How to Set Up an Award-Winning Display

Last week, an Ardent team and I were lucky enough to attend this year’s POPAI GlobalShop and OMA Awards in Las Vegas. It was a great event and we were all happy to learn about some of the cutting-edge trends in point-of-purchase displays. Even better, of course, was taking home two POPAI “Indian” Awards! More on that to follow.

For those of you who attended GlobalShop, you probably remember the exposition center looking sharp and organized. When my colleagues and I arrived, however, it was just a giant room of crates, pallets, and packing material. We spent Monday morning setting up and merchandising our entries–luckily it wasn’t too tough of a job, since we specifically design all of our displays to be simple assemblies:

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I think they look pretty polished, don’t you?

We can’t wait to do this again next year! Hope to see you there.



Amped Up

We recently expanded our manufacturing capabilities in a big way by investing in a number of die cutters & tooling machines. The new machines required a huge power expansion: the new transformer needed a crane just to put it in place! Check it out below:

Come back soon to see video of our new machines up & running!


An Interview by the Hartford Business Journal

The Ultimat Vodka Floor Display

Ardent Displays has been getting a lot of press lately for a few design awards we won out in Salt Lake City at the AICC Conference. We were featured in The Hartford Business Journal, The Springfield Republican, The Journal Inquirer, and other Northeastern publications. In order to figure out Ardent’s secret to success, reporters interviewed Ardent’s founder and president, Donald Budnick. Below I’m sharing a few of the interview “bloopers” with you– these comments didn’t get published, but I think they provide as much insight into the success of Ardent as any other response could.

Blooper 1:

Interviewer: To what do you attribute your success?

Donald Budnick: Good lighting and charm.

Blooper 2:

Interviewer: Describe the importance you place on taking care of your employees.

Donald Budnick: … Where we previously had departmental offices, we now use an open floor plan to encourage inter-departmental collaboration… Some of the more entertaining aspects of the open plan are when stuffed animals start flying across the office, or employees are caught belting out oldies.

Stay tuned for video coverage of stuffed animal wars.


Working on a Martha Stewart “Store-in-a-Store”

One of Ardent's Senior Project Manager assists in the machine set-ups of extruding parts for the Martha Stewart Home Office aisle.

This fall, we’ve been working overtime at Ardent with a number of very exciting projects. One of the staff favorites is the designing and manufacturing of the “store-in-a-store” presence of Martha Stewart’s new Home Office line in Staples retailers nationwide.

Through intensive work and cooperation across the design and production departments, we’ve designed an entire aisle to showcase the new Martha products in 1,500 Staples stores. We’ve also coordinated materials from 9 manufacturing sites, and are currently shipping 200 trucks worth of displays!

One of Ardent’s Senior Project Managers, pictured above, has shown some serious grace under pressure while managing the huge roll-out. I spoke with him recently about how he maintains his cool while overseeing major projects. He told me his trick is to “continually focus on the end goal– just remember that these are all necessary steps to producing the best display for the product.”

He was sighted shortly after doing a victory dance in  the office after the first truckload of displays was shipped out. Grace under pressure, indeed.