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FEBRUARY  2 0 1 2

T R A D E  S H O W  N E W S

The International Gift Exposition in the Smokies®/Souvenir Super Show® (IGES/SSS)

IGES/SSS Names Heather Hoffman New Show Director

After six years as a primary part of the sales force with M&M Gift Shows, Heather Hoffman welcomed 2012 with a new, well-earned position and title of Show Director of the International Gift Exposition in the Smokies®/Souvenir Super Show® (IGES/SSS).

Heather Hoffman

Hoffman earned her position with her willingness to go above and beyond and her extreme loyalty and dedication to IGES. Her countless hours in the office, on the road and spent with clients have paid off as Heather is very excited about becoming show director.

“Heather has always shown a thousand percent dedication to the growth and success of the International Gift Exposition in the Smokies and the Souvenir Super Show. She brings with her a background in commercial design and graphics, accounting, group leadership, organizational skills and business management. She has shown unlimited energy and creativity in her former position as sales executive and we are looking forward to continued growth and success with Heather taking over her new position as show director,” said Susan Mills, show owner.

“Heather’s positive energy and daily smile are as addicting as my morning cup of coffee. She constantly offers new ideas and has truly earned this new position. I couldn’t be more proud of her,” said Tiffany Tysiak, Hoffman’s sister and co-worker.

Hoffman will remain an integral part of the sales team and will continue to spend time working with clients. “I enjoy sales, but I love my clients, they are the reason I love coming to work each day,” Hoffman said. “I look forward to the new challenges and responsibilities of the show director position. I have such passion for the IGES show and have been truly blessed to be part of the growth it has achieved.”

“We are all extremely proud of Heather and the part she has had in our success. Congratulations on a job well done, Heather, and a title well earned,” Mills said.

IGES/SSS started in Pigeon Forge in 2000 and moved into progressively larger private facilities in Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg before consolidating in 2007 in the Sevierville Events Center. Organizers label it the largest wholesale souvenir, resort and gift expo in the United States.

“We can hardly wait for 2013 because we will add the LeConte Center at Pigeon Forge to our Sevierville operation, almost double our show and use more than 100,000 square feet of exhibition space in each building,” said Jerry Mayer and Susan Mills, co-owners of M&M Expositions LLC, which conducts IGES/SSS.

The primary feature of the LeConte Center at Pigeon Forge is a 100,000-square-foot, clear-span exhibit hall. It also will have a 12,000-square-foot multi-purpose hall, a variety of multi-purpose meeting rooms that can be configured into various sizes, a catering kitchen, food and beverage locations and pre-function space.

It is designed to attract trade shows, competitive events and assemblies such as church-organized youth rallies.

Urban Expositions

Saturday Opening, Expanded Selection and Buyer Services Headline March 2012 Boston Gift Show

As New England’s largest, most important gift show, the Boston Gift Show returns March 24-27, 2012 with a Saturday opening, expanded selection and full roster of programs and services for buyers. Shifting from its recent Sunday opening pattern to a Saturday start at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center, the 2012 edition offers New England retailers an opportunity to explore the best mix of products and services in a convenient, relaxed and cost-effective environment.

Among the highlights for the March 2012 Boston Gift Show:

    • Expanded Selection. The well-established Boston Gift Show already offers a wide and diverse product selection conveniently categorized into the Gifts, Etc., Souvenir Source, Handcrafted and Made in New England sections. Among the initiatives for March 2012, Urban Expositions is working to expand the show’s overall selection, with special emphasis on the Souvenir and Made in New England sections.
    • Goody Bag Giveaway. The first 100 buyers to arrive at the show on Saturday, March 24 and Sunday, March 25, will receive a special tote bag filled with product from many of the show’s exhibitors.
    • Free Freight Monday. Many exhibitors will be offering free freight on orders placed on Monday, March 26 only. A complete list of exhibitors will be available at the show registration desk.
    • Parking Rebate. Boston Gift Show buyers will be reimbursed up to $5 for their parking fee. Buyers will need to present their show badge and parking receipt at the special rebate desk located inside the exhibit hall.
    • Free Buyer Services and Amenities. Boston Gift Show buyers are invited to enjoy free continental breakfast and complimentary refreshments each day in the buyers’ lounge. In addition, they will also benefit from an expanded buyer educational program featuring a number of free seminars throughout the show. Programs will include: Guerilla Marketing: Free and Low-Cost Marketing Ideas to Drive More Traffic & Sales; Making More Money: Managing For Exceptional Cash Flow; and Driving Growth: Rebuilding Sales in a Low-Growth Environment.

Urban Expositions Acquires the Portland Gift & Accessories Show, Cash & Carry Trade Shows from Western Exhibitors

Urban Expositions has acquired the Portland Gift & Accessories Show, San Francisco Cash & Carry Show, Seattle Cash & Carry Show and Portland Cash & Carry Show from Western Exhibitors. The latest acquisitions are part of the continued western region growth strategy for Atlanta-based Urban Expositions, which purchased the San Francisco International Gift Fair and Seattle Gift Show from dmg world media in 2009 and launched the Las Vegas Souvenir & Resort Gift Show in 2007. 

As part of the seamless transition plan, Kelly McLoughlin, long-time manager for all four shows under Western Exhibitors’ management, now  joins Urban Expositions in the same role.

“With their product and target customer profiles, we felt these shows offered a great opportunity not only to strengthen our presence in the region, but to tap into cross-marketing strategies to further build and grow all of the events we now manage out west,” said Doug Miller, president, Urban Expositions. “We look forward to building upon the quality customer service, friendly show atmosphere and long-term business relationship traits that Western is known for as we take over the reins for these shows.”

“Urban’s hands-on management style and show service philosophy mirror ours, so we felt they were the ideal company to take these events forward,” said Wendy Tonkin, president, Western Exhibitors. “We look forward to working with them to ensure a quick and easy management transition.”

Held annually at the Oregon Convention Center, the next Portland Gift & Accessories Show is scheduled for March 3-5, 2012.  The three cash and carry shows are also annual events featuring a host of gifts and collectibles. Upcoming dates for these shows are: Portland Cash & Carry Show, October 12-14, 2012, at the Oregon Convention Center, Portland, Ore.; Seattle Cash & Carry Show, October 19-21, 2012, at the Washington State Convention Center, Seattle, Wash.; and the San Francisco Cash & Carry Show, October 26-28, 2012, Concourse Exhibition Hall, San Francisco, Calif.

Surf Expo Hosts Largest Event in Seven Years

Surf, Skate and Beach Lifestyle Brands Note Busy Days and Renewed Energy in the Market

Retailers are returning to business and brands are filling orders following Surf Expo’s largest event since 2005. More than 14,000 retailers, exhibitors and media from around the globe traveled to Orlando, Fla., for Surf Expo, the global boardsports and beach lifestyle trade show. The event took place January 12-14 and offered buyers a chance to preview summer and fall 2012 lines and write orders with more than 2,500 brands. All 240,000 square feet of Surf Expo’s floor space was accounted for during the sold-out show, as brands continued to search for more room right up to the last minute.

“Our show was bursting at the seams with exhibitors and buyers – all in a positive mood and doing business on the floor,” said Roy Turner, show director for Surf Expo. “From the minute we opened the doors until the show closing, there was an energy that I haven’t seen in years. The positive vibe at Surf Expo shows an industry headed in the right direction as it continues to rebound after the recession.”

Orlando continued to prove itself convenient to buyers from across the United States, the Caribbean, Canada, Latin America and Europe. Additionally, a variety of high-energy events took place around the show and in the evenings.

Urban Exposition’s Portland Gift & Accessories Show Is Scheduled for March 3-5

Now owned and managed by Urban Expositions, the Portland Gift & Accessories Show will return to the Oregon Convention Center March 3-5, 2012 with an earlier spring date pattern offering retailers the ideal opportunity to get a jump start on the busy Easter, Mother’s Day and summer buying seasons. The latest acquisition is part of the continued western region growth strategy for the Atlanta-based company, Urban Expositions, which purchased the Portland Gift & Accessories Show from Western Exhibitors in late 2011.

“We look forward to building upon the selection and services of this popular event, while holding true to the customer friendly, boutique feel buyers have come to expect in Portland,” said Doug Miller, president, Urban Expositions. 

     Show highlights include an expanded product selection, a free seminar program, a buyer reception, discounted hotel rates, a buyer parking rebate, show specials and more. The location of the show is the Oregon Convention Center, 777 NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Portland, OR 97232.

Show hours are Saturday, March 3 - Sunday, March 4, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday, March 5 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Urban Expositions is the largest gift and souvenir trade show organizer in the United States, hosting a total of 21 shows each year.

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