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Janaury  2 0 1 4

T R A D E  S H O W  N E W S


The industry’s leading gift and home furnishings market is bigger and better than ever with an impressive collection of temporary exhibitors presenting on-trend and in-demand product. From Thursday, January 9 through Monday, January 13, 2014, top lines from across the home and gift spectrum will fill AmericasMart’s 11-floor Temporary collection at The Atlanta International Gift & Home Furnishing Market®.

“Once buyers experience AmericasMart’s temporaries, they will understand why Atlanta is acknowledged worldwide for offering the most expansive and most innovative products and collections found anywhere,” said Jo Ann Miller Marshall, AmericasMart executive vice president of Tradeshows. “Our team travels the globe seeking out the newest and most unique products for our buyers. This, combined with other campus-wide innovations, will ensure that buyers have an amazing experience in Atlanta.”

The January 2014 Market features a new Thursday-to-Monday date pattern for its Temporary exhibitors, intended to better match retailers’ buying patterns. Buyers also will enjoy free Wi-Fi coverage as they explore the Market’s 37 Temporary categories, located throughout AmericasMart’s campus.

New and notable at the market are the LUXE juried collections, which will all showcase high quality luxury goods. January 2014 is the first time all are in place for the Market. The diversity of the gift industry is showcased in the General Gift category, with a spectrum of goods ranging from personal technology products to collectibles, games and hobby items.

Additional market information including a complete list of Temporary Exhibitors is available online at .

Asia America Trade Show

Miami’s major wholesale show, Asia America, is now in its fifth year of showcasing products from Asia, The Americas and worldwide. The event targets multi-product buyers from 43 countries and is strong in the Southeast United States. Now with two shows a year, over 8,000 buyers from The Caribbean, South and Central America and the United States and hundreds of exhibitors take advantage of this market. Both the spring and the fall shows are held at the Miami Beach Convention Center. The Spring Show is scheduled for April 8-10 in Hall B and the Fall Show will be held September 8-10 in Hall A.

Chicago Gift Market at the Merchandise Mart

The nation’s longest-running gift show, the Chicago Gift Market, just got better and is thrilled to welcome buyers and exhibitors to Chicago in January. The Chicago Gift Market’s offer for free parking for the first 2,500 buyers, discounted Megabus and Amtrak tickets and affordable hotel rooms as low as $98 a night make it easier than ever to visit Chicago.

The Merchandise Mart offers a world-class background for the show with both a temporary exhibits show floor and a floor of permanent showrooms. The trade show floor has been re-merchandised to make it easier to shop while still offering an extraordinary lineup of new and established vendors including Gourmet and Entertaining, Handcrafted, Design Centric, Emerging Artist, Fashion and Gift sections. The Chicago Gift Market continues to be a large Handcrafted show in the Midwest and has a growing gourmet section. In the Design Centric area, lines such as Marc Blackwell and Julia Knight are again exhibiting to offer buyers a luxury brand selection. Debra Egli, Buyer Relations Manager, noted, “The Chicago Gift Market is a great resource for long-term, returning buyers as well as new buyers all looking to set themselves apart. We have a unique and different offering that they will not see everywhere else.”

In order to offer the Chicago Gift Market attendees a comprehensive market experience, the Merchandise Mart will also be hosting a series of events to educate, entertain and inform the retail buyers in addition to Buyer’s Breaks from brands such as Tea Forte, Kind Bar and Pretzel Crisps.

The Chicago Gift Market hosted a successful Fall Market September 17-19 at the iconic Merchandise Mart. The permanent showrooms on the 13th floor opened their doors to a double digit increase of gift buyers, with 50 percent of those buyers being new to the Chicago Gift Market. Many of the permanent showrooms also reported their best Fall market in years, with some doubling their usual amount of business.

This increase in new buyers and the positive direction of the Chicago Gift Market is expected to carry forward into the Winter market, taking place January 16-21. The temporary exhibits floor will be re-merchandised to allow for a straightforward shopping experience while an expanded selection of buyer’s activities is expected to draw a large crowd of both new and returning buyers. Additionally, a range of buyer perks, such as affordable hotel rooms and free parking, make visiting the Chicago Gift Market a pleasurable experience.

The buyer’s focus on finding a new market and unique product has been a driving force behind the buyer increase. It’s never too early to start planning to attend the Chicago Gift Market in January 2014. Save the date for the upcoming Market. Permanent showrooms will open January 16-22nd while temporary exhibits will show January 18-21st.

News from the Halloween & Party Expo

The 2014 Halloween & Party Expo, held in Houston, Texas, January 25-28, is a must-attend event for anyone working in the party business, especially buyers, who will once again flock to the show from across the globe to discover the latest and greatest in Halloween gear, costumes and party supplies. The Expo offers numerous opportunities for buyers to network with other industry professionals, attend educational seminars and preview new products.

For many buyers, the Expo is the one spot they hit each year, as the large number of exhibitors offer comprehensive one-stop shopping with an immensely varied selection of goods. Scott Smiledge of Vamp Fangs makes the trek from Massachusetts each year. “The first year we went, we made the decision that this was the only show we needed to go to,” Smiledge said. What keeps him coming back to the Expo year after year is the sheer number of exhibitors. “Every major player is there under one roof,” Smiledge said. “It’s where we do all of our buying for the year. We don’t do any research online; we go to the Expo and what it offers us is what we feed off of.”

Smiledge also appreciates that, even with five trips to the Expo under his belt, the event always offers something new. “It’s not just the same products every single show,” he said. “It’s exciting to see what’s new. I like that smaller companies jump into the arena and offer little niche products every year. Some of those items have proven to be incredibly profitable.”

Each year, more buyers attend the Expo for the first time and are impressed by not only the exhibitors on hand, but also the friendly and helpful atmosphere at the event. Richard Adler of Mr. A’s Magic and Costume Shop of West Palm Beach, Fla., attended the Expo for the first time in 2013. “It was great,” he said of the experience. “And it made my job easier.” Halloween may celebrate the undead, like zombies and ghosts. But sales related to the popular holiday are very much alive. In 2013, more than 158 million people celebrated Halloween, with the average reveler spending more than $75 on their festivities. Total Halloween spending in the United States alone topped out just under $7 billion, with considerable growth in other countries, such as the United Kingdom, which saw a 12 percent increase in spending over the previous year. The party mood doesn’t stop at Halloween either; it is gaining growth year round, with costumed obstacle runs and themed parties more popular than ever.

The number-one global show for the Halloween, Costume and Party Industry is also very much alive. Thousands of attendees from more than 63 countries worldwide will descend on the George R. Brown Convention Center for the Halloween & Party Expo, which will be in Houston for a sixth year in 2014 before heading to New Orleans in 2015. Eighty-five percent of the 600,000 square foot show floor is currently reserved by hundreds of eager exhibitors. “If you’re in the party business, or if you’re in the Halloween business, you must attend this show,” says exhibitor Marie LaCentra with Forum Novelties/Creative Products.

Manufacturers of Halloween products in particular have an extra incentive to attend the 2014 show: HAuNTcon, a Haunted Attractions tradeshow and conference created by Haunters, for Haunters, is co-locating within the George R. Brown Convention Center during the same dates as the Expo. “It’s not Halloween without a little haunting; we think that’s a vital segment to support,” said Jonathan Erwin of the Halloween & Party Expo.

“The H &P Expo is the international event for Halloween, Costume and Party vendors,” explained Leonard Pickel, HAuNTcon coordinator and Haunt industry expert. “It was a natural move to co-locate our show to the same city so we could offer our attendees the opportunity to see new products and services featured only at this exhibition.” Each show will operate separately with its own requirements, but attendees and exhibitors are encouraged to attend both for a richer experience.

But the Halloween & Party Expo and HAuNTcon are well-known for far more than simply their show floors. Both shows offer a variety of events and activities designed to educate and entertain attendees, including more than 20 hours of educational seminars at the Expo and more than 40 hours at HAuNTcon.

The Expo’s famous Halloween Costume Style Show also returns in 2014 with 100 costumes presented in an extravagant runway production at the close of the first evening. Attendance is free to all Expo attendees and includes free beer and wine throughout the show. HAuNTcon takes over afterwards, with their annual Costume Ball. Attendees won’t want to miss this lavish event, with barbecue buffet, complimentary beer, prizes, photos and all-night entertainment, all while dressed to the nines in costumed regalia or evening attire. Visit or for ticket information, schedules and more, such as details on the Pet Costume Shows presented by the Expo and Haunt Tours presented by HAuNTcon.

As always, registration for the Halloween & Party Expo is free, but documentation of industry involvement is required. Don’t miss THE show for the industry, January 25-28, 2014 in Houston, Texas. Visit to view the floorplan, create a customized expo schedule, request appointments, book hotels/travel and register to attend.

While it is usually the Saints who go marching into New Orleans, on February 6 9, 2015, it will be the Halloween & Party Expo doing the marching. After five successful years in Houston (with a final, sixth year in 2014), the Halloween & Party Expo will make its new home in New Orleans, La., at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center (ENMCC).

What a great fit it will be! The Halloween & Party Expo is the international showcase for all things party, costume and Halloween related, and New Orleans is one of the world’s top party and costuming cities. It is justifiably famous for its music and food festivals, and, of course, for Mardi Gras, but it is also a city full of people who love to have fun on any given day of the week. Simply put, the Halloween & Party Expo and New Orleans are perfect for each other.

Attendees at the 2015 show will even have the opportunity to get some extra bang for their travel buck, as Mardi Gras kick-off parades take place the opening and closing days of the show.

“We could not be more excited about bringing the show to New Orleans in 2015 and beyond,” said Jonathan Erwin of the Halloween & Party Expo. “Houston’s been a wonderful home, and we love being there. But we feel like New Orleans will be a great change of pace, especially since it is such a perfect cultural fit for our industry. Plus, it has a great international airport, world-famous dining and nightlife, warm weather and a ton of hotel options.”

There are more than 20,000 hotel rooms near the ENMCC and close to all of the great action in New Orleans. Harrah’s Casino, Bourbon Street and the rest of the French Quarter, and the revitalized Warehouse District are all within one mile of the convention center, making a walk or cab ride a snap.

Though the move to New Orleans is still 16 months away, Erwin emphasizes that everyone who is interested in exhibiting in 2015 should start by exhibiting in 2014. “The Halloween & Party Expo offers priority in terms of securing booth locations to companies who have exhibited with us the year prior. We anticipate a lot of positive response to our move, so the best way to ensure a great booth in New Orleans is by reserving a booth for the final Houston show in 2014. You won’t regret your decision.”

Market Square Shows

Since getting its start in 1989 in Newville, Pa., Market Square has earned its reputation for quality trade shows, and has become recognized as one of the country’s foremost promoters of American Handcrafted products. The company has grown from an idea sitting around the Goodrich’s kitchen table to one of the largest groups of individual artists in a trade show.

“It is significant to me that we are celebrating this milestone anniversary,” said Kathy Goodrich, show promoter. “We started the business as a labor of love and as we grew we knew that we were making a difference. We have come a long way since those lean early years, and for that we are grateful to our loyal customers and to the all the exhibitors and buyers that have been a part of our shows.”

Throughout the history of the company and the ever-changing economy, Market Square has remained constant: “It is through good customer service and the passion for American Made products that we have achieved so much. Twenty five years have passed and our commitment to the American artist and to our customers remains the same.”

Buyers can expect a celebration this February 2-4, 2014 at The Greater Philadelphia Expo Center in Oaks, Pa. Offering hundreds of dollars in free market money, fun, food and prizes Sunday, February 2 at 2 p.m., the show will present the Great Display Challenge.

Professional designers from Pine Creek Traditions and Pearson’s Simply Primitives will team up with two lucky audience members and put together a display to compete for market money and a display’s worth of merchandise.

Market Square buyers will have a special opportunity to meet and work with Laney Loughridge of Old Village Paints, Ltd., will be presenting a hands-on “Decorative Painting and Graining Demonstration” at the Market Square Show on February 2, 2014 at 11 a.m. Laney will be demonstrating several paint techniques: feathering, glazing, rag rolling and crackling. Buyers will have a chance to try these techniques to create any kind of decorative, primitive, faux or shabby chic finish you can imagine. World renowned famous artists and collectors, Dan and Marty Campanelli will have a rare meet and greet on Monday, February 3, 2014 from 11 a.m. 2 p.m.

The Market Square Show in Oaks will have over 300 exhibitors of which 70 percent are handmade in America. For more information visit Market Square’s website at or call 717-796-2377.

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