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MARCH  2 0 1 3

T R A D E  S H O W  N E W S


AmericasMart® celebrated the visual presentation achievements of permanent and temporary exhibitors showing in its January 2013 Markets with awards recognizing superior designs across all product collections and categories. Adjudication during The Atlanta International Gift & Home Furnishings Market® and The Atlanta International Area Rug Market® yielded Visual Display Awards (VDAs) for 33 permanent showrooms and 20 temporary exhibits, including a Best of Show in the Temporaries. Independent design and visual merchandising experts, with decades of experience, selected the winners.

Dallas Market Center

Dallas Market Center recently announced that the Dallas Total Home & Gift Market in January had high energy and strong attendance with the largest number of new buyers in attendance since 2008, the biggest Dallas Temp Show in 10 years, and a successful launch of the Total Housewares & Gourmet Market. In addition, buyers experienced the convenience of the increased Wi-Fi on campus and the user-friendly, updated Dallas Market App.

“Dozens of new showrooms, coupled with a significant growth in our temporaries throughout the campus, delivered one of our strongest markets on record,” said Bill Winsor, president and CEO, Dallas Market Center. “It was a great way to start 2013. Retailers showed up in large numbers early and there was definitely a buzz through the final day of Market.”

George Little Management

The National Stationery Show® (NSS) and the Craft & Hobby Association (CHA) have announced a partnership that will provide new opportunities for the social stationery and craft and creative hobby industries, beginning with the May 19-22, 2013 National Stationery Show in New York City. The collaboration will take the form of co-located education and events, capitalizing on synergies between the two industries.

“A partnership between the National Stationery Show and the Craft & Hobby Association is a natural marriage given the retail and product synergies in both industry communities,” said Patti Stracher, GLM Vice President. “We anticipate growing the business and relationship-building opportunities on both coasts through this collaboration, beginning with expanded educational content and product offerings for retailers across the country.”

Additionally, among the exciting expansion plans for the 2013 National Stationery Show® (NSS) are three market-specific product pavilions for buyers seeking museum, seasonal and office products. Making their debut at the 67th annual NSS, May 19-22 in New York City,Museumix,SeasonalstyleandOfficeworks will offer buyers of these product categories distinctive areas on the show floor to source and buy the latest products.

Halloween & Party Expo

The Halloween & Party Expo celebrated its fifth anniversary at the start of 2013, strongly establishing itself as the Halloween, party supplies, and sexy costume industry’s premier wholesale marketplace. And, once again, it experienced year-over-year growth in terms of international attendees and booth count.

“This year was our fifth show, and even in a down economy and tough year for Halloween, we grew and exhibitors had excellent sales,” said Jonathan Erwin, one of the expo's organizers. “That’s a testament to our industry, particularly its resilience. We haven’t had a show during a year in which the economy was doing great; but our attendees and exhibitors aren’t letting that get in the way of doing business – and from what we have heard, the things that count the most, like sales and orders, were strong this year.”

Here is what a sampling of attendees said about the show:

“It’s one of the greatest venues. We love Houston. We love the buyers; they are very serious, but also fun. We have seen people from all over the world. We actually even saw someone from Antarctica. This is the global show for the industry.” – Exhibitor Robert Berman, Rasta Imposta

“Everyone we’ve talked to has been a legitimate buyer. It seems like everyone who comes by is prepared and ready to buy and has been really serious about buying. We've seen International buyers from Australia, England, Germany, we are networking all around the world. This is our first time here, and it’s definitely panned out.” – Exhibitor Morgan Dowtin, Scary Peeper

“This show has become the industry standard. This is the only show that we go to every year and it's been a success for us. The store has been doing great. Online sales have been great. We’ve seen over a dozen new products [that] we’re interested in.” – Buyer Scott Smiledge, Vampfangs

“We tripled the amount of money that we spent last year and we'll be back next year. There's a wide variety [of vendors] here. It's a very good show, well laid out, easy to find everybody, comfortable, good location, so it's super. We wouldn't go anywhere else for Halloween.” – Buyer Ben Baker, Imagination Toys and Shoes

“The show has been going fantastic. More serious buyers here versus other shows that we’ve attended. We weren’t expecting to take in that quantity of orders that we’ve taken. We’ve had a great show, so this is definitely the place to be.” – First-time Exhibitor David Levich, H2W

“2013 show has been good for us. Everyone that’s come in, they’re ready to write. I love Houston; the weather is nice. I’ve seen a ton of international buyers from Central America to Europe to Australia, and they’re serious about the show. I look forward to next year.” – Exhibitor Abe Geary, Pet Paint

“We’ve been swamped the entire time. There were times when people were lined up to see us. Overall we’ve been really, really pleased with what we’ve seen. We’ve had a great turnout from both the U.S. and our overseas customers. There are a lot of countries that weren't on our radar as potential major buyers until this show.”– Exhibitor Patrick Ward, Northstar Balloons

“This show has been very good. We’ve had a lot a lot of new customers. There are serious buyers. We’re very pleased with the number of orders, more this year than last year and last year was more than the year before, so for us it’s growing very well. The show has definitely expanded well in the International market. We have created new customers in at least six new countries. This has been better than we've ever seen. Houston is a nice central area, warmer than up north. However, we’ll do it wherever the show is. If the show moved from Houston to somewhere else, we'll do it.” – Exhibitor Douglas Drake, Wolfe Face Art & FX

“I can’t say enough about the Expo, basically our first day this year, in 2013, we did the same amount of sales as we did last year during our whole show here. We’ll be here again next year. The people are fantastic. If you want to vend and get your product into larger demographics, into better stores, this is the venue where you need to get your product out. If you want exposure, you want to get into companies, they’re here and they’re more than willing to give your product a chance. I’m living proof; I’ve taken a product that I’ve patented myself and now I’m worldwide and that’s due to the Halloween & Party Expo. Now I'm international and it’s all because of this show.” – Exhibitor Bob B. Conner, Pumpkin Teeth, the Original

“Sales have been up from last year. We’ve had meetings the whole entire time. The International attendance is up this year. This is THE show for the industry.” – Exhibitor Charlie Santilena, Charades

“The people that are here are ready to place orders. That’s the name of the game. I’m happy the folks that came are ready to do business. That’s really important.” – Exhibitor Steve Hayes, Silly String Products

“This show was better than last year, many big distributors and big companies are coming to visit us. I was visited by customers from Japan, Israel, Australia, Hong Kong and Russia, Houston is a very good place for them to come and visit me.” –Exhibitor Jesus Zarate, Conver USA

Urban Expositions

As the first edition under Urban Expositions management, the January 25-28, 2013 California Gift Show at the Los Angeles Convention Center generated overwhelmingly positive feedback from buyers and exhibitors alike. Reports of brisk business from exhibitors, combined with positive comments on the show’s expanded selection and services from returning and first-time buyers, worked together to create a positive buzz on the show floor.

“When we took ownership in August of 2012, we launched a significant rebuilding process and, as our marketing campaign said, ‘a fresh start’ for the California Gift Show,” said Doug Miller, president, Urban Expositions. “Based on the feedback we received on the tangible improvements people saw on the show floor and in our service offerings, I feel that we not only met but exceeded our goals and expectations for this first show. I know this momentum will continue to build and it puts us squarely on the path of revitalizing the trade show marketplace for retailers throughout southern California and the surrounding areas.”

On the product side, the January 2013 edition was nearly 30 percent larger than the summer 2012 edition. The selection included vendors who had decided to return to the show after a long absence and many first-time exhibitors. All companies were featured in the show’s well-established categories – Design LA, Handcrafted, Gifts, Personal Style, World Style, Jewelry Cash & Carry, Vintage and two brand new categories – Boardwalk and Outdoor Living.

“This was the best show in many years,” said Denise DeMont, Service Systems Associates, LA Zoo, Zoo Miami, Pretend City Children’s Museum, who noted the improved selection on the show floor.

“The California Gift Show seems to have something for everyone,” added Jose Sepulveda, director of retail, Evelyn Hill Inc, Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island Museum Stores. “The show offered plenty of diverse vendors, displaying wares from common gifts to very unique accent pieces. A good show for any retailer.”

“This year’s show had a wonderful layout with an exceptional product mix,” said Sean Bradley, Tabula Rasa.

In addition to product, retailers were able to take advantage of a full roster of new and improved buyer services. Among them, significant travel savings subsidized by Urban Expositions. To kick off the first show under its management, Urban offered free parking to pre-registered buyers at the Convention Center. Urban Expositions also bought down the rates of already discounted hotels to offer retailers unprecedented room rates in the downtown LA area. In addition, the show featured a significantly expanded buyer education program; goody bag giveaways; special product spotlights on handmade and eco-friendly products; a full range of exhibitor-sponsored show specials; a new “Launching Pad” product preview merchandise display in the lobby to help buyers plan their buying schedule, and more.

In addition, Urban Expositions also worked closely with management of the LA Mart to co-host “LA Gift & Home Market Week.” To maximize convenience for show attendees, the two venues honored each other’s admission badges, produced a joint show directory and provided continuous shuttle service between each location.

Word of the show changes and improvements attracted retailers from thorough Southern California, surrounding states and the nation, with the show experiencing a marked increase over the summer 2012 edition.

Exhibitors throughout the show noticed and commented on the traffic, business and quality of buyer they saw at the 2013 edition.

“We were impressed with the turnout of local and national accounts,” said Mark Reaves, EMI Sportswear. “We’re looking forward to seeing even stronger attendance growth for the summer show.”

“We were pleased with the high level of traffic and quality of attendees walking through the show,” added Jon Bruml, Techstyles. “Urban has created a terrific environment for both the attendees and exhibitors.”

A number of veteran exhibitors were delighted with the noticeable uptick in attendance on the show floor.

“I saw buyers I haven’t seen at the California Gift Show in years plus many new ones,” said Ann Maurice, Ann Maurice.

“I have been doing this show a long time and was amazed at attendance this year,” said Kathy Franz, Ethel & Myrtle. “I always come prepared but had to print out new purchase forms because of all the new accounts I saw.”

“After the Summer 2012 Show we vowed never to come back,” noted Natalie Vlasaty, Spokandy. “But after Urban Expositions took over the California Gift Show, we wanted to give it another try. This show has experienced a 180 degree turnaround. We are totally amazed at how fast the show has changed.”

The next edition of the California Gift Show is scheduled for July 19-22, 2013.

M & M Gift Shows




  • IGES/SSS Flagship Location! (Sevierville)
  • Record number of NEW products! (PF & Sevierville)
  • Opening Day Cash Prizes & Free Gift Bags! (PF & Sevierville)
  • Closest Exhibit Facility to Knoxville Airport! (Sevierville)
  • Free Buyer Shuttles from/to airport! (PF & Sevierville)
  • Free/Grand Opening “Fun” Buyer Shuttles! (PF & Sevierville)
  • Unlimited Free Parking! (PF & Sevierville)
  • Convenient Lodging! (PF & Sevierville)
In Sevierville, the Wilderness Hotel, attached to the Convention Center, offers convenient lodging, restaurants and bar service.



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