The International Gift Exposition in the Smokies (IGES) took place last fall in Pigeon Forge and Sevierville, Tenn., and attendees were treated to complimentary educational sessions, various networking opportunities, meet-and-greet experiences with industry solution providers and the opportunity to connect with over 1,200 vendors. Among these vendors included first time IGES exhibitors, where it was reported that 81 percent of attendees placed orders with one or more new vendors as a result of attending IGES
“It’s been the best opening show day we have had in years. There was a ton of traffic and many new buyers that are writing orders,” said exhibitor Lynn Smith of Hillside Orchard Farms.
Expanding on what Smith had to share was John Bartholomew of Liberty Express who said that “our opening day was the best that we have had at any show ever.”
Additional findings from IGES included:
- Ninety-four percent of those that attended were retailer and/or online store owners;
- Eighty-three percent of retailers at IGES finalize, authorize or approve purchases at the show;
- Fifty-four percent of the retailers that attend IGES purchase gift products;
- Close to 40 percent of the retailers that attend IGES shop souvenirs and novelties, apparel and general merchandise;
Retailer Alex Nelson of Windsor Gifts, a Virginia-based merchant, said that “without coming to IGES, we’d never discover the vendors we need to find.”
Known for their expansive range of wholesale souvenir – including name-drop merchandise and customizable items – and resort and gift items, IGES is among Emerald Exposition’s Gift, Home, and General Merchandise brands, which include ASD Market Week, NY NOW, Surf Expo, ISS and National Stationery Show. Next year’s IGES will take place November 3-7, 2018.