B+N's award-winning GlobalShop booth did more than promote the company; it was a showcase of the creativity of the next generation of store designers and visual merchandisers. B+N sponsored a 3-D design contest in association with the Planning and Visual Education Partnership (PAVE) that challenged students in store design, interior design, visual merchandising and industrial design programs to create a countertop sunglasses display.
More than 70 entries from over 11 schools and institutions were received. A judging panel of retailers and industry suppliers narrowed that field down to 12 finalists, which then worked with B+N to create prototypes of their actual designs. These projects were on display in B+N's booth in a red carpet runway presentation. During the A.R.E. awards presentation Wednesday night, Hayeon Choi of New York's Fashion Institute of Technology was awarded first place honors for his display. Awards for second and third, as well as special merit awards, were also handed out, with B+N awarding more than $12,000 to the students.