
Gia judge Charles Nelson, owner of Toque Blanch, an independent gourmet housewares retailer in Santa Cruz, Calif., said the gia program spotlights new products with high potential to succeed.
“What retailers like myself bring to the judging is not only an evaluation of how well the product is designed but also whether or not it will sell. Is it an innovative product at a proper price point?” Nelson said. “I would advise other retailers to pay attention to the gia awards. It’s as if we’re walking the show floor for them ahead of time to help highlight new products.”
Jura’s Shull noted the broader, industry-supporting benefits of the gia product innovation program and gala. “This celebrates the best product innovation the industry has to offer,” Shull said. “It is a valuable networking opportunity to build and strengthen relationships amongst our peers.”
Exhibitors can learn more about the gia awards and enter here: https://www.theinspiredhomeshow.com/exhibit/emk/product-display-opportunities.