FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Press contact: Amy Dufour – 678.285.0597
ATLANTA (November 18, 2015) – Tracking ahead of the 2014 edition, The Smoky Mountain Gift Show celebrated its 50th anniversary in style with reports of quality buyer traffic, a record number of first time exhibitors along with fun networking events for show attendees and exhibitors. Featuring more than 800 booths at the Gatlinburg Convention Center, the November 4-7, 2015 edition attracted the attendance of top eastern region and national retail buyers from theme parks, museums, zoos, aquariums, premier tourist destinations, and national, state and local parks.
“Our strength continues to be the show’s well-defined selection of quality products and new resources on the floor,” says Donna Guess, vice president of souvenir shows, SF Market and Seattle Gift Show, Urban Expositions. “We secured the best names in the gift and souvenir industry and welcomed more than 75 new vendors for the 50th edition, strengthening Gatlinburg’s position as the premier product and service destination in the Smokies. Having these resources all under one roof is a tremendous benefit for our attendees as it gives them an opportunity to spend time building relationships with vendors, scouting new products and completing their buying needs.”
New was the name of the game at the November 2015 edition with more than 75 new companies joining the show roster. The show floor featured introductions from top-name brands and innovative newcomers in destination, resort and tourist merchandise, souvenirs, t-shirts, beach merchandise, coastal and nautical, lake, mountain and lodge, Made in the USA products, logo products, nature and wildlife products, giftware, jewelry and fashion accessories, home décor items, toys/games and more.
The vast and versatile selection received rave reviews from attending retailers.
“The Smoky Mountain Gift Show is back to its glory days in offering the perfect venue for the destination, souvenir and gift market, “ said Meg Kenny, retail buyer, Xanterra Parks & Resorts®, Greenwood Village, CO. “The extensive and varied exhibitor list provides a convenient platform for one-stop shopping!”
“One of my vendors convinced me to come to the Smoky Mountain Gift Show, and I am so glad I did,” said Natalie Gustafson, Fort America Inc/The Pentagon. “I had an excellent experience, discovered new vendors and wrote lots of orders - I will be back next year!”
Melinda Greene, Kansas City Zoo adds, “Even after 50 years, the Smoky Mountain Gift Show is still full of amazing new products. The original Gatlinburg show continues to be ‘the place’.”
Among the many show highlights were a series of competitions and awards.
Attending retailers voted on the “Best New Product” Award during the show, and The Lucky Horse Company from Sandy Valley, Nevada was selected as the winner.
"As a new exhibitor, the Smoky Mountain Gift Show was a wonderful experience,” says Todd Weber, owner, The Lucky Horse Co. “With our unique product, the leads generated by the show were phenomenal. We saw buyers from all over the US from the east coast to the west coast and many from the Great Lakes and mountain areas. We will definitely be back in 2016."
In addition, Urban Expositions team presented NuAmerican with the new “Best Booth” Award – recognizing the company’s excellence in merchandising and space design.
“We had a terrific show,” added J. Patrick Murphy, NuAmerican. “The majority of the orders written on the show floor were with new accounts.”
To foster the spirit of fun and hospitality that the Smoky Mountain Gift Show is known for, Urban Expositions hosted an official show party at Blaine’s on Wednesday, November 4 and also continued many of its buyer friendly services, including daily $100 cash prize giveaways, goody bag giveaways, and complimentary refreshments for buyers each morning and afternoon.
The show also introduced a new seminar session and buying tour on “Conservation Commerce” presented by Tommy Brown, vice president of ZAG and retail manager and buyer of conservation goods for the St. Louis Zoo. In addition, Urban Expositions also worked with leading associations, including the National Association of Retail Buyers (NARB), Zoo & Aquarium Buyers Group (ZAG), and the Living Legends Association to host hospitality and networking events for their members and associates during the show. The Living Legends Association hosted a reception on Wednesday, November 4 to honor Joe Goldberg of Joe Goldberg & Associates for his commitment and contributions to the souvenir industry.
“We’ve exhibited at the Gatlinburg show for more than 20 years, and the 2015 edition has been our best show to date,” adds Caroli Esguerra, The Rose Lady.
The Smoky Mountain Gift Show will return November 2-5, 2016 to the Gatlinburg Convention Center. For exhibitor information, contact Christina Bell Davis, Urban Expositions, 1690 Roberts Blvd NW, Suite 111, Kennesaw, GA 30144. Phone: 678-370-0335, email: firstname.lastname@example.org. For buyer information or to register, attendees can call 800.318.2238 or visit www.smokymtngiftshow.com
ABOUT URBAN EXPOSITIONS
Based in Kennesaw, GA and founded in 1995, Urban Expositions produces and manages a portfolio of 40 events serving nine industry sectors, including Gift, Souvenir, Art, Apparel, Aviation, Halloween | Party, Foodservice, Pet and Gaming. Urban also produces Airport Revenue News, a publication focusing on the airport concession industry. In addition to its Kennesaw, GA headquarters, Urban has offices in Shelton, CT, Boca Raton, FL, and is represented by employees in California, Colorado and Illinois. www.urban-expo.com | 800.318.2238.
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