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March  2 0 1 4

T R A D E  S H O W  N E W S

Asia America Wholesale Show

The ASIA AMERICA Wholesale Show, presently in its fifth year, is scheduled for April 8-10 at the Miami Beach Convention Center. This B2B wholesale multi-product trade show is now being held in both spring and fall, and attracts buyers from 43 countries, including the Caribbean, Central and South America, and the United States. More than 6,000 buyers are expected in April, shopping among a huge selection of products from Asia, the Americas, and the world. 

For the first time, the ASIA AMERICA Wholesale Show is targeting summer buyers. “This is a new market that hasn’t been tapped, and we received many requests from our exhibitors to expand into two shows. Many companies are exhibiting with us at both the spring and fall shows, looking for buyers of both summer and winter merchandise,” said Michael Finocchiario, president of the ASIA AMERICA Wholesale Show. “We are growing very fast, and we expect more than 100 exhibitors at the April show.” Sellers can take advantage of a new generation of buyers coming out of South America, he said. “They are young, vibrant and in tune with technology, and want to buy products to expand their market. Sellers will find new buyers, and buyers will find new products at the April ASIA AMERICA Wholesale Show.” 

The ASIA AMERICA Wholesale Show is extremely diversified, and buyers will find products from China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, India, Korea, Japan, Pakistan, Mongolia, Vietnam, Nepal, Singapore, Thailand, the United States and more. The show provides the opportunity to review a huge assortment of general merchandise, apparel, consumer electronics, cellular, souvenirs and gifts, housewares, toys, holiday and seasonal, health and beauty, hardware and tools, novelties and more, in one convenient location in the South Beach neighborhood of Miami. The show delivers a range of high, medium and value products. “As a result, buyers come to Miami to purchase not just one product, but to fill their stores with many new and innovative products,” Finocchiario said.

“Each of our shows is expanding, and focusing on new and hot products and categories,” Finocchiario said. “The Caribbean, South America and South Florida are carnival countries, and there is always some type of festival going on. We are targeting the Halloween, party and carnival wholesaler or manufacturer who wants to expand in markets that are continually in party mode. Exhibitors will have costumes and masks that people buy all year long.” The ASIA AMERICA Wholesale Show is also expanding in apparel. “Swimwear, sportswear and children’s wear are big in South America. Electronics is another area we are developing, and we have more buyers coming to get electronic, cellular and communication products.” The show is also expanding in souvenirs and gifts. “Miami is the souvenir capital of the world, and it and the Caribbean Islands bring in tourists from all over. We are also targeting off-price, liquidations and closeouts exhibitors. Buyers are looking for great deals, and these suppliers typically offer lower than usual product prices. We continue to be strong in general merchandise as well. One thing is for certain: buyers who attend the ASIA AMERICA Trade Show will find everything they need at the best prices. The Asia America Wholesale Show is fast becoming the Vegas of the South.”

Buyers may register for the show for free at Exhibitors planning to attend the show can contact ASIA AMERICA for required booth sizes, and show personnel will recommend the best available spaces. Discounts for exhibitors are available through to March 21, 2014. For more information, contact ASIA AMERICA Wholesale Show, 305 262 3200, Fax 305-403-3029, Email or visit

Meet BeeBop Books Author at The Boston Gift Show

Debbie Reece

Meet BeeBop Books author Debbie Reece at The Boston Gift Show March 23 -26 Booth 708. Reece promotes the gift of reading with her illustrated children’s book, “The Christmas Pumpkin.” A United States-made product, the book provides opportunities for storytelling and craft activities October through December in retail locations.    

The Sports Licensing and Tailgate Show

The 2014 Sports Licensing and Tailgate Show, a premier event for brand owners, licensors, licensees and retailers in the world of sports merchandise and licensed products, exceeded expectations on attendance growth, show organizers said. 

“We are really pleased with the overall success of this year’s show,” said Liz Crawford, show director. “Our focus on the core business of gathering the top retailers, licensors and licensees in the world of sports licensed products is the reason that this show continues to show steady growth year over year. The addition of a well-executed attendee outreach program with quality seminars and content shows our commitment to delivering value to our exhibitors and attendees.” 

The event, held annually in Las Vegas, is the only show of its kind dedicated to the sports licensed market. Over 340 exhibitors featured professional and collegiate sports licensed products including apparel, footwear, accessories, sporting goods products, retail solutions and sports merchandise. Organizations like the National Basketball Association, National Hockey League, NFL Players Inc., FIFA, The Collegiate Licensing Company, CLPA/Licensing Resource Group and more, were on hand to assist manufacturers and retailers navigate the licensing process. 

Buyers from around the world came to locate product for their shops, including retail Internet giant Fanatics. Fanatics General Merchandise Manager John Sabo indicated, in a standing-room-only Friday morning retailer focused session, that he brought a majority of their buyers to the show to spend their time visiting every exhibitor to evaluate product and execute deals. Collegiate buyers from major universities, as well as buyers from Academy Sports & Outdoors, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Pro Image Sports, Wal-Mart, Target, HSN, Sports Authority, Costco,, Lids, Big 5 Sporting Goods, Bed, Bath & Beyond, Sport Chalet, TJX Companies and Kohl’s were also in attendance. 

Exhibitors and buyers alike indicated that the show helped them meet their strategic and business goals: 

“We are a brand new company, launched just under a year ago and this is our first time at the show,” said Cristin McGuinn of Row|One Brands. “We have met with truly qualified buyers and booked orders for our ’iconic silhouette’ collegiate logoed shoes. Feedback and reception for our product has been very positive. We are excited to come back next year.” 

Chelsea Cawood representing From the Heart Enterprises selling college fashion jewelry said, “It’s the right market—the buyers are looking for sports licensed product for their shops. It is a good marriage and a great business opportunity for exhibitors and attendees.” 

TY Inc.’s Anne Hogan said, “The show has been a very positive experience for us. It was our second year to attend and the show has opened up different distribution channels for our products.” 

“The show is always exciting, with new exhibitors and new products to see. This is our fourth year at the show and we are already looking forward to our fifth.” said Dusty Fiscus, buyer from Pro Image Sports. 

The Sports Licensing and Tailgate Show will be back in Las Vegas next year, January 14-16, 2015.

Surf Expo

Emerald Expositions, LLC, recently announced plans to co-locate the Imprinted Sportswear Show Orlando (“ISS”) with the summer edition of Surf Expo, September 4-6, 2014, at the Orange County Convention Center, in Orlando, Fla.  This move marks Emerald Expositions’ first strategic initiative since acquiring the GLM portfolio, including Surf Expo, in January 2014.

“Providing new and enhanced ways to bring more value to our customer base is a priority for Emerald Expositions,” said CEO David Loechner. “The acquisition of GLM has expanded the scope of our resources to identify and develop targeted cross-marketing initiatives for our exhibitors and attendees that speak to specific market needs. This co-location is one such example.”  

Surf Expo, held semi-annually each January and September in Orlando, Fla., is the largest and longest-running boardsports and beach/resort lifestyle tradeshow in the world. Last September’s Surf Expo attracted the largest attendance in the show’s 38-year history, and again drew very strong attendance at the January Surf Expo last month.

Roy Turner, show director, said, “We are excited to be co-locating with ISS this September. For years, T-shirts have been a mainstay in the product offerings of our exhibitors and attendees. From souvenir and resort to boardsports, imprinted sportswear has been and continues to be the backbone of brand identity.”

For more than 30 years, Imprinted Sportswear Shows (ISS) has been the place to see the latest technologies, hottest trends and newest products in the decorated apparel industry. The ISS Orlando 2014 show was originally scheduled to be held April 3-5. However, when the opportunity presented itself to expose ISS Orlando exhibitors and attendees to an incremental and well-qualified audience of nearly 25,000 by co-locating with Surf Expo, the decision was made.

“We are very excited to bring ISS Orlando and Surf Expo together this year for the first time.  There has always been a great synergy between our groups with crossover within the resort wear and gift sections of our shows.  From beach transfers on T-shirts to sublimated designs on surfboards, you will be able to see everything on display with this collaboration between ISS and Surf Expo,” said Jeff Brown, ISS Show Director.

Surf Expo and ISS Orlando are also pleased to announce that show badges will allow attendees entrance to both show floors with no additional cost.  “Being able to offer the full production cycle to Surf Expo customers is a big win for us; from art, to production, to finished product, our buyers and exhibitors will benefit from the additional resources that ISS supplies,” Roy Turner said.

Regarding the January 2014 edition of the show, Surf Expo again drew strong attendance from 47 United States states and 49 countries in Orlando, Fla.

“With more exhibitor booths, and more first-time buyers and stores in attendance, the result was a vibrant marketplace.  We always strive to bring together a quality mix of exhibitors and buyers, and the feedback confirms that we achieved this goal. We are pleased that we continue to be a show known for generating business,” Turner said.

“We wrote paper for SUPs, surfboards, fins, bodyboards, skimboards, plus all kinds of accessories,” said Kim Ball, Owner of Hi-Tech Surf Sports in Maui. “Our girls were booked with clothing, footwear, sunglass and swimwear appointments all three days, picking up some new lines. We even picked four-five new lines on the resort side.”

Among the more than 2,500 booths, there were more than 230 first time exhibitors at Surf Expo, an increase of 6 percent from the January 2013 show.  Clayton Pequignot, owner of Waveflo and first time exhibitor, said, “We accomplished all objectives and then some, so the show was a smashing success from our perspective.”

“The show was great and I found quite a few new gift and juniors clothing lines and left paper with them all. I’m excited to get some lines that are not the usual things one would see in Santa Barbara,” said Kim Lipp, buyer, Surf N Wear’s Beach House in Santa Barbara, Calif.

“We indeed had a productive show. We got to choose and see new lines of products as well as known and new suppliers,” said Flavia da Silva, general manager, Shipwreck Shops, St. Martin.

Eli Marmar, founding partner of Freewaters Footwear, said, “As a startup, Surf Expo is a great place to be to do business with people you already do business with and to get exposure to a whole new segment.”

The show featured over a quarter million square feet of exhibit space as well as a packed SUP Demo Pool, SUP Yoga Mat, Skate Park and runway fashion shows.

Shawn Swanson, Wellen’s director of sales, said, “I think one of the biggest benefits of Surf Expo is that everyone is here to do business.” 

Highlights from Surf Expo:

• The Endless Summer’s 50th Anniversary celebration kicked off on Thursday night with over 1,000 people attending an exclusive screening and commentary with director Bruce Brown, and stars Robert August and Mike Hynson hosted by The Endless Summer II star, Robert “Wingnut” Weaver.

• The East Coast Surfing Hall of Fame recognized nine men and women who have contributed to the development, growth, culture and lifestyle of surfing on the East Coast and saw a record turnout event on Friday night. 

• Jim Dunlop of Mystic Surfboards won the 7th Annual Florida Shape Off.

• Volcom’s Wild In The Parks kicked off at Surf Expo. Hundreds of contestants competed in three divisions to win cash and prizes. Team Pain Skate Parks constructed the park.

• Surf Expo exhibitors teamed up with Make-A-Wish Foundation to make a local Florida boy’s dream of becoming a surfer a reality. The boy and his family spent a memorable day at Surf Expo including meeting with Rusty’s founder, Rusty Preisendorfer to be fitted for a custom surfboard. Many exhibitors made donations as well, including beachTuff, Salt Life, Body Glove, Dakine, Globe, Smith Optics and Surf Bandz.

• Surf Expo’s summer show will kick off with Board Demo Day on September 3 and Surf Expo on Thursday September 4 through Saturday, September 6, 2014, in Orlando Fla.

2014 ToyFest West

As the 2014 ToyFest West show draws near, exhibitors are planning for their booths, attendees continue to make travel arrangements and the WTHRA board is preparing to honor this year’s Hall of Fame Inductees.  The annual Opening Night Gala to be held on March 9 will be a special evening in which buyers, exhibitors and other industry parties come together to celebrate the accomplishments of some of the industry’s most successful leaders.

WTHRA is pleased to announce its 2014 Hall of Fame Inductees and Retailer of the Year as follows:

The Hall of Fame Inductees are: Mario DiPasquale, director of sales, Play Visions; Mark Luhn, owner, Jeffrey’s Toys; and Lawrence Nissen, national sales and marketing manager, Small World Toys. The Retailer of The Year is Bernice Baird-Browning, owner, Small Wonders.

ToyFest West, formerly known as the Western States Toy & Hobby Show, is the country’s oldest regional toy trade show, spanning over 40 years.  The show offers a playground of buying activity, where attendees gather in a familiar, relaxed and friendly environment. 

Urban Expositions & Development

Positive feedback from attendees and exhibitors alike participating in the debut edition of the January 2014 Windy City Gift Show point to the new event’s potential to reestablish the Chicagoland area as a viable trade center for the region. Held January 18-21, 2014 at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, Ill., the show’s substantial exhibitor base, including destination manufacturers and leading regional sales agencies, many who no longer had a physical presence in Chicago, attracted retailers from throughout the Midwest region who came to explore their offerings and the show’s cost-effective location and services.

“The January edition has laid a strong foundation, giving the industry a glimpse into the tremendous promise the Rosemont location offers as a cost-effective, convenient trade show location for the region’s retailers,” said Doug Miller, president, Urban Expositions. “Our goal is to fill a void in the marketplace, bringing a strong product selection together with a full range of buyer services, in a location that offers convenient access, quality hotels, affordable prices and an excellent convention facility. I think we’re off to a strong start.”

Attending retailers agreed. “Travel to the show is inexpensive with hotels, restaurants and entertainment all in walking distance from the convention center. We’re already making our plans to come back in July! It’s exciting to be part of a fresh, new show that will continue to grow,” said Kimberly Ann Horgan, Pharmacy Care, Middleville, Mich.

Deloris Rogers, Wooden Gate Antiques and Gifts, Illiopolis, Ill., added, “After shopping the debut edition, we are here to stay!”

Urban Expositions kicked off the show on Saturday morning, January 18, with a special ribbon-cutting ceremony and complimentary breakfast for attending retailers. From there, retailers had the chance to explore the latest designs and best sellers on a show floor categorized into four sectors: Gifts, Handcrafted, Live In Style and Treasures To Go.  

“It was delightful shopping a show where the vendors were personable and eager to speak with me about their product,” said Robyn Kettler, Checkered Cottage, Kirkwood, Mo. “The aisles were easy to maneuver through, which made for a wonderful shopping experience.”

Many exhibitors were also pleased with the results and new business they received from the debut edition. “We could not have been more excited for a fresh, new start in the Midwest marketplace,” said Angela Parro, Select Marketing.

“The debut edition has been quite successful for us,” said Carol Davis, CEO, Fireside Coffee Co. “We saw top-quality buyers and secured some large accounts. We also plan on following up with a number of leads we received at the show.”

In addition to shopping the show floor, attendees had the opportunity to take advantage of a full roster of buyer services and programs. Among them, money-saving hotel rates starting as low as $79/night, afternoon refreshments served daily, parking rebates and a special “show your badge” promotion offering discounts at many restaurants in the popular Rosemont entertainment district and more. 

The January show featured a full educational line-up with presentations covering a wide range of topics, including social media marketing tactics, branding strategies, visual merchandising techniques and other business growth strategies. 

The next edition of the Windy City Gift Show is scheduled for July 26-29, 2014. 

Paperworld China

Four Special Product Zones Meet New Market Demands

The 10th edition of Paperworld China, China’s leading international trade fair for the stationery and office supplies industry, has signed several big brand names such as Liberty, M&G, Stick N’ and Teibow and a Taiwanese pavilion for the show, which will be held from September 18-20, 2014, at the Shanghai New International Expo Centre, Shanghai, China. The event is organized by Messe Frankfurt (Shanghai) Co. Ltd., the China Chamber of Commerce for I/E of Light Industrial Products & Arts-crafts and Guangzhou Foreign Trade South China Exhibition Corp Ltd.

Scheduled for mid-September, Paperworld China is expected to attract 25,000 visitors from around the world

Paperworld China is expected to attract 25,000 visitors from around the world and 550 suppliers from different countries and regions such as China, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Switzerland, Taiwan and the United States, to showcase their latest products.

Four Special Product Zones Meet New Market Demands

As China’s domestic consumption and consumer behavior are changing due to a growing economy, this is creating a demand for different types of products. As a result, Paperworld China 2014 will feature four zones called Creative Product Zone, Oriental Culture, Zone of Elite and DIY Studio.

The new Creative Product Zone will offer the latest unique desktop items, as well as trendy and creative stationery and office products as more Chinese consumers want products that express their individuality. In particular, overseas brand names with innovative designs are gaining local market share.

Due to popular demand, the Oriental Culture area, Zone of Elite and the DIY Studio will return to Paperworld China 2014.

A larger exhibition area and an expanded product category range for Oriental Culture will feature Southeast Asian companies from China, India, Japan and Thailand displaying their traditional fine crafts, calligraphy and paintings. In addition, the Zone of Elite will showcase quality high-end brands from local and international suppliers, while the DIY Studio exhibitors will present creative “do-it-yourself” and handicraft items.

As well as the four special product zones, visitors will be able to view a wide range of exhibits at Paperworld China: office supplies, office technology, paper and printing products, printer and IT accessories and consumables, writing instruments, school supplies, artist supplies and gift articles.

This year’s Paperworld China will be held concurrently with Interior Lifestyle China, the trade fair for lifestyle and household products and accessories. Holding the two shows at the same venue offers buyers a larger range of products to choose from.

For more information about the show, please visit, or send an email to

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