Click here to read samples from our February 2018 issue



Table of Contents
News Briefs
Trade Show News


Show Calendar


SGN Newsletter


Click here to see our complete list of sponsors!

'Wholesale Fashion Jewelry by Cool Jewels

YooHoo&Friends by Aurora




Jan 2018


Nov/Dec 2017
October 2017
Aug/Sept 2017
June/July 2017
May 2017
March/April 2017
February 2017
Januray 2017


Nov/Dec 2016
October 2016
Aug/Sept 2016
June/July 2016
May 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016

May  2 0 1 4

T R A D E  S H O W  N E W S


AmericasMart Atlanta

Jeffrey L. Portman Sr., Named AMC, Inc. Vice Chairman

The AMC, Inc. Board of Directors announced early this year that Jeffrey L. Portman Sr., has been selected to serve as vice chairman of the corporation. Portman has served as president and chief operating officer of Atlanta-based AMC, Inc. for the past 13 years, which has been a period of spectacular growth and success for the corporation, and he will continue to serve in these capacities in addition to his new responsibilities. 

AMC, Inc. is the world’s largest trade mart/trade show organization and parent company of AmericasMart Atlanta, the nation’s largest wholesale home, gift and apparel marketplace.  Portman’s AMC tenure dates to the mid-1960s, when he was first employed on the loading dock of what was then the Atlanta Merchandise Mart.

His professional career spans more than 35 years in commercial real estate development and management, including his leadership of the Atlanta Decorative Arts Center (ADAC) as general manager from June 1986 through July 1994, at which time he was appointed Executive Vice President of AMC, Inc.  His election as AMC president and chief operating officer followed in February 2001.

Portman subsequently has led AMC, Inc. and AmericasMart Atlanta through a period of growth unprecedented in the companies’ 54-year history, commencing with the rebranding of the former Atlanta Market Center as AmericasMart Atlanta in 1996, and continuing with expansion of its U.S. market share and global business base.

Under his presidency and leadership, AmericasMart Atlanta and LIGHTFAIR International, for which AMC serves as managing partner, have been named to the “Trade Show Executive“ magazine coveted Gold 100 listing of the world’s largest and most important trade shows.  AmericasMart’s January and July Markets additionally have been named to the “Trade Show News Network” Top-250 listing of the largest U.S. shows, ranking 3rd and 5th, respectively, in consecutive years.

A native Atlantan, Portman is consistently named among the Top 100 most influential people in the U.S. home furnishings industry, and comments regularly in national and international home, gift and apparel trade media.  Portman was named Atlanta Citizen of the Year by the Atlanta Police Foundation, with Mayor Shirley Franklin bestowing the honor.  He serves on the Executive Committee of the Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau and on the Board of The Lovett School, his alma mater.

Portman did undergraduate work at Mercer University.  He received a Bachelor of Arts in English from Georgia State University and holds an executive Master of Business Administration from Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass.

Surf Expo

Nikki Houston Duroe Joins Surf Expo Sales Team

Surf Expo, the global watersports and beach lifestyle tradeshow, is pleased to announce the return of industry veteran Nikki Houston Duroe to the sales team. Houston Duroe will oversee the sales of Surf Expo’s Swim, Lifestyle, Boutique and Footwear categories.

“I am thrilled to rejoin the Surf Expo team. The industry and culture is an enormous part of who I am, and to have the opportunity to be a part of the stellar Surf Expo team twice in my career is a dream come true,” Houston Duroe said.

Houston Duroe managed Surf Expo’s boardsport categories including surf, skate, wake, wind and kite over a nine-year period of unprecedented growth. In 2008 she joined the Imprinted Sportswear Shows as Group Show Director for their seven annual shows. Most recently, she was the Digital and Sponsorship Sales Manager for NY NOW™, SURTEX®, signature mix™ marketplace and the International Contemporary Furniture Fair®.

“We are honored to have Nikki return to Surf Expo. Her extensive experience in the industry and knowledge of Surf Expo will be an asset in amplifying our categories. We could not be happier!” said Roy Turner, Surf Expo’s show director.

ToyFest West

The 2014 ToyFest West let it ride in Las Vegas at the South Point Hotel, Casino & Spa. Building on the enthusiasm for the new locale, this year’s show was a win-win in all the categories – attendance, number of products, vendors being shown and ultimately, the number of dollars being written at the show.

Sandy Lepire, one of the two principals of California-based rep group Sunshine Sales, reported that her group had one of the best shows they have had in a long time. All of the lines were written, and reps were successful in sharing new products, as well as lines recently picked up in New York. “There was a significant increase in sales this year. It was a great show to celebrate 20 years in the business,” Lepire said. Regular show attendee Colleen Hendon, owner of the Learning Express Toys of Roseville, Calif., noted the importance of a rep-based show for her own business.

“ToyFest West is my favorite show of the year!  Not only is it affordable, it’s so awesome to meet with my reps.  We walk their lines, touch, see and play with so much product that catalog shots simply don’t represent!  One of my favorite aspects of ToyFest is meeting the vendors and reminding them how important our reps are to our success.  They meet with us throughout the year, support us in so many ways and care about our success on a local level!”

 ToyFest West 2015 dates have been set for March 8-11 at the South Point Hotel and Spa. For more information, please visit

Urban Expositions and Development

Urban Expositions and Snapretail Partner to Provide Retail Marketing Boot Camp

Urban Expositions, a leading producer of gift, souvenir and airport concessions trade shows in the United States, and SnapRetail, a leading provider of marketing automation software for independent retailers, have teamed to provide a series of educational seminars with exclusive content for Urban Exposition trade show attendees.

SnapRetail will provide a free retail marketing boot camp consisting of a series of seminars on the latest trends in social media, email marketing and other topics relevant to independent retailers during many of Urban Expositions’ gift and souvenir trade shows throughout the remainder of 2014. Locations include Philadelphia, Seattle, San Francisco, Orlando, Las Vegas and Los Angeles.

The first Retail Marketing Bootcamp will be held at the California Gift Show in July 2014. For a complete schedule, please visit

Urban Expositions Announces Executive Team Restructuring, Management Promotions

As the next phase in its long-term growth strategy, Urban Expositions has announced new roles and responsibilities for a number of its executive and management gift show team members. 

“As we continue to grow, expand and diversify our trade show portfolio, we want to ensure that we continue to uphold the customer service levels and attention to detail that both exhibitors and attendees have come to expect from being part of our events,” said Doug Miller, president, Urban Expositions.  “By expanding the roles and responsibilities of our talented, experienced team members, we have no doubt we will meet and exceed this goal.”

Effective immediately, new positions, roles and responsibilities include:

Donna Guess has been appointed to the newly created position of Vice President of Operations. 

Dirk von Gal has been promoted to the new position of Industry Vice President of Gift.

Leanna John has been promoted to the new position of Group Show Director of Urban Expositions California-based trade events.

Matt Miller will take on the position of sales manager for the Las Vegas Souvenir & Resort Gift Show, a national souvenir show for the souvenir and resort gift industry in Las Vegas, Nev.

Evan Shoda has been appointed to the West Coast sales team as sales manager for the semi-annual editions of the California Gift Show and San Francisco International Gift Fair.

Subscribe | Advertise | Editorial Schedule | Newsletter | Feedback | About
Table of Contents | Commentary | Show Calendar