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T R A D E  S H O W  N E W S

International Gift Exposition in the Smokies®/Souvenir Super Show®

National Buying Groups Will Be Gathering at the IGES®/SSS® Show This November 3rd – 7th in Tennessee

ZAG – Zoo and Aquarium Buyers Group

The annual ZAG dinner and meeting will be held during the International Gift Exposition in the Smokies®/Souvenir Super Show® Sunday, November 6 at the Sevierville, Tenn., Events Center. Cocktails start at 5:30 p.m. ZAG members will also be meeting for breakfast each morning, November 3-7 in their private ZAG Lounge. IGES/SSS Welcomes ZAG!

NCA – National Caves’ Association

National Caves & Association

The annual National Caves' Association, NCA, networking meeting and dinner will be held Friday, November 4 at the beautiful Partridge and Pear Restaurant in Pigeon Forge. Cocktails start at 5:30 p.m followed by dinner and a “cracker barrel” buyers’ forum. Complimentary refreshments will be available daily in the NCA Hospitality Suite. IGES/SSS Welcomes NCA!

NARB – National Association of Retail Buyers NARB

NARB, the National Association of Retail Buyers, will host their Second Annual Smokin’ Hot Hoedown at the Sevierville Events Center on Friday evening, November 4. All proceeds go to support the Tracy Barlow Memorial Scholarship Fund. Because of the level of support last year, several deserving young people were awarded college scholarship funds. Nashville’s Chris Weaver Band is returning, and tickets are going fast, so call your friends, contact NARB and get ready for a great evening of fun! Be a part of this “most talked about event” and help support education in America!

Chris Weaver, The Chris Weaver Band, Nashville, with Lynda Wilson of SanSegal Sportswear, Utah.

NARB members will also enjoy a private hospitality lounge at the Sevierville Events Center with daily complimentary refreshments. NARB members will open this lounge to all buyers on Saturday, November 5, for an educational seminar and roundtable discussions. IGES/SSS welcomes NARB!

New this year is the Museum Store Buyers’ Party at the Titanic Museum.

Titanic Museum

The first annual Museum Store Buyers’ Networking Dinner will be held Saturday, November 5 at the Titanic Museum in Pigeon Forge, Tenn. Museum buyers will enjoy complimentary cocktails, dinner and an informal discussion moderated by Nancy Hagerman, incoming 2012 President of the Museum Store Association’s South Atlantic Chapter. A tour of the Titanic, the “World’s Largest Museum Attraction” will follow the discussion. This event is only available to the first 100 who pre-register, so respond today! Visit the IGES website for additional information and a list of sponsoring companies.

IGES/SSS welcomes all buying groups!


Living. Outdoor/Indoor®.The Gardens® continued to refine and broaden the spectrum of casual living product innovations and resources in July when AmericasMart Atlanta hosted the Atlanta International Gift & Home Furnishings Market.

Located in a spectacular setting in AmericasMart Building 2 WestWing, Floors 9 and 10, Living. Outdoor/Indoor. The Gardens was an open-space environment filled with product born of design innovations and inspirations, all taking center stage. Linked by a unique two-story waterfall, the two floors captured the natural spirit of its product mix, which embraced the industry’s most sophisticated and technologically advanced casual lifestyle setting. The industry’s leading gardens and casual lifestyle companies showcased their products throughout the open-air setting, which aimed at inspiring retailers and designers alike.

AmericasMart, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary year, also offered a full range of seminars, presentations and events designed to provide insight on the latest trends and products.

Craft & Hobby Association (CHA)

The Craft & Hobby Association (CHA) announced that more than 30 new exhibitors joined nearly 200 of the industry’s leading companies to participate in the CHA 2011 Summer Conference & Trade Show at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, Ill., in mid July.  Two pavilions, Craft Fusion and New Exhibitors, were new additions to the show, giving attendees opportunities to connect with thousands of products in diverse categories.

“We are thrilled to be participating in the CHA Show for the very first time,” said Martin Killgallon, III, senior vice president of marketing and product development, The Ohio Art Company, before the event.  “We see the show as the perfect opportunity to reach new and growing retailers with our Etch A Sketch® and Nanoblock® lines.”

Halloween & Party Expo

The Halloween & Party Expo will take place at Houston’s George R. Brown Convention Center from January 28-31, 2012. The 2012 show, which is nearly 90 percent sold, already includes vendors from countries including Taiwan, the United Kingdom, Canada and Mexico. In addition to the growth in international exhibitors, there is also a rise in international buyer registration.

“Our analysis of the Expo’s website traffic shows an increasing number of hits from around the world,” said Jonathan Erwin, of the Halloween & Party Expo. “We’ve seen the largest spike from several South American countries, and will be looking to further capitalize on that interest this year. Given the quality of exhibitors and attendees, we aren't surprised by the global interest.”

Richie Marks, SKD Distribution Corporation, echoed that sentiment “[The Halloween & Party Expo] is the best venue I've ever been to” and sets an industry standard because it’s “where the best of the best come for opportunities available nowhere else on the planet. The best products and best people come together each January in Houston, Texas.”

The timing and location of the Halloween & Party Expo is also contributing to its global appeal. “The early show dates certainly benefit domestic and international manufacturers and retailers” said Erwin. “And, because it’s a major port and a leading energy capital, Houston has been a gateway to world markets for a long time.”

With more than 350 exhibitors and over 6,000 buyers under one roof, the show has become The Show that Halloween, costume and party industry manufacturers and retailers can’t miss.

The 2012 edition will once again provide the ultimate in comparison shopping, deal making and order writing. It’s the only place buyers can see the industries’ top manufacturers and service providers in the same place at the same time. With exhibitors grouped by product concentration areas, it will be easy for buyers to see what they want and what they need to see.

The show is endorsed by the National Consumers Association and the Halloween Industry Association as well as Paper First Affiliates and Party Club of America, who conduct their annual meetings in conjunction with the show.

Sports Licensing and Tailgate Show

At a time when some trade shows are struggling, the Sports Licensing and Tailgate Show (January 11-13, 2012 at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, Nev.) has seen its buyer/retailer numbers climb at an astonishing rate in recent years. From 2009 to 2010, the number of attendees jumped 35 percent. From 2010 to 2011, attendance increased by another 23 percent.

What accounts for the success of this particular trade show? According to Show Director Stanley Schwartz of Showproco, which produces the event, it’s a combination of two forces: the intense passion for sports and tailgating on the part of American consumers, as well as the opportunity to see, touch and feel new products before making buying decisions.

Seen at the Sports Licensing and Tailgate Show. The 2012 edition of the show will run January 11-13 at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, Nev. Photos by Mark Stewart

“These are absolute fundamentals in our business,” said Schwartz. “Yet in the face of the amazing technology that surrounds us, we tend to forget that there is no substitute for being there.”

Indeed, the show has built its reputation as a hands-on, face-to-face show since it began in 2006. Last January, more than 5,500 buyers worked the aisles, where 34 different sports and entertainment licenses were represented in more than 500 booths. About three-quarters of the exhibitors fell into the licensed product category, a big draw for gift and novelty buyers, while roughly 20 percent were specific to tailgating.

“In 2012, our slogan is Keeping It Real,” said Show Director Hardy Katz. “We want retailers to think about how they buy. Can you make the best choices sitting in your office, clicking a computer screen, or putting your knowledge and experience to work in a real-world environment? The retailers that come to our show are looking for real people, real innovation, real value and real results.”

So certain is the Sports Licensing and Tailgate Show of the “results” part of that equation that it offers buyers an unusual guarantee. After three days, if an attendee feels for any reason that the Sports Licensing and Tailgate Show has failed to deliver a productive buying experience, the show will cover the cost of his/her hotel (room only) for two nights. No questions asked.

“After five years you can still count the number of refunds on one hand,” said Schwartz. “You can’t keep it much more real than that!”

For more information on attending the 2012 event visit the show online or call.

Surf Expo

Buyers can see what’s new at Surf Expo, September 8-10, 2011 in Orlando, Fla. Here are some of the highlights:

Kids at Surf Expo: A new Kids juried feature will be added to the September 2011 show. From kids’ T-shirts and towels to sunglasses and accessories, this feature will put kids first.

Fashion Shows: See the hottest trends in junior’s, swim and vacation fashion each afternoon on the event stage.

Resort: The September show will have 200 resort exhibitors displaying over 300 brands in the resort, souvenir and spa categories.

Keepin' it Green: In addition to a well-stocked resort category, the show will have over 70 eco-friendly brands.

The Wind Surf Section Returns: The “wind” section of the show will return this year, presenting an arrangement of what's new in windsurfing for the upcoming year.

Surf Expo

Urban Expositions

Slated to return to the Galveston Island Convention Center in Galveston Island, Texas, a little later than previous editions, the 2011 Galveston Gift & Resort Merchandise Show will bring together an expanded, targeted selection of souvenir and resort resources custom-tailored for coastal and resort retailers from Louisiana to Texas. Offering these retailers a convenient and cost-effective buying experience, the show will run October 23-25, 2011, approximately two weeks later than its traditional date pattern. Mixing long-time favorites and established lines with new innovative products, the show provides area retailers the ideal opportunity to gear up for the coming resort season in a relaxing and casual setting.

This popular event will continue to provide retailers with a full roster of buyer amenities including goody bag giveaways, discounted hotel rates and more, all while shopping a fine-tuned selection of top-name souvenir and resort merchandise.

Held at the Galveston Island Convention Center at the San Luis Resort in Galveston Island, Texas, the show offers an easy-to-reach destination for the show’s target attendee base, which includes retailers along the coast and inland from New Orleans, La., to Brownsville, Texas.

Offering retailers from the Florida Panhandle and surrounding areas to New Orleans an opportunity to get a jump on their 2012 spring and summer resort buying, the Gulf Coast Gift Show at Fort Walton Beach returns October 16-18, 2011 to the state-of-the-art Emerald Coast Conference Center.

Now entering its sixth year at the Emerald Coast Conference Center, the Gulf Coast Gift Show at Fort Walton Beach (formerly the Emerald Coast Gift & Resort Merchandise Show) provides Panama City and surrounding area retailers with a tremendous selection of merchandise that’s been truly customized to reflect the specialized buying interests of the Florida Panhandle and surrounding Gulf Coast tourist trade.

Show attendees can see the best selection of resort and tourist merchandise close to home, including: souvenirs, beach items, resort wear, T-shirts, general giftware, logo products, fashion accessories, shell items, coastal and nautical themed products, toys and games and much more. 

For more information, visit the show online or call.

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