National Hardware Show® Offers Opportunities For Products Exposure And Feedback

Apr 14, 2016

(NORWALK, Connecticut, April 14, 2016) — One of the biggest draws for those who attend the National Hardware Show®, which will be held Wednesday, May 4, through Friday, May 6, at the Las Vegas Convention Center, is the opportunity to find new products that have just hit, or are about to hit, the market. And for exhibitors working on those new products, the Show offers several ways for them to gain exposure and receive feedback on their products. “We know many attendees want to see new products, but we also think it’s important to offer exhibitors a way to gain feedback about products they have in the works, so we have a few programs in place at the Show that allow exhibitors to talk with buyers and other experts,” says Rich Russo, vice president of the National Hardware Show. Below are several product exposure programs you’ll find at the Show.

Product Review and Vetting

This program offers exhibitors the opportunity to have their products reviewed and vetted by buyers from some of the industry’s biggest distributors and buying groups, including Ace Hardware Corp., Distribution America, Home Hardware, Jensen Distribution Services, Lancaster, Mid-States Distributing Company, PRO Group, Sears, United Hardware, Val-Test and World and Main. While the program obviously helps exhibitors get feedback on their products, it’s also helpful for distributors and buying groups learning what’s new to the market, says Shari Kalbach, managing director of PRO Group. “It definitely helps our merchandising managers see what’s new and different,” Kalbach says. “We can see what new products are out there and learn more about the current trends. For example, we see a lot of lawn and garden products that give us some good ideas about color trends.”

Tom Ketelhut, department merchandising manager of merchandising operations for Ace Hardware Corp., says new products are an important part of Ace’s assortment strategy. “The merchant team utilizes a number of venues to seek out, discover and build plans around items that can refresh our mix,” says Ketelhut. “Reviewing products in multiple areas is vital to the Ace team when attending an event the scale of the National Hardware Show.”

Dave Christmas, president and CEO of Distribution America, says offering this program at a set time, in a central location, allows buying teams from DA’s members the opportunity to thoroughly review the products. “New product vendors have a great opportunity to get their product in front of key decision makers in the industry in one place, and they can’t get that kind of exposure in such a short time anywhere else,” Christmas says. “The program also gives our buyers the opportunity to think outside the box and explore potential new niches and update merchandise selections, which is important for the success of the independent retailers we serve.” The online submission deadline is Friday, April 22. Exhibitors who are interested in submitting a product for this program can do so online here.

Participating exhibitors should drop their products off starting at 10 a.m. Tuesday, May 3, in Meeting Room N119, located on Level 1 in the North Hall. (Be prepared to provide the security guard with your business card for security purposes.) All products will be reviewed Wednesday, May 4, and Thursday, May 5, by appointment only. Exhibitors should pick up their product samples on Friday, May 6, between 10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Any products not picked up will be donated to Opportunity Village.

DIY Network Product Submission

DIY Network will be filming at the National Hardware Show for their television show, I Want That. A special National Hardware Show episode will air this summer. For the chance to have your product featured on the show, submit your product information online here.

Presidents Council Buying Days

The Presidents Council Buying Days at the National Hardware Show offers another opportunity for exhibitors to meet with buyers for feedback about their products. Buyers from Ace Hardware Corp., CNRG, Jensen Distribution Services, Lancaster, MHC and others who are looking for new and innovative products in the Hardware & Tools and Lawn and Garden categories will be available for 20-minute face-to-face meetings with exhibitors at the Show. This event provides opportunities both for buyers looking for new products and for exhibitors searching for ways to expand their market share for their products. Not only can exhibitors introduce their products to buyers and receive feedback, but they will also have the opportunity to discuss new merchandising programs and concepts and begin building relationships with some of these buyers. Register online here.

Pitch the Experts Panels

This opportunity is exclusively for those exhibiting in Inventors Spotlight at the Show. With the Pitch the Experts Panel, these exhibitors can get feedback from leaders in the industry and possibly even secure a deal on the spot! Space is limited, so sign up here today to reserve a meeting time.

QVC Sprouts Product Search

QVC has worked with inventors and innovators for more nearly 30 years to turn small ideas into big products. QVC will be in Inventors Spotlight on Wednesday, May 4, to hear product pitches. This is the chance for any exhibitors to let QVC know about their ideas for “the next big thing.”

For a chance to pitch your product, sign up here.

The Grommet Product Search

The Grommet is a product launch platform that discovers innovative consumer products and has launched more than 2,000 products in 16 categories since 2008. A panel from the Grommet will be at the National Hardware Show to hear pitches from exhibitors. The panel is especially interested in products from Hardware & Tools, Lawn, Garden & Outdoor Living, Paint & Accessories, Housewares and Tailgate, Backyard & BBQ. To submit a new product or invention, visit here.

U.S. Patent & Trademark Office

Stop by booth #IS121 (meeting room N109 on Level 1) in the Inventors Spotlight area to meet with the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office. Representatives there can offer exhibitors insight and information on the process of applying for a patent. For a full list of exhibitor product exposure opportunities visit:

About the National Hardware Show®    

The National Hardware Show® celebrates a rich history spanning 71 years of serving the home improvement marketplace. From its early beginnings in New York during the post-World War II housing boom and eventual move to Chicago in the 1970s, to today’s current location in Las Vegas, the National Hardware Show continually evolves through the industry’s involvement, commitment and passion to improving America’s quality of life through their homes. Today, the National Hardware Show is the place for global manufacturers, associations, organizations and the media to unveil their new products, ideas and insight to a broad spectrum of home improvement resellers. For more information on the National Hardware Show, visit

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