Shaw’s media tour focuses on design, guest panel connects with attendees

Home News Shaw’s media tour focuses on design, guest panel connects with attendees

NEW YORK—Shaw Industries’ 2010 media tour hosted Designer Visions here Oct. 6 in its Manhattan showroom. The event hosted 40 attendees, including consumer and trade media, key influencers in the design world, and Shaw’s marketing and Northeastern sales team, the highlight of which was a panel of three noted designers who discussed their take and predictions on flooring trends.

The mill’s annual media tour presents Shaw products and features to editors of the top shelter and design publications, but this fourth tour was a little different.

“We want to position Shaw as a design and thought leader,” said Mollie Surrat, marketing communications manager. “Companies like ours are seen as mass market, so we [tried to change] that premise with this particular event.” The goal was to educate those in attendance about today’s consumers and have the key influencers in the publishing world leave feeling good about Shaw as a design leader.

To solidify that position, Shaw’s guest designer panel included Alexa Hampton, president and featured designer of Mark Hampton based in New York City, whose awards include Architectural Digest’s and New York Magazine’s top 100 of the world’s best interior designers and architects, as well as the American Spirit Award for her work on the Trowbridge House, the official guest house for past presidents of the United States; Victor Ermoli, dean of the School of Design at the Savannah College of Art and Design, and Linda Woodrum, owner and interior designer at T.S. Hudson interiors, and the head designer of HGTV’s Green Homes and Dream Homes. (Editor’s note: For comments from each of the designers, please visit our YouTube channel or website to view footage from the event.)

A panel discussion on the role of design in flooring was followed by a question and answer session with representatives from shelter publications such as Traditional Home, Coastal Living, Elle Décor, Architectural Digest and Better Homes & Gardens.

The mill put particular focus on its Woven Expressions carpet and rug collection, replete with contemporary, traditional and transitional designs, as well as its Angela Adams printed area rugs; the Luminiere laminate collection with LocNPlace technology; its Anso nylon made of 25% recyclable materials, and the Epic hardwood line with a dense, engineered core that uses 50% less material than traditional hardwood.

“Fewer and fewer people are watching commercials on TV because of Tivo and DVRs because they can fast forward through them,” Surrat explained. Shaw aims to integrate its brand through public relations efforts in less-than-traditional advertising strategies because those methods are no longer maximally effective. Educating attendees at the media tour with product information, coupled with endorsement of Shaw flooring from respected members of the design community, were part of a concerted effort to put its products in the minds of the media’s key influencers.

Several days after the close of the tour here, Shaw’s marketing team was already getting responses, Surrat reported. “They are communicating with us and wanting our products.”

-Emily Hooper

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