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Celebrating More Than Just A Design Competition

It’s that special time of year again. The anticipation is building. And the next few weeks will be spent preparing for that big annual celebration in the heart of New York’s Times Square.
That’s right . . . it’s almost time to ring in the 2011 Housewares Design Awards.
For the 65 finalists and Green House Award recipients announced in this edition, the wait will culminate February 2, 2011, at the 8th Annual Housewares Design Awards luncheon and ceremony inside the New York Marriott Marquis overlooking Broadway.
This is an event not to miss for reasons beyond just learning which new innovations will take home the 13 Best in Category awards, and which three of those will earn Best of the Best honors.

Long-Term Relevance

The 2011 Housewares Design Awards ceremony will be a tribute to the industry’s resilience during the worst economic period of our time. It will be a victory celebration not just for the award winners, but also for all that have continued to risk lean profit margins on new ideas to propel themselves forward when standing still would have cost so much less.
They’ve decided the costs to a company’s long-term relevance could be severe without steady investment in the near term on innovation. That’s a good call.
The Housewares Design Awards have provided a barometer of the state of the housewares business. The number of entries in 2008 and 2009, during the depths of the downturn, dipped a couple of points from pre-recession entry totals.
That they weren’t staggering declines is a testament to the steadfast pledge by many to innovate their way out of the economic fog. The slightly lower entry totals were a reasonable reflection of a housewares market resistant to the sharper declines of more discretionary categories.

Powerful Catalyst

The entries for this year’s Housewares Design Awards competition rebounded decisively, up 9% year-over-year, an encouraging indicator of improving trade confidence. Whether it’s an accurate harbinger of a more robust surge in consumer activity in 2011 remains to be seen.
But it confirms design universally is viewed as a powerful marketing catalyst— a brand differentiator, a confidence builder, a door opener, a sales closer, an economic elixir.
Every company that submitted products in this year’s Housewares Design Awards should be commended for the enthusiasm, pride and resolve their entries exemplify during a time when a design competition might seem trivial compared to more pressing business matters.

Vow Of Innovation

It has always been more than merely a competition, however. The Housewares Design Awards program was developed as a conveyance for the industry to renew its vow of innovation to retailers and consumers.
Our public relations effort already is at work for this year’s finalists and Green House Award winners, alerting local and national media of the achievement. We encourage them to do the same. Making it this far is a triumph worth promoting.
Now, the anticipation is building as we head toward the crowning of the Best in Category and Best of the Best winners at the 2011 Housewares Design Award celebration on February 2 in New York City.
It truly is a special time of year for the housewares industry.
Thanks to the International Housewares Association for its educational support of the Housewares Design Awards; to the New York International Gift Fair for its promotional support; to IHA’s Vicki Matranga for coordinating entries and judging; to the judges for putting entries to the test; and to Field & Associates for helping to spread the news. Order tickets to the awards luncheon at; or contact Judy Colitz at