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October 2 0 1 5

T R A D E  S H O W  N E W S



Last July, AmericasMart’s® semi-annual Visual Display Awards celebrated outstanding visual merchandising at a premier buying event of the summer, The Atlanta International Gift and Home Furnishings Market®. The Kurt S. Adler, Inc., Atlanta showroom was proud to be the recipient of the AmericasMart Visual Display Awards for Building 1, Floor 16.

Views of the award-winning booth from Kurt S. Adler, Inc. at AmericasMart last summer.

The Glory Haus Pickles With A Purpose line launched at the July Atlanta International Gift & Home Furnishings Market. The launch brought 9-year-old Luke Holm one giant step closer to his goal to purchase a home for a homeless man.

Pickles with a Purpose, which operates as a non-profit organization managed by Glory Haus, sells the Holm family’s gourmet sweet and spicy pickles in 16-fluid ounce jars and 12-pack cases to retailers across the country. The company is one of many AmericasMart exhibitors creating products that fulfill both practical and philanthropic functions.



At the close of ASD Marketweek on August 5, 2015, final numbers revealed that there was a 14 percent growth in buyer attendance over last year, with VIP attendance up 23 percent throughout this four-day show. The unprecedented increase in attendees in an established show of this size can be attributed to a number of different strategic marketing and internal restructuring initiatives.

“We substantially enhanced our marketing budget this year to invest in a rebranding campaign, increase outreach campaigns including print and digital media buys, expanded engagement across all social media platforms, expanded our VIP buyer program, and launched a dedicated blog intended to keep buyers engaged throughout the year by continuously focusing on highlighting ASD Marketweek vendors,” explained Karalynn Sprouse, Merchandise and Sourcing Group executive vice president. “Additionally, we tripled our internal Buyer Acquisition team dedicated to more regions across the United States and around the globe.”

“We are thrilled with the final reported attendee numbers,” said Camille Candella, vice president of Marketing. “We set very high expectations for success for this event, and while we knew there was no guarantee that we’d meet those expectations, we implemented a strategic plan, everyone on the team worked diligently on executing that plan, and the hard work paid off!”

In addition to expanded efforts in getting buyers through the doors, the show also took steps to ensure that the buyers’ experience at the show was valuable and productive. Onsite kiosks staffed with experts, as well as the launch of a dedicated mobile app, easily facilitated the discovery of new categories and new vendors.Additionally, both buyers and attendees had the opportunity to attend nearly 100 sessions presented by trusted industry experts, creating an important added value for the show. As always, ASD Marketweeks’ unique Source Direct program continued to bring valuable resources to the exhibitors and importers in attendance.

While maintaining its loyal base of returning buyers, ASD Marketweek also saw a significant increase in first time attendees. “We’ve been attending shows for 32 years but this is the first time we’ve been to ASD,” noted Curt Lambrecht, part of the Palmer Buying Group and owner of Lambrecht’s Gifts, in New Ulm, Minn. “I like it here, I find that ASD Marketweek is cheaper, but deeper.”

Emerald Expositions

Show organizers for Outdoor Retailer, the largest summer and winter outdoor gear, apparel, accessories and technology tradeshow, announced recently that they will be extending their contracts with Salt Lake through Summer 2018. Both Winter and Summer Market shows have been in Salt Lake City since 1996.

To ensure all options and concerns were considered regarding a potential move, Outdoor Retailer surveyed more than 6,000 specialty retailer attendees and exhibitors. Over two-thirds, an overwhelming majority, indicated their preference for keeping the show in Salt Lake City. The highest majority of the responses came from specialty retailers, which show organizers considered to be the most critical indicator.

When posing the question to Outdoor Retailer exhibiting brands regarding the future location, the Salt Palace Convention Center and Salt Lake, continue to be the favored location. The cost of doing business in Salt Lake for exhibiting brands is favorable in comparison to other considered locations and was one of the key reasons exhibitors, too, favored Salt Lake as the preferred location.

“Salt Lake, and the State of Utah have proven to be wonderful hosts to the Outdoor Industry and to Outdoor Retailer over the years,” said Vice President and Outdoor Retailer Show Director Marisa Nicholson. “The community is welcoming, supportive and we feel at home during our two weeks in town. We are pleased to work with the Visit Salt Lake team, various elected officials and the housing and business communities to continue to make the Outdoor Retailer Markets the most significant events for the industry.”

“For over two decades the Outdoor Retailer show in Salt Lake City has played an important role in the convening and growth of the industry, said Amy Roberts, executive director of the Outdoor Industry Association. ”Outdoor recreation is an important economic driver in Utah and we look forward to continuing the dialogue with the state of Utah around public lands issues. Additionally, we will support continued efforts to increase hotel accommodations and local infrastructure to ensure the city continues to provide a positive attendee experience especially for specialty retailers.”

Future show dates for both Summer and Winter markets are as follows:

Winter Market 2016 – January 7-10
Summer Market 2016 – August 3-6

Winter Market 2017 – January 7-10
Summer Market 2017 – July 26-29

Winter Market 2018 – January 6-9
Summer Market 2018 – July 25-28

Mega Expo

The business of sourcing the very best of paper, pen and print, plus school and office supplies, will be made easy by the Asian Stationery Show in Hong Kong from October 27 to October 29 2015, with suppliers from Hong Kong, Taiwan, Vietnam, China, the USA and South Korea exhibiting together in one location at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre.

The final three sourcing days in Hong Kong will focus on general stationery, office supplies, promotional and gift stationery, paper and pen products, back-to-school items, children’s stationery and pre-school educational products, plush computer accessories.

Now in its 12th year, Mega Show Part 2 is an important date in the annual sourcing calendar for stationery buyers, and annually attracts over 13,000 buyers from 111 countries. The Mega Show Series Part 1 is October 20-23, 2015, and the Mega Show Series Part 2 is October 27-29, 2015. The organizer of the events is Mega Expo (Hong Kong) Limited.

Toy Fest West

Conversations were stirred up at the annual WTHRA Membership meeting in March, 2015, with both vendors and reps acknowledging that the show has gained momentum and is growing in popularity both locally and nationally. The results of a post-show survey showed overwhelming consensus from both exhibitors and buyers that everyone could complete their business at ToyFest West in three full days, eliminating a half day on day four.

The Board voted in May to adopt the following revised schedule for ToyFest West 2016 at the South Point Hotel Casino & Spa in Las Vegas, Nevada:

Sunday, March 6, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Monday, March 7, 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Tuesday, March 8, 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Shaking up other traditions for the show, the annual Gala which has historically been held on opening night, will be moved to the last night of the show in celebration and appreciation of the buyers, vendors and reps who are committed to making ToyFest West a strong and productive trade show. The evening promises to be memorable with a fabulous banquet, Hall of Fame inductees, Retailer of the Year award, entertainment, and other exciting and fun additions that will be announced at a later date. Retailers won’t want to miss the fast paced and well-attended Game Night now scheduled for Sunday evening.

Bill St. John, President of WTHRA said, “Our goal is to continue to grow ToyFest West by supporting our attendees and responding to their needs and concerns. Three full days will give everyone time to complete their business and socialize with their peers while respecting this busy time of year. We are excited about the changes for 2016 and look forward to seeing everyone in Las Vegas next March.”

More details about the show will be made available as plans are finalized. At this time, the Board would like you to mark your calendars and get ready for a fun and productive 2016 ToyFest West.

Urban Expositions and Development

Signifying the California Gift Show's continued emphasis on new business opportunities for retailers, the summer edition also hosted the launch of a brand new website,

From a new California Dreamin’ spotlight on locally made resources to 160-plus new, first-time exhibitors joining the growing floor roster, the July 17-20, 2015, California Gift Show at the Los Angeles Convention Center delighted its western region retail audience with an expanded offering of fresh new resources to explore.

“As a regional gift show, our sweet spot is our ability to offer retailers a showcase for resources they will not find at other markets,” explained Dirk von Gal, industry vice president of Gift, Urban Expositions. “By searching out even more new companies for our summer show - especially those that are unique to our marketplace and custom-tailored to the California/Western region customer -  and bringing them together with our popular World Style resources in Kentia Hall and the show’s other offerings, we’re continuing to expand the show’s value to our buying audience.”

These new resources in California Dreamin’ joined more than 160 new, first-time exhibiting companies that were featured among the ranks of the show’s other categories - Gifts, Design LA, Makers Market, Boardwalk, Personal Style, Jewelry (Cash & Carry), Vintage and World Style, as well as a growing roster of Fair Trade, eco-friendly and made in America resources.

Making its debut at the summer show, the new California Dreamin' spotlight brought together a number of up-and-coming artisan designs and products, all made in California.

To highlight and recognize exhibitors, the California Gift Show gave retailers the chance to vote for the show’s Best Maker and Best New Product. Selected among the other talented artisans showcasing handcrafted items in the Makers’ Market section, TwigKids was voted Best Maker. Selecting from a special product display area showcasing many of the show’s new exhibitors, buyers chose Joco Group Party as the summer show’s Best New Product winner.

Pictured, left to right: Best Maker Ashley Strickland, owner, TwigKids; Nora Wade, sales manager, California Gift Show.

“The California Gift Show has become one of our main sources for new resources,” said Anglica Ayala Muller, Bay Books, Coronado, Calif., commenting on the show’s versatile selection of new exhibitors. “We were able to find new vendors and new product lines for our store - goal accomplished!”

In addition to new resources, buyers also had the chance to attend a full roster of educational programs and enjoy other buyer services.

Shifting to a new Saturday-Tuesday date pattern, the next edition of the California Gift Show will be held January 30-February 2, 2015 at the Los Angeles Convention Center.

Pictured left to right: Michelle Hardwick, associate, Joco Group Party; Suzy Jones, owner, Joco Group Party; and Jamie Coward, sales manager, California Gift Show. Jaco Group Party was voted the Best New Product winner.

To better serve its regional buying audience and trade show schedule for its exhibitor base, Urban Expositions announced new February show dates for the Winter 2016 edition of the Orlando Gift Show and Orlando Cash & Carry Show. Shifting from January to February, the show will now run Saturday, February 13-Monday, February 15, 2016 at Orlando, Fla.’s Orange County Convention Center, West Concourse, Hall C. 

The announcement followed the show’s August 2015 summer edition which delivered a diverse offering of giftware, jewelry and fashion accessories, home decor, souvenir and resort resources - including 58 new, first-time vendors - to its central and northern Florida retail audience. As part of a special spotlight on the show’s newest exhibitors, buyers voted on the show’s Best New Product, which went to Cape Coastal Designs. In addition to product, buyers were able to take advantage of a number of money-saving features and promotions.

The new dates for the Orlando Gift Show and the Orlando Cash & Carry Show brings the events back to a pattern that has historically worked well for the majority of the show's customers.

Set to debut at the September Las Vegas Souvenir & Resort Gift Show, the new Made in America section reached sold-out status. Created in direct response to increasing retail demand for American-made goods, the new section made it easy for retailers to source a variety of goods, ranging from clothing to jewelry, toys/games to tourist merchandise, all in an easy-to-shop, convenient location on the show floor at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

“We are excited to present such a comprehensive representation of Made in America resources that promises to help our retailers find exactly what their customers are requesting,” said Donna Guess, vice president of Operations & Souvenir and Resort Shows, Urban Expositions. “At the Las Vegas Souvenir & Resort Gift Show we strive to bring the best of the industry to souvenir and resort retailers and providing an entire section dedicated to Made in America product is just one more way we’re doing just that.”

The dedicated section showcased fresh, new lines and designs from 35-plus companies.

Urban Expositions presented the Best New Product award to Harvey and Alina Steele with Cape Coastal Designs, Cape Coral, Fla.

Further strengthening its position as the must-attend event for Midwest retailers, the July 25-28, 2015 Windy City Gift Show recorded a 21 percent increase in attendance over the Summer 2014 edition. Held at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, Ill., the show attracted buyers from every state in the region, with notable increases in retail attendance from Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Wisconsin. An expanded exhibitor roster, including more than 70 new, first-time exhibitors, a brand new website,, and an upbeat atmosphere on the show floor, added to the growing momentum the show has been experiencing since its initial launch in January of 2014.

“We continue to record significant show-over-show increases in attendance and exhibitor participation - confirming our belief that this show is filling a crucial void in the Midwest marketplace,” said Dirk von Gal, industry vice president of Gift, Urban Expositions. “We gather extremely positive feedback from our buyer and exhibitor audiences during each show and are using it to continue fine-tuning our offerings to make sure we’re delivering an event that is completely customized to the specialized needs of the region’s retailers and vendors.”

The Windy City Gift Show recorded a 21 percent increase in attendance over the Summer 2014 edition.

Reinforcing the show’s growing exhibitor base, more than 70 new, first-time exhibitors joined the show roster, which also welcomed leading regional sales agencies.  

The next edition of the Windy City Gift Show will be held January 30 - February 2, 2016 at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, Ill.

In an effort to enhance the show experience for its California Gift Show attendee and exhibitor audience, Urban Expositions has initiated a strategic rebranding and re-organizational process in conjunction with the January 30-February 2, 2016 edition at the Los Angeles Convention Center. As part of the transformation into its new LAMKT identity, the winter show will open with a new show floor layout, a new Saturday - Tuesday schedule, and a number of fresh new resources and product category focus areas.

Pictured are Best New Product winners Joey Gilbert, owner, Mishu + The Dead Sea Pavilion and Emma Gilbert, associate, Mishu + The Dead Sea Pavilion.

“When we acquired this show in 2012, our goal was to build a vibrant trade show that would truly meet the needs of the  substantial Southern California and western region retail buyer base,” said Dirk von Gal, vice president of gift, Urban Expositions. “We have never wavered from that goal and, like the marketplace itself, we are shifting and evolving to make sure we put forth an event that effectively responds to the ever-changing market and the way retailers are buying today. Many of the changes and improvements our customers will see in January are a direct result of feedback they’ve given us.”

Pictured are Best Maker winner Robin Cohen, owner, Inspired Generation and Robin Flahery, sales manager, Windy City Gift Show.

Representing the first phase of the reorganization process, the January 2016 edition of LAMKT will feature a brand new layout that brings together exhibits previously featured in two separate halls on two different floors at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Now housed entirely in South Hall, the dynamic new, expanded floor plan will enhance traffic flow and offer easier navigation. The new layout will also allow for improved categorization of product and a clear delineation between sections, including show mainstays like Gifts, Design LA, Makers’ Market, Personal Style, Boardwalk, World Style, Vintage and Jewelry Cash & Carry,  as well as new categories and new areas of focus now  in development, such as  the California Dreamin’ showcase of California-made resources and others to be announced. 

Retailers can also look for other show enhancements and services in January, including a new ExpressPass registration process, special parking rebates at the Convention Center, show hospitality and more.

Urban Expositions recently announced that Clarion Events Ltd. of the United Kingdom has become a majority partner in the company. Clarion’s global view and depth of resources further strengthen the existing Urban Expositions portfolio in addition to opening doors to new growth opportunities. 

Positive Windy City exhibitor reports of steady business and new customers added to the buzz on the show floor.

Urban Expositions maintains its existing corporate identity, executive management team, staff, office locations, brands and events, with plans for collaboration on current, as well as future events and acquisitions. Managing Partners, Doug Miller and Tim von Gal, retain significant ownership in Urban Expositions and will continue to oversee all facets of the business.  

“We are thrilled to partner with such a well-established, international event organizer as Clarion,” said Doug Miller, president and CEO, Urban Expositions. “We look forward to working closely with the Clarion team to start a whole new chapter for our respective companies. Clarion’s forward-thinking leadership, proven experience and extensive resources will allow us to build upon our current show offerings while also pursuing new opportunities to diversify and grow.”

Urban’s first acquisition under Clarion’s ownership was announced  late last week when the  company acquired  the Womens Wear in Nevada (WWIN) trade show, held semi-annually in Las Vegas, from Specialty Trade Shows, Inc.

Hall of Fame Quarterback Warren Moon’s keynote address complemented a full educational roster filled with business-building seminars covering topics ranging from social media and marketing tips to handmade and Fair Trade marketing strategies.

 From local artisans and regional specialties to 67-plus first-time exhibitors, retailers from throughout the Pacific Northwest region found a wide range of new resources to explore during the  August 2015 Seattle Gift Show at the Washington State Convention Center.  New resources were joined by new initiatives, including a special keynote address by Hall of Fame Quarterback Warren Moon, product spotlights and educational programming around the show’s fair trade and handmade offerings and more.  

During the show, Urban Expositions also announced the 2016 Seattle Gift Show schedule at the Washington State Convention Center, including the January 22-25, 2015 Winter edition (new Friday-Monday date pattern) running concurrently with the Pacific Market Center’s Winter Gift and Home Accessories Show, January 20-26, and the summer edition, slated for August 13-16, 2016.  

“The Pacific Northwest retail market is different and we understand that.  Whether their customers are locals or tourists, these retailers are always seeking fresh new designs that reflect the unique tastes and interests of their discerning clientele,” said Dirk von Gal, vice president, gift, Urban Expositions. 

WESA’s International Western/English Apparel & Equipment Market

WESA’s International Western/English Apparel & Equipment Market is where the equestrian industry meets, preserving the traditions of business-to-business trade and a legacy lifestyle.   The United State’s oldest, 200,000-square-foot exhibit floor presents equestrian-related goods from working saddles, cowgirl bling, exotic western and steel-toed boots to T-shirts, 100x felts, show clothes, designer jeans and leathers. The final analysis is that WESA provides an authentic trade event for retailers and wholesalers from 52 states and 26 foreign countries.   

Surf Expo Launches New Preview Event June 2016

Show organizers for Surf Expo, the largest boardsports and beach lifestyle trade show, announced recently the launch of a new event focused on the needs of the surf marketplace. Preview Days by Surf Expo will be held June 23-24, 2016 in Orlando, Fla.

Emanating from the needs of the core surf market’s buyers and manufacturers, Preview Days by Surf Expo will provide a platform for East Coast Spring orders.

“Preview Days will offer surf manufacturers access the top East Coast retailers in a simple, turnkey environment. Once again, we have chosen Orlando as our home, as it offers accounts from the East Coast, Gulf and Caribbean an affordable, easy to access marketplace,” Surf Expo Show Director and SVP Roy Turner said.

Preview Days by Surf Expo follows a long tradition of preview buying days held before each Surf Expo, when select brands and key surf retailers worked lines in a relaxed and productive environment. Retail attendees will be able to efficiently see surf lines at the beginning of the sales window, place last minute orders for July 4th and coordinate summer marketing efforts with surf brands. “We are constantly listening to the needs of our customers. Production shifts in the surf marketplace have opened an opportunity in addition to the current Surf Expo offering,” added Turner.  “We look forward to filling that need with this new event.”

Dylan Slater, SVP, sales and marketing, Rip Curl commented,“We (Rip Curl) are excited about Preview Days. We believe this will be a viable solution to our industry's need to get the brands in front of our East Coast retailers in one location for the launch of our Spring product collections. Board Retailers Association Chairman Todd Canipe said, “Surf Expo has listened to the needs of our retailers. Preview Days will be a great addition to Surf Expo and strengthen our industry and the ability to do business.” Surf Expo’s upcoming shows will be held January 14-16, 2016 and September 8-10, 2016.

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