Lincoln Park Zoo Gift Shop - tshirts made from recycled plastic bottles

museums&MORE Winter 2021
Shop! Association honors Event Network

The Gift Shop at Lincoln Park Zoo receives the Design Award for Sustainability

Shop!, a global trade association dedicated to enhancing retail environments and experiences, announced that Event Network, the leading experiential retail partner to cultural attractions, has received the 2020 Shop! Design Award for Sustainability. The award recognizes the company’s outstanding work in the retail design of the Gift Shop at Lincoln Park Zoo. “Congratulations on behalf of our key sponsors, esteemed judges, and the entire Shop! Association team” said Todd Dittman, CEO of the Shop! Association. “The creativity and high standard of work from your team offer an outstanding example of the best of the best in our industry.”

Event Network won the SHOP! Design Award 2020 for Sustainability


Excellence in design

The judges cited Event Network for creating a superb combination of the elements critical to success at retail: excellence in design, originality in use of space and materials, and quality of concept execution.

“Chicago’s Lincoln Park Zoo is a long-celebrated city institution, committed to conservation and the protection of animals and the planet. It is our great honor to partner with the zoo, and offer a gift shop experience that demonstrates these shared values at every level,” said Larry Gilbert, president at Event Network.

Visitors to the Gift Shop at Lincoln Park Zoo enjoy a park-like setting which is plastic-free and features original art constructed from recycled material. The theme revolves around nature that is enhanced by natural light and the use of sustainable materials that creates a one-of-a-kind guest experience. Merchandise at the Gift Shop also supports the mission of the Zoo.

On-mission retail store

“The intent of the store design is to help raise awareness about the importance of conservation, and underscore the zoo’s critical mission of protecting our planet and wildlife,” said Adam Nelson, director of store design at Event Network.

Gift Shop at Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago

“Through eco-friendly design and minimal carbon footprint, the shop highlights ways individuals and communities can take action to preserve our natural habitat, and inspires guests to make environmentally responsible choices,” Nelson explained. “We’re extremely proud of the store design and the impact we’re creating toward a more sustainable future.”

“It’s important to have a shop that doesn’t just provide guests with great options for souvenirs, but also helps us live and conveys our mission,” said Rena Solano, chief financial officer at Lincoln Park Zoo.

“Event Network gave us a design that incorporates the local landscape and embodies our commitment to conservation both locally and globally. Overall, it reflects the care, community, and conservation work that’s central to our mission, values, and guest experience,” Solano noted.

Lincoln Park Zoo gift shop in chicago - park bench, green wall

The Shop! Awards recognize the best new designs in retail environments and experiences through three award programs, each celebrating a different area of expertise:

The OMA Awards recognize the excellent displays that set the merchandising and design precedents of today. Shop! evaluates entries and gives gold, silver and bronze honors in five categories: Permanent, Semi-permanent, Temporary, Family of Display, and Category/Aisle/Department Redesign.

Lincoln Park Zoo Gift Shop - tshirts made from recycled plastic bottles

The Global Awards recognize excellence in point-of-purchase advertising display, marketing-at-retail and retail design. This competition welcomes gold-winning displays from individual Shop! global affiliates’ industry awards from the past year to celebrate the best from all over the world.

The Design Awards celebrate achievements in areas such as new store design, renovations, fixtures, visual presentation projects, and in-store communications.

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