Vermont Sales opens an exhibition centre

Vermont Sales has created a new exhibition centre that allows retailers to see what the company offers, with each brand now having its own permanently manned display stand.

During the past 18 months, Covid-19 changed the way many businesses have had to operate. Lock-downs, social distancing, restrictions to gatherings amongst the obstacles that have had to be negotiated.

Vermont Sales host an annual Trade Show that has always been very well attended and became an industry event that retailers around the country looked forward to. Covid-19 has put pay to this great initiative for both 2020 and 2021 and probably beyond. The company still own the adjacent building to their current business location in Randjespark, which prompted Mindi Hunt to embark on an ambitious project to build the Vermont Sales Exhibition Centre.

Mindi researched the possibility of turning the old office block into a stand-alone exhibition centre and with the input of a designer, Nelson Kubheka of Omni Design – this project became reality at the beginning of August 2021.

The newly renovated area is beautifully laid out, the choice of fittings are inspired and the finished product is both functional and aesthetically pleasing. The area includes an exhibition space, a coffee bar and a casual seating area. The practicality of the design and the choice of flooring allows for tool demonstrations affording retailers the opportunity to touch, feel and use the products on display.

With the restrictions on gatherings and the reality of Covid-19 – the new Vermont Sales Exhibition Centre takes the place of an annual trade show. Open all year round, representatives and brand managers are able to invite retailers to the centre giving them the opportunity to see the full range of products for the particular brand on display at the time, to touch and feel the products, to be inspired by merchandising possibilities and to learn about the products.

Each of the Vermont brands has been allocated a slot in the exhibition calendar from 1 August till December 2021 – the first brand showcased is AirCraft which has recently been relaunched with a new look logo in addition to fresh and innovative in-store merchandising. The AirCraft expo will run from 15 August to 9 September.

The advantage of this format is that retailers are afforded one-on-one attention and decision making as well as quality time – to learn about and understand the products on show, plus the opportunity to personally try out the products. Each brand maintains its own identity and store owners can see the merchandising possibilities available to them. The team is there to advise and help stores take on the brands from the perspective of their own stores, space availability and restrictions.

Vermont Sales have employed a professional exhibition coordinator, Jacques Davids and he is responsible for helping the brand managers set up their displays, taking the bookings for retailers to visit the centre and ensuring everything runs smoothly. The booking app is VSEvents and retailers can book a time between 9:00 – 12:00 or 13:00 to 16:00 each day, to spend with the experts and learn how to make their customers buying experience easier.

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