Behind Bluffworks: Our 2019 New York Times Travel Show

Stefan Loble
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The Bluffworks booth at the New York Times Travel Show.


The New York Times Travel Show
features more than 500 exhibitors and is held annually in January at the Javits Center in New York City. Thousands of people attend. We’ve been before, but we’ve never had a physical presence – until this year.

The goal of our booth was to meet customers, showcase our products, and get your feedback – and boy, did it deliver.

As we developed the booth design and built it out, I was thrilled that it felt true to what Bluffworks is all about: authentic and high quality, different from what everyone else was doing at the show. It felt unique.

Here’s a rundown of the products we featured, followed by the insights we gained, with a few special previews of things to come this year…

Bluffs on Display

In showcasing our signature Gramercy Travel Blazer and the well-loved Horizon Quilted Vest at our booth, people were immediately drawn to touch them. Both products are all about the fabric and pockets, and it was like a nonstop treasure hunt to try on samples and hunt for all the pockets.

We featured our newest arrival, the Departure Travel Jeans, plus every color in our Original, Chino, and Gramercy pants. Our team loved seeing people’s delight when we revealed the hidden pockets under the back yoke (waistband) of the jeans. And it’s always exciting to see people’s impressed reactions to feeling our fabrics after being told they’re machine-washable and wrinkle-resistant.

Booth at the show showing our Gramercy Blazer and Travel Jeans.

Shirts

How many times have you tried on a dress shirt at a trade show? Guys did it, throwing on our Meridian Performance Dress Shirt with blazers and vests. And again, people were impressed with how natural the fabric felt – especially for a wrinkle-resistant dress shirt.

As a sneak peek, we had samples in all five colors of our brand new Threshold Performance T-Shirt. People’s feedback to the fabric and feel was amazing. I’ve been trying to develop a t-shirt for years with the perfect balance between being a full-blown technical performance tee, and a soft, elegant shirt. We finally did it... and everyone at the show was ready to take one home. I can’t wait for you to try it out. (Shop now.)

Our first Threshold Performance T-Shirt


The Eardley Cap not only looked great on display but also identified our team members in the (often very crowded) booth. When people tried it on, the most common reaction was, “how come none of my other hats fit like this?” That’s exactly what we’re going for.

The Eardley Cap at the New York Times Travel Show.

Field Jacket

It was top secret, but what the hell… We had an early sample of our new Field Jacket at the booth. Whoa, are people eager for this product – it seems I’m not the only one having a hard time finding an elegant, high-tech piece of outerwear. Honestly, I’m just glad the damn thing didn’t disappear. (Learn about the jacket here. And note, the below is an early design sample = not the final product. That, you can order here.)

 

Field Jacket prototype.

What We Learned

Meeting so many customers face-to-face was even more informative than we expected. Here are some of the most common things we heard, and what we’re doing to address them:

  • Customers requested more colors and patterns across products, from our Chino pants to the Meridian Performance Dress Shirt. We hear you. We are testing new colors and patterns all the time and will be releasing more later this year.
  • Pockets are popular – we know pockets of all kinds are important, and the feedback reinforced that clever placement of useful security pockets is key.
  • People want to buy an entire outfit – we’re now offering the Gramercy Suit and have plans for more combinations to come.
  • Styling advice and packing tips are helpful – our team has content in the works to share everything we know about packing, styling, and more.
  • A print catalog and an in-person location are in high demand – both are in the works. We look forward to seeing you at the opening of our New York City showroom later this year. 

A parting shot(s) from the New York Times Travel Show.


We had a great time at the show. We were thrilled to meet you, and we learned a lot. But, most importantly, the information you shared will help us make that next knockout product you can’t wait to wear.

Bluff on,

Stefan Loble 

 

 

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