Data security, a handy gadget for everyday life, a toy: these quite different products all starred at the presentation of the IAW Trendseller Product Awards


The IAW Trendseller Product Award showcased a broad mix of products, including a security card that protects against cyber attacks, a device that helps you reach the ticket in the car park and a Wild-West-style shooting arcade. The award presentation took place on 7 March at the 25th International Trade Fair for Retail Promotions and Imports.

First prize went to the Skimming Blocker Card made by Mesa Products International B.V. based in Doetinchem in the Netherlands. This card protects the owner from so-called skimming attacks, whereby criminals use mobile phones to acquire personal data, passwords for credit cards, etc. These attacks go unnoticed and until recently the only form of protection was aluminium foil, which is neither elegant nor especially practical. The Skimming Blocker Card is an innovative solution that guarantees five years’ protection of up to 12 cards. It is the size of a credit card and must be kept in the wallet along with the IC, credit cards. etc. “For very little money consumers can now achieve the invaluable feeling of security at a time when undetected cyber crime seems to be on the increase”, says Mesa boss Eric Uyttenboogaard. Any skimming attack immediately triggers a signal from the chip in the blocker card which stops identity thieves from stealing personal data. The verdict of jury member and TV presenter Ralf Kühler is that the card is “small and modest-looking, but mighty effective”.

The designer of the product that won second prize set out to solve a problem that probably everyone has encountered: the difficulty of reaching the ticket issued at the automated car park barrier. WUNDmed GmbH & Co. KG from Abendberg in Germany was placed second for the “card dolly” (Karten-Lady). An extendable arm with which tickets can be taken from ‒ and later inserted in ‒ automated ticket machines, which always seem to be out of arm’s reach. Ulrich Zimmermann, managing director of  Nordwestdeutsche Messegesellschaft mbH, predicts that this clever gadget will experience the same kind of sales success as the selfie stick did two or three years ago”.

Third prize went to the Gun Slinger Wild West – the first time the prestigious IAW award has been bestowed on a toy. Winfried Kögler GmbH, based in south western German Waiblingen, has developed a Wild West styled shooting range where the user fires infrared beams instead of a real projectile to hit cans and bottles, which are sent flying with a well-aimed shot.

Ulrich Zimmermann was full of praise for the winning entries in the IAW Trendseller Product competition, commenting that:  “It is gratifying to see that the enormous scope of the product portfolio represented here is now reflected in the award-winning products.” At every IAW a panel of experts headed by business consultant Ulrich Eggert selects the best and most innovative exhibits at the IAW, basing their decisions on the following selection criteria: design, potential commercial success, quality, utility, innovativeness, packaging and price-benefit ratio. Three winners are picked after an exacting selection process and announced in an award presentation on the first day of the trade fair.

It is not simply its anniversary that makes the 25th IAW so special – with more than 350 exhibitors from all over the world, the trade fair offers incredible diversity. The International Trade Fair for Retail Promotions and Imports is open to trade visitors until 9 March, so there is still time to see the new and trend-setting products arrayed in Halls 6 and 9 at the Cologne exhibition centre.

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