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OctOBEr, 2012
and services in one place and get
face-to-face with people. You re-
ally get an opportunity to talk to
them, and that’s an opportunity
that’s just hard to find anywhere
According to a survey of past
visitors to its home and garden
shows, O’Loughlin trade Shows
found that attendees usually
spend an average of more than
four hours at the show. Nearly
half of them will be there in
search of remodeling products
and services; 38 percent have
said the annual plant sale is their
main draw.
In addition, 62 percent are in
the 40- to 65-year-old age brack-
et, 55 percent make more than
$60,000 a year and close to 65
percent come to the show from
less than 50 miles away. And, ac-
cording to the survey, 86 percent
of attendees made or planned to
make purchases based on what
they saw at the show. Addition-
ally, an analysis by the Univer-
sity of Washington revealed that
90 percent of show attendees
bought from show exhibitors,
either at the shows or as a result
of attending. their total purchase
volume was more than $105 mil-
lion, and half of the sales were in
excess of $21,000.
the show also has an advertis-
ing campaign that tops $200,000.
“It really is a good bang for the
buck,” Stanley said.
Serving it up
Another big draw returning to
the Portland Fall Home & Gar-
den Show this year is the unique
and popular design competition,
“Serving Up Style.” Now in its
fourth year, the showcase finds
designers conjuring up creative
dining environments, which are
then judged on everything from
their lighting and creativity to the
story they tell. Seven awards are
available in all.
“the opportunity to design
whatever you want is an amaz-
ing thing,” said Wendy O’Brien of
Wendy O’Brien Interior Planning
& Design. “that ’s what really
makes it fantastic and fun.”
O’Brien is not only one of the
designers in the competition this
year, but she won both the peo-
ple’s choice and judges’ choice
awards last year. Her entry last
year evoked an urban loft, albeit
one inhabited by a 10-foot iron
giraffe who’d stumbled his way
in and felt right at home.
Her design for the 12-foot by
16-foot space she’s been allotted
this year is called “Merry Marry!”
and will use antique carousel
horses and other accents to cre-
ate the feeling of an old-time
boardwalk carnival. the vignette
will also tell the story of a mar-
riage proposal.
“It will be very romantic,”
O’Brien said.
the initial idea for “Serving
Up Style” came in part from the
folks at Molly’s Fund Fighting Lu-
pus, who had wanted to bring a
special event to the Portland Fall
Home & Garden Show for some
years. Debbie Mccabe, president
of Molly’s Fund, said the first year
started small, with just five din-
ing rooms. It took off almost in-
stantly, however, doubled in size
the second year and is now up to
20 designers.
“Now, designers are vying for
positions,” said O’Brien. “If you
want to be a designer in Portland,
then you want to be part of this.”
Last year, 6,000 people voted
for their favorite setup, and this
year, thanks to national expo-
sure through the web site
, some 25,000 people
are expected to vote. Emily Hen-
derson, from the HGtV show “Se-
crets from a Stylist,” will be one of
the celebrity judges, a presence
that will likely boost the compe-
tition’s popularity as well.
Beyond the design aspect of
the competition, “Serving Up
Style” also serves as a fund-raiser
for Molly’s Fund. the event culmi-
nates in a gala on Saturday night
of the show, which includes a
silent and oral auction, cocktail
hour, dinner and an award cer-
emony. Like the design compe-
tition, the fund-raiser has grown
over the years as well. Last year’s
ticket sales maxed out at 350; this
year, all 640 tickets had been sold
by early September.
“this has become our largest
and most significant event of the
year,” Mccabe said. “We’re re-
ally thankful to the HBA for their
partnership on this. It’s the per-
fect fit.”
Stanley said the addition of
“Serving Up Style” has helped in-
ject a bit of a different flavor into
the Portland Fall Home & Garden
Show, one that adds to the entire
event and makes it even more
“I think we’ve been able to stay
true to the home and garden fo-
cus of the show while putting a
different look on the marketing
efforts and really stepping it up,”
he said. “this is entertainment,
and there’s an entertainment
value in coming to the home and
garden and show.”
Hours are: 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
thursday through Friday, Oct. 4-5, from
10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 6, and
from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 7.
the Portland Expo center, 2060
North Marine Drive, Portland, Or, 97217.
$10 for adults, free for
children under 12
More information: www.otshows.comand
86%of attendees say theymadeor planned topurchase
Continued from page 1
The HBA hosts the popular Ask the Expert booth at the show.
get two
tickets to
the show!