Gifts Ignited is a new area at CBA’s UNITE 2018 annual convention to emphasize how visual merchandising creates store environments that connect with customers retailers want to connect with. It’s the art of designing the compelling experience a customer has walking into a store.

The Gifts Ignited area also will be different in that exhibitors in the area may sell from the displays, and several displays and products will be given away in a drawing to retail buyers at the end of convention.

The area at the back of the exhibit floor will feature several displays created by Michelle Amster of Integra Interactive and Sherry Morris of Carpentree, who helped coordinate and select a winner in the recent CBA visual merchandising contest. The contest awarded Dove Christian Supply of Dothan, Alabama approximately $1,500 in wholesale gift products plus other prizes.

Exhibitors are donating products for the Gifts Ignited displays so retailers can see Christian materials used as examples in the display. During last summer’s merchandising classes, retailers asked for more examples of how specific Christian products might be merchandised.

This special area will host demonstration sessions on how to collect everyday items to build compelling displays plus a photo wall of displays submitted for the contest.

“There were some amazing works created this fall and we want to inspire retailers with as many of them as we can,” says Tammy Horvath, CBA member services manager, who helped coordinate Gifts Ignited and the merchandising contest.

More than anything, emotional connections that customers have with their favorite stores build loyalty, traffic, and sales, says Eric Grimm, CBA communications director. The art of the display follows artistic design principles reflecting faith but also connects with customers’ hearts to solve life problems.

Plan to be at UNITE 2018 to see, learn, and possibly win one of the fantastic displays and products. See