28. February 2020 | Expo & Event Marketing, What´s new in Retail

For the first time and during EuroShop 2020 IFES is honoring outstanding Innovations and Developments with its IDIA Award. The award will follow the trade fair cycle and will next be announced at EuroShop 2023.

The IFES Development + Innovation Award (IDIA) honors products, projects and services that represent outstanding new developments for the trade fair and event industry. The focus lays on the benefits in daily use as well as innovative strength, cost-effectiveness and sustainable use. The award celebrates groundbreaking innovations, developmental improvements, outstanding implementations and visionary plans and studies that “stand out from the crowd.”

IDIA focuses on the development, planning and use of special materials, outstanding production processes and innovative services. The award not only celebrate the developers of products or solutions, but also companies that improve processes and make innovative use of existing products and services.

Awarding Criteria

The applications were awarded under the following criteria:

  • Grade of Innovation / Development: What is the height of the innovation performance or the further development through the submission?
  • Economic benefit / Advantage of use: How economically sensible is it to use the submission? What is the economic advantage?
  • Sustainability / Ecological Impact: What is the sustainable impact of the submission. The focus will be on ecology as well as on CSR.
  • USP: The USP aims to evaluate the competitive advantage offered by the submission. This takes into account the length of the period of time until early adopters can imitate the submission too.

The Independent IDIA Jury

The IDIA is initiated by IFES but the decision who wins is done by an independent Jury consisting of:

  • Hannes Bäuerle is co-founder of the materials agency raumPROBE OHG, Stuttgart, Germany, a leading institution in the field of materials consulting for architects, planners and the construction industry.
  • Silke Schulte has been working in the trade show industry for more than 30 years. Her interdisciplinary knowledge distinguishes her as an industry expert. As part of the development of the SUSTAINABLE COMPANY industry certificate, she gained insight into the importance of economic, ecological and social sustainability which she views as a challenge for temporary architecture.
  • Benedict Soh, Chairman of Kingsmen Creatives Ltd, Singapore, is the recipient of the prestigious EDPA Hazel Hays Award in recognition of outstanding service to the exhibition industry. Soh is dedicated to opening new business opportunities and has more than 40 years’ experience in the design and production of interiors, exhibitions and marketing communications.
  • Jamie Zavoral-Brown, is responsible for customer development at Bray Leino Events in North America. She has lived and worked in the events industry on both sides of the Atlantic since 1991. Her experience helps clients understand the unique differences in participation abroad and ensures that they create experiences for optimal success in building their brand worldwide.
  • Peter Theodorides is President of IFES with over 30 years’ experience in the exhibition and convention business. Born in Caracas, Venezuela, he graduated from the American School in Venezuela and has been running a company in Greece for over 28 years.

These are the winner of the IDIA 2020:

Company Innovation
  2nd Place JMT For rent:
Circular and Sustainable furniture
  3rd Place visuals united AG FOTOBODEN™
  Runner Up Expocloud GmbH Event-Metrics
  Runner Up Resource Design PAPERWOOD

IDIA Winners

1st Place:


Montecolino has developed a carpet management system for Fiera Milano where they have obtained the certificate of 100% recyclability of their products. After the exhibition or the event, the products are turned into new plastic products. Stop to the dumps for a sustainable future in the fair sector, following the concept of circular economy as defined by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation.

For this project Montecolino has developed a carpet management system for Fiera Milano. At the show ground are over 1,5 million m2 of carpet installed per year. The developed system allows to install over 80.000 m2 and the removal of over 120.000 m2 in a working-night. The activity of carpet removal begins immediately after the end of the show before the stand builders begin to dismantle the booths. The carpet is picked up taking care to turn it upside-down to remove foreign matters. The carpet is folded up and grouped in specific points of the halls. The delivery to the pressing center takes place in the same night of the show ending. The material is compacted before the delivery to the recycling facilities in order to reduce freight cost. The collected material is compacted for

reducing the volume of transport and it is worked in a ray of 100 kms by the fair site to be turned into PP granulate that will be transferred to the plastic industry as raw material.

Statement of the Jury

montECOlino RECYCLING CARPET shows exemplary how sustainability can work in the exhibition industry: Ecological and economic advantages reach out to each other, creating a future-orientated process.

2nd Place:

For rent: JMT circular furniture concept

While the current line of Plastic Whale’s furniture is not ‘rental proof’ due to the heavy weight, the size and the fragility, Plastic Whale and Vepa are currently working hard to bring the successor of their high-end collection to the market.

To get started with circular furniture right away JMT offers the “Felt” series. Also developed and produced by Vepa and winner of the Green Product Award 2018, is already available. 60 PET bottles receive a second life in each Felt tub. The process from PET bottle to Felt scale is one of upcycling, making this chair extremely suitable for circular furnishing concepts. Partnering up with this great initiative challenges JMT to keep looking at other things within our organization which we can do better, more efficient or in a more responsible way to become more sustainable. And the funny thing is, more sustainable is often more efficient. For example, finding a better way to transport or package our furniture is on the one hand more efficient, but on the other hand also more sustainable. Products remain in a better state which automatically leads to less repairing, cleaning and painting, which means less use of water, heat and electricity and it also leads t o a longer ‘life’ and perhaps less transport movements because of the more efficient way of packaging. And this is just one example, sustainability and efficiency go hand in hand.

Statement of the Jury

The best ideas are often very simple. And this concept is one of this kind of ideas. Congratulations.

3rd Place:


Fotoboden is a photorealistic printed vinyl flooring for trade fairs, stands and events. It is used for large area floor advertisement, visual communication and for decoration. It is easy to use, long-lasting, and has a brilliant appearance. The product was developed by visuals united AG, Germany, and is patented in the core European markets. Before the invention of Fotoboden there was no custom printed vinyl flooring. The only options for custom flooring for trade shows were printed carpets, floor-stickers or painting. Carpets have usually low printing resolution. Floor-stickers can hardly be used for large areas: one needs a perfectly even surface and a lot of time to apply them. Painting is, of course, the costliest option. The material is a 2mm- thick cushioned vinyl flooring. It has a hard, anti-slip (R10) surface, especially designed to adhere with ink. By using large format digital printing, it is possible to create photorealistic designs with 1,080 DPI.  Fotoboden is 100% recyclable. It is a vinyl flooring that can become, via recycling, a new vinyl flooring. 100% of the product is turned in to a high-quality flooring again. The production waste and all products that are returned to visuals united are being recycled free of charge for our customers. Even Cradle-to-Cradle projects are using the flooring.

Statement of the Jury:

The printed flooring material gives new marketing opportunities on show grounds and during events which were extremely cost intensive before. This will help in times of never-ending budget discussions.

Runner up:

Event Metrix by Expo Cloud

Expo Cloud collects performance data just like google analytics:

With Event Metrics sensors the service detects automatically and GDPR compliant the behavior of trade show visitors. The collected data is available in real time either in the Portal Expo Cloud or in the Insights App. It captures visitor flows automatically. With Event Metrics an exhibitor can use data to rate the performance of its live-communication- actions at the touch of a button. For this a small sensor is placed at your trade fair booth. It captures, privacy compliant, the behavior of the event visitors based on WIFI technology. This data is available in Realtime on the platform. With the collected information you can analyses visitor behavior at the booth, optimize the trade fair concept and assess the success of the live-marketing actions based on defined KPIs. Event Metrics offer a long-term and valid decision basis for the strategic direction of live-communication.

Expo Cloud helps to collect and analyses Key data, just like google analytics does in online marketing, of your entire exhibition stand. It can focus on separate areas like counters, meeting points or terminals, as well as individual exhibits

Statement of the Jury

Looking at the shift of Marketing Budgets, Expo Cloud is a tool to prove and improve the quality of Live-Communication. Using this tool will bring a new thrill in the ROI of Exhibitions + Events.

Runner up:

Paperwood by Resource Design

Using “Paperwood” we are able to design and build temporary structures quickly, cleanly and more cost effectively. The nature of the board makes it an ideal material to use in the expo industry, for activation’s, bulkheads in retail environment and signage. The board is made from recycled pulp, using products not harmful to the environment and is 100% recyclable. The board comes in various thickness’s – typically 8mm to 16mm and is cut or folded to make up structural elements. The board is printed direct and can also be laminated. The board is an engineered fiberboard manufactured from post  consumer paper waste. The finish is either print ready white or craft. The natural, fiber based board consists of the high crush strength craft core sandwiched between the liners, offering designers and board convertors a VOC free alternative to MDF, particle board or rigid of foam filled plastic sheeting. Joining of boards during construction there are various options available. Most common used are locks made from the board, threaded bar and nuts and bolts. To strengthen a span, aluminum channel bar is used. Post event the board can either be re-used or recycled.

Statement of the Jury

Paperwood is a smart alternative to heavier or less sustainable wall elements. It helps to make trade shows more Eco-friendly.

 Source: IFES

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