The Best of Show contest generates excitement with attendees on the show floor and offers exhibitors a way to elevate the overall effectiveness of their exhibit, product/service presentation and staff performance. Winners receive industry recognition and a variety of valuable prizes.
Start preparing now! Review the contest guidelines below and tips from the judges so you know how to stand out.
Exhibitors are automatically entered in the Best of Show Contests for their corresponding segment and booth size. Contest categories include:
- The Produce, Floral, Business Solutions, and Complementary segments will each have 2 winners:
- Best In-line Booth (10 feet deep and any length)
- Best Island Booth (20 x 20 or larger, aisles on 4 sides)
- Best First-Time Exhibitor
- Best Product Promo (All Fresh Ideas Showcase participants are automatically entered)
- Best Sustainable Packaging (must have a shelf in the Fresh Ideas Showcase)*
*Showcase participants must notify IFPA if they want to be considered for Best Sustainable Packaging
How/When Will Booths Be Judged?
Exhibitors are automatically entered into all applicable categories. Judging will be conducted by a team of industry professionals during show hours Friday - Saturday. The winners will be announced on the show floor on Saturday.
Will I Know Who The Judges Are?
No, the judges will remain anonymous, meaning you could be observed one time or several times over the two-day period, and at any moment — so be ready! A panel of produce and floral buyers will review the Fresh Ideas Showcases along with our Best of Show Judges.
What Will I Win?
Winners in each category receive an announcement on the show floor, press recognition, and a framed award in addition to the following:
Best of Show Winners:
- Move up 1 hour in next year’s booth selection schedule
- GES credit toward your booth expenses like material handling, labor, and anything rented from GES (in-line winner receives $300, island winner receives $500)
Best Overall Product Promo & Best Sustainable Packaging Winners:
- Free shelf in next year's Fresh Ideas Showcase
First-Time Exhibitor Winner:
- (1) All Access Pass to next year's The Global Fresh Produce & Floral Show
- $500 GES credit
- 1st on the "move list" for exhibit space next year
Judging Criteria For Best of Show and First-Time Exhibitor
Judges will evaluate:
- Hierarchy of Graphics: Tells who the company is, what they do and what they're offering at each vantage point for the visitor to see.
- Exhibit Flow: The degree of ease with which visitors can enter and move around the space
- Exhibit Design: How easily the exhibit attracts attention, how well the space is laid out, uniqueness of design's effectiveness at communicating who they are and what they do.
- Overall Exhibit Appeal: How welcoming and inviting the space is to attendees
Products & Messaging
- Display: Color, size, location and uniqueness.
- Eye Appeal: Ability to draw the visitor's attention visually.
- Benefit Messaging: How effectively the brand/product communicates product benefits.
- Integrated Brand Messaging: How well brand messaging has been integrated in graphics, signage, themes, literature, etc.
- Proactive Engagement: How well the staff engages attendees off the aisle rather than waiting for an attendee to approach them.
- Adequate Staffing: Evaluates if there are too many or too few staff for the exhibit space. Can visitors find a staffer with ease when they enter the exhibit?
- Positions/Placement: For larger exhibits, looks at if does the staff has fixed positions, if all areas are staffed, if some staff float to ensure proper coverage and if staff stand behind or next to counters.
- Professionalism/Appearance: Are staff professional and dressed appropriately for the audience and environment?
- Non-verbal Communications: Do staff exhibit negative non-verbal behavior, such as arms crossed, or sitting, talking with each other or on the phone?
Judging Criteria for Best Product Promo
This contest is only available to Fresh Ideas Showcase participants.
Judges will evaluate:
- Online product listing in the exhibitor directory (pre-show evaluation)
- Does it include a picture of the product?
- Was copy concise/to the point?
- Did the listing clearly state the benefits of the product?
- Did it tell attendees how to learn more about the product (e.g. visit booth or website)?
- Was it creative?
- On-site display case
- Visual appeal
- Does is communicate the benefits?
- Does it invite attendees to the booth to learn more?
- Promotion of the product in your booth
- Availability of product in booth
- Promotion of product in booth
- Preparedness of staff to talk about product
- Sampling of product
- Integrated theme and messaging among all 3 sources (listing, shelf, and in the booth)
Judging Criteria for Best Sustainable Packaging
Judges will evaluate all criteria listed above for the Best Product Promo, and then a panel of produce and floral buyers will evaluate:
- whether it communicates a sustainable message to consumers
- interest/appeal and differentiation of package on a store shelf
- whether the shelf has novel presentation that supports sales/consumption of the produce inside it
(Considerations could include, but are not limited to: unobstructed view of product; draws attention to product; infers greater value to product)
- whether the item adds new profitable sales to the category
- whether it stands out the most to them as one they would consider carrying in their store