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Trade Show News - January 2006


San Francisco Mart Furniture Show Becomes Gift Show

1/30/06 - The World Market Center's debut has prompted a change in the 90-year-old San Francisco Mart furniture show, whose organizers have now turned it into a show for gift exhibitors. "We did experience a loss of exhibitors and national retailers," San Francisco Mart spokesperson Ellen Hall said of the Las Vegas Market's impact. "We have refocused on Western independent dealers -- the moms and pops. The exhibition showing in San Francisco has a distinct West Coast style of design professionals. If we sent out direct mailing pieces nationally before, now we channel our resources into the smaller western stores."

Despite the numbers, the mart has struggled. In August 2004, a year before the Las Vegas Market opened, news accounts in San Francisco had as much as 25 percent of the local market's tenants signing with the Las Vegas show. Today, many familiar with the Bay Area show say the floor has received a total makeover.

The winter San Francisco show is set to have 100 exhibitors and 300,000 to 500,000 square feet of exhibit space. By comparison, the Las Vegas Market has 1,100 exhibitors and 2.3 million square feet of exhibit space. Las Vegas Market organizers are predicting a repeat of last July's 62,000 attendees.

In August, the market moved its dates to coincide with the Feb. 2-5 San Francisco International Gift Fair, which brings in 30,000 attendees, according to the San Francisco Convention and Visitors Bureau. The San Francisco Mart attracted between 12,000 and 15,000 attendees, according to the bureau, although market organizers put that number at "several thousand." The Convention and Visitors Bureau estimates that the August furniture market brought in $5 million to the city's coffers and is expected to do the same in February.

R.C. Willey President Jeff Child was among the many who has not returned to San Francisco after the Las Vegas Market debuted in July. "We used to go to San Francisco, but there are very few furniture people going there now. It is over as a furniture show."

GIA to hold 16th Annual Career Fair

1/30/06 - The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) will once again host its Jewelry Career Fair in two venues this year: at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York on July 28, and at GIA's Carlsbad, Calif. world headquarters on Sept. 29.

Swarovski to Hold Tucson Workshops

1/30/06 - Cut crystal manufacturer Swarovski will host more than 30 workshops and seminars starting Feb. 1 during its "Create your Style with Swarovski" event at the Tucson Gem & Mineral Show. Themes include beadwork, gluing, soldering, design and trends. Swarovski will also display pieces created by the winners of its 2005 design competition at the show, and announce the winners of its 2006 contest.

Other highlights include:

-The Swarovski Jewelry Academy, which teaches the process of making jewelry from start to finish using white metal casting.

-Polymer Clay, which focuses on incorporating crystal with clay techniques to expand options for settings and design.

-Color and Design Inspiration, enabling participants to explore color and design basics.

-Decorative Denim, in which attendees will create one-of-a-kind denim items and learn tips for applying crystal to fabrics.

Western Exhibitors Acquires Harvest Festival

Western Exhibitors Inc announced their acquisition of the Originals Art & Craft Shows and has renamed them Harvest Festival Original Art & Craft Shows.

Western Exhibitors Inc. has acquired The Harvest Festival Original Art & Craft Shows from DMG world media. Beginning this year, seven Harvest Festival shows will be produced from Western Exhibitors San Francisco office.

The Harvest Festival shows premiered in 1972 and are open to the public. The shows will be held in Las Vegas and Ventura, Calif. in September, San Francisco, Sacramento and San Jose, Calif. in November, and Pomana, Calif. in December. For more information call 415-346-6666

Date Change for Pittsburgh Gift Show

The dates for the summer Pittsburgh Gift Show have changed from August 5-8, 2006 to August 26-29, 2006.

Precious Moments Secures New Home at California Market Center

Precious Moments Inc., (PMI) has relocated to the California Marketing Associates (CMA) showroom in the California Market Center. CMA occupies 40,000 sq. ft. of showroom space in the building and is the leading manufacturer's representative group on the West Coast.

Precious Moments Inc., owner of all Precious Moments artwork, is a privately held company owned by the Sam Butcher family. PMI ended its 28-year licensing agreement with Enesco Group in July 2005 and assumed full control of all design, manufacturing, sales and distribution of the Precious Moments Collection.

Spring Fair Birmingham to host record number of North American exhibitors

1/27/06 - More than 40 North American companies will travel to Birmingham, England, to unveil their newest product innovations in giftware and home accents at Spring Fair Birmingham, February 5-9. This number represents the largest number of North American exhibitors to participate in the show to date. More than 80,000 buyers are expected to attend

"For North American companies, Spring Fair represents the best opportunity for establishing export business," said Adam Ash, president, White Hound Advertising and North American Agent for Fair organizer Trade Promotion Services. "The UK economy is the strongest in Europe, and our common cultural and language links make the UK a natural step for companies looking to aggressively find new markets. North American companies have always recognized the advantages of manufacturing overseas. They are just starting to realize the tremendous potential in selling overseas, and that millions of consumers are hungry for new products outside our borders."

For information on exhibiting in Spring Fair Birmingham, North American companies can contact Ash at 609-921-0222; fax: 609-921-0292

Digital Scrapbooking Expert Renee Pearson to Appear in Epson Booth at Winter CHA 2006

1/25/06 - Epson America Inc. announced that Renee Pearson, author and contributor to Simple Scrapbooks Magazine, will make special appearances at the Epson booth #2075 at the 65th Winter Crafts & Hobby Association (CHA) Convention & Trade Show in Las Vegas, Nev.

Pearson will be providing creative how-to tips and advice for producing attractive digital scrapbooking projects as well as showcasing unique layouts and design templates from her latest book, "Digital Designs for Scrapbooking," a step-by-step guide to making a complete album with a computer. She will appear from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Monday, Jan. 30, through Wednesday, Feb. 1.

Show attendees can also register to win a free copy of Pearson's book by participating in Epson's daily booth drawing at 1:30 p.m. Monday through Wednesday. Pearson will be giving away six signed copies each of the three days. Winners must be present for the drawing to receive their prize. In addition to Pearson's appearances, Epson will be demonstrating its latest products for the scrapbooking industry at the show.

Dallas Market Center, ART name ARTS Awards Winners - 26 winners announced

1/23/06 - Dallas Market Center and the Accessories Resource Team announced the winners of the 17th Annual ARTS Awards at a gala event held Saturday at the International Apparel Mart. In a record turnout of over 900 attendees, there was a wide range of retailers, manufacturers, sales representatives and designers from across the country.

Presenters included Doug Wilson and Christi Proctor from the home improvement show Trading Spaces; Mike Mullins, ARTS show producer; Bill Winsor, Cindy Morris and Mindy Lowack of Dallas Market Center; and Bob Borden of BBDK Design and Brand Strategy.

The ARTS Awards, presented each January during the Dallas International Gift and Home Accessories Market, is the premier awards program for the decorative accessories industry and recognizes excellence from retailers, manufacturers, sales representatives and designers in every region of the United States.

"Congratulations to this year's outstanding group of ARTS winners," said Winsor, president and CEO of Dallas Market Center. "We are proud to partner with the Accessories Resource Team to acknowledge these talented leaders in the gift and home accessories industry." "Thank you to the finalists, judges and attendees, and all those that continue to support our organization," said Sharon Davis, executive director of the Accessories Resource Team. "With your loyalty and dedication, our industry continues to grow and prosper."

ARTS Awards Winners


Accent Furniture: Palecek - Richmond, Calif.

Area Rugs: Feizy Rugs - Dallas

Decorative Accessories: Global Views - Dallas

Home Textiles: Mystic Valley Traders - Woburn, Mass.

Lighting Fixtures: Schonbek Worldwide Lighting - Plattsburgh, N.Y.

Permanent Floral: Natural Decorations Inc. - Brewton, Ala.

Portable Lamps: Arteriors Home - Dallas

Tabletop: Vietri - Hillsborough, N.C.

Wall Decor: Paragon - Albertville, Ala.

Retailers: National

National Furniture Store: Storehouse - Atlanta

Regional East/Atlantic

Furniture Store: Greenbaum Interiors - Paterson, N.J.

Lighting Showroom: Elements Distinctive Lighting and Home Furnishings - Carle Place, N.Y.

Home Accents Specialty Store: Accessories, Etc. - Bethlehem, Pa.


Furniture Store: HW Home - Denver, Colo.

Lighting Showroom: Rensen House of Lights - Lenexa, Kansas

Home Accents Specialty Store: Back Home Furniture - Austin, Texas


Furniture Store: HomeScapes Carmel - Carmel, Calif.

Lighting Showroom: Alexander Lighting - Seattle

Home Accents Specialty Store: Bella Casa - Portland

Product Designer: Steven Yarbrough - Global Views

Sales Representatives

East/Atlantic: Alexander Fraser Midwest/Southwest: BJ Ferber West: Judy Feinstein

Rising Star Award: Sans Souci - Beaumont, Texas

Academy of Achievement: Clive Lubner - Robb & Stucky

California Gift Show debuting Boutique, Eye on Design

Focus on apparel, jewelry, personal accessories

The California Gift Show is spotlighting new personal accessory trends and resources with two new fashion-inspired components. On the floor, Boutique, a special focus area, will showcase exhibitors of high-end apparel, jewelry and accessories. Off the floor, a multi-faceted "Eye on Design" installation will educate retailers on teen spending - particularly in the fashion accessories category."

Both Boutique and the "Eye on Design" presentation were launched in response to the growing demand for personal accessories among gift retailers, and the increasing power of the teen market," said Aubin Wilson, show director. "The two initiatives complement each other in terms of education and resources, and will help attendees gain insight into the fashion accessories market, as well as how to reach this all-important buyer group."

JA New York Winter Show

1/23/06 - Show director Drew Lawsky said attendance for opening day was about 5,200, a figure difficult to compare with last year, when a blizzard that all but shut down the city hurt show attendance as well. What a difference a year - and better weather - makes, as Lawsky said he was very pleased with show attendance. "A positive mood prevailed," Lawsky said. "There was good buzz, everybody was happy and buying was strong."

The economic impact of high heating oil and gas prices still stings, jewelers say. While most were positive, some jewelers were expressing caution about what the year might hold for business.

Trends at JANY appeared to be a mixed bag, as jewelers spoke of restocking what worked in the past while keeping an eye open for the next big thing.

Vana White to host Lion Brand Fashion Show at CHA Convention in Las Vegas

1/19/06 - On Tuesday, January 31, 2006, Vanna White will host the Lion Brand Fashion Show entitled "Glorious Details" at the Craft & Hobby Association (CHA) convention in Las Vegas. Over 1,100 exhibitors will be attending the CHA show, which is considered to be the largest trade show serving the craft and hobby industry, in the U.S.

The Lion Brand fashion shows draw the largest crowds at the CHA conventions and feature trend setting designs for which Lion Brand has become well known. Attendees at the "Glorious Details" fashion show will include editors from all of the consumer knit and crochet magazines, as well as buyers and executives of the major craft and fabric stores in the U.S. For the convenience of CHA attendees, the fashion show will be held three times at booth #5868. Show times will be 12noon, 1:00 p.m. and 2 p.m.

Since 1994, Vanna White, an avid crocheter, has represented Lion Brand as a corporate spokesperson and has contributed to the development and publication of 3 popular crochet books. For the past 3 years, her daughter, Giovanna (age 9), has joined her as a model of children's fashions at the Lion Brand fashion shows.

OASIS Gift Show Moves to New Venue

1/19/06 - OASIS Gift Shows patrons will have a summer hiatus while OASIS prepares to change venues, from the Phoenix Civic Plaza to the new Cardinals Stadium for its January, 2007 show. "The planned move to Cardinals Stadium has been in progress for some time, and was targeted for the 2006 summer show. Our wish was to have contractual agreements in place early enough to meet that date, but we couldn't pull this out of our bag of magic tricks," said OASIS Executive Director, Dana Floyd. "Due to the demolition of over 139,000 square feet of exhibit space at the Civic Plaza, OASIS would have needed to cut the show size by nearly 50%. The members voted on the option to produce a partial show and the majority voted to cancel the summer 2006 show."

OASIS Gift Show moves to Cardinals Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. OASIS Gift Shows: January 25 - 27, 2007 July 26 - 28, 2007 February 14 - 16, 2008 July 24 - 26, 2008 January 22 - 24, 2009 July 23 - 25, 2009

San Francisco Mart to Expand into Gifts - Renovation Planned

1/19/06 -The San Francisco Mart is evolving with an aggressive expansion and diversification of its offerings to include all things that make a home beautiful - everything from beautiful furniture and accessories to trendsetting gift items that appeal to more frequent shoppers.

This progressive business model is based on industry trends and consumer preferences for "lifestyle" shopping, and calls for a complete renovation of the Mart's sixth floor. The floor will be named Gifts on Six, and will include general gift, home accents, garden decor, textiles, tabletop, juvenile and more. For leasing information, contact Jaime Montiel at or 415-437-7131.

Gift and Home Market at the Merchandise Mart

The Chicago Gift & Home Market, January 18-25. The longest running gift market in the country, attracting more than 20,000 retail buyers from the Midwest. A show within the show, the Beckman's Handcrafted Gift Show highlights handmade products.

Megy Karydes of the Merchandise Mart said these are a few of the handmade items featured at the market:

It could be art. It could be a dressed up quotation. Or, it could be just fun. One thing is for sure: Maggie Lindley Designs; Apple Green Giggle is the perfect gift for that special friend. On hand-stretched canvas, this 20x24" piece of art called Giggle retails from $69.95, and is intended to be a reminder of what we are all here for. Available in three additional sizes, there is sure to be one that fits you. Maggie Lindley Designs can be found at The Cove Gift Shop and online at

Meadowbrook Gourds were developed after a curious farmer met a few dried gourds. A whole lot of ingenuity later and now the gourds are transformed into everything from Ursula the witch to birdhouses. They retail from $26.99 and up, depending on the design and size. The gourds can be found at The Art Institute, Gethsemane Gardens and The Illinois Artisan Shop in Chicago or ArtQuest in Hinsdale. For more information, visit

It's what's outside that counts with Himalayan Foothills Hillside Collection handmade writing journals, each inlaid with a silk and chlorophyll - leaf impressed cover. Brand new to the market, these journals are currently available at the Himalayan Foothills website The journals retail for $16.50 to $21.95.

According to founding sisters Sue and Lana, once you try The Soap Bar soap, you won't go back! The Soap Bar's handmade soaps combine natural ingredients, including palm, coconut, and olive oil. Once produced, the soaps are hand cut and cured for 30 days before packaging. With products including soap bars, soap-on-a-rope, and a solid lotion bar, there is something for everyone. Beck's Bookstore, Melting Point, and A Simple Thought carry The Soap Bar's products. Visit for more information

Wild Women pins by Ou La La are handmade of fused acrylic resin. All are hand cut, made one at a time and vary in color. These pins can be found at fine craft stores and small gift stores and retails for $22-$32. Ou La La can be contacted at

Tired of seeing the same old knitwear? Knitwerks brings a whole new look to knits. In addition to using warm, comfortable yarns, Chicago-based owner Cherrl Harmon adds leather, suede, feathers and beads to some of these wonderful garments. Cherrl is also founding member of the Windy City Knitting Guild. Knitwerks products will be found at the to-the-trade-only Beckman's Handcrafted Gift Show. They retail beginning at $75. Please visit for more information and to see how you can get one of your own!

One of the first businesses to re-open in the French Quarter after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, French Quarter Candles is the perfect gift for yourself - or anyone on your gift list. With fragrances such as Egyptian Fig (a purple fig lychee candle with lime and kumquat to the back), Merlot (with beautiful red currant and pinot grape essential oil fragrance from Italy) these are perfect for men and women alike. They are 100% natural soy based. At $13 each per 10oz. Candle, the candles can be found at Country Sampler Stores in Naperville, Arlington Heights, and Zurich. French Quarter Candles can also be found at

Need "Wearable Art"? At Lucky Clover Glass Jewelry, beautiful glass is combined with sterling silver and 14k gold to provide you with fun jewelry that is wearable for any occasion, trendy or traditional. The Murano Glass earrings, necklace and bracelet can be ordered at and they range from $15-$110.

Looking for a unique addition to your kitchen or dining room? Rowe Pottery Works handcrafted pottery and home decor offers that special something to add to your collection. Serving as a popular destination for travelers and tourists in the Midwest, Rowe Pottery is also offered at Beckman's Handcrafted Show. Among the product offered are the Avignon Wine Cooler ($73.95), and the Provincial Canister set ($159.95). Visit for more information

Add color to your art collection! Flinn Designs of Missouri combines their passion for helping animals with art. Artist Jill Flinn not only creates art, but also rescues dogs and places them with adoptive families. With all the dogs Jill has had, she found it only natural to allow them to inspire images for mixed media and wall pieces. The proceeds from these pieces made it possible for Jill and her team to feed and care for their dear rescued dogs. The Dogwood Tree of Light is sculpted in paperclay and polyurethane and the surface is handpainted in layers of acrylic. This piece retails for $675. They are currently at 28 rescued dogs. Flinn Designs can be contacted at

Scrapbooking Predicted to Dominate CHA Show

Many predict that scrapbooking and papercrafts will rule the 65th Annual Craft & Hobby Association (CHA) Convention and Trade Show, controlling half the floor space of the Las Vegas Convention Center Jan. 30 through Feb. 2. General crafts will claim the second biggest block of real estate, and yarn, beads and jewelry-making will also be hot at this year's event. As of mid-December, a total of some 1,100 exhibitors had registered for 3,000 booths at the show, according to the CHA.

The association will release a Consumer Usage & Attitude Study at the event putting annual retail sales in all craft categories at an all-time high of $30 billion. Scrapbooking, at $2.5-billion, will occupy about one third of the booths at the expo - the largest of its kind worldwide. Also prominent will be a new Imaging Pavilion with digital scrapbooking equipment and accessories by Epson, Sony, Noritsu, Polaroid and Mitsubishi, said Tony Lee, CHA's vice president of meetings and expositions.

Buyers Market of American Craft to open with Jewelry Preview

A jewelry preview will kick off the Philadelphia Buyers Market of American Craft. The preview begins at 4 p.m. on Feb. 16 and will feature handcrafted jewelry by 350 artists from across the United States and Canada. The biannual craft trade show will be held Feb. 17-20 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center. "With major brands demanding more space in fine jewelry stores, design-centric customers have to search harder to find unique jewelry," said Show Director Rebecca Cason. "Retailers have a great opportunity to capture that market with handcrafted inventory."

Educational seminars being held during the show will cover diverse topics such as marketing handcrafted, high-end jewelry; creating compelling in-store sales presentations; and marketing for specialty stores and galleries. In addition, retailers can receive answers to their questions about finance, advertising, and marketing.

Gift Fair in Atlanta Canceled

The Gift Fair in Atlanta, presented by George Little Management and Urban Expositions at the Georgia World Congress Center, will no longer be held.Current market conditions in Atlanta has forced the semiannual Gift Fair in Atlanta, which has been held in January and July at the Georgia World Congress Center, to no longer be held. "We feel it is in the best interest of our customers to cancel the shows," said Doug Miller, president of Urban Expositions.

"George Little Management and Urban launched the Gift Fair in July of 2002 to expand the market offerings for buyers and sellers, but have found that there is just not enough demand to support an additional product resource in Atlanta. We cannot expect exhibitors to continue supporting an exhibition where current market conditions are negatively impacting our ability to increase buyer attendance."

Colvin English Joins GLM As Director of Craft Marketing

Craft industry veteran Colvin English has joined George Little Management, LLC (GLM) as director of craft marketing. In addition, English will serve as show manager of Sources LA and divisional manager of At Home at the California Gift Show.

As director of craft marketing, English will serve as jury chair and strategic director of the Handmade divisions at the California Gift Show, San Francisco International Gift Fair, New York International Gift Fair and The Seattle Gift Show. In this role, English will work closely with Carol Sedestrom Ross, who has served as director, craft marketing since 1992. Ross will continue to represent GLM within the craft community as a consultant.

Handmade , a juried division of the Gift Shows, features handcrafted functional and decorative accessories, fashion accessories and jewelry, plus an array of other unique craft objects. As show manager, English will be responsible for overall management, including planning and strategic development, marketing and sales, for Sources LA, a new annual tradeshow connecting non-US manufacturers and exporters with US-based importers, distributors and volume buyers. Sources LA will launch in January 2006, at the Los Angeles Convention Center, and will be held concurrently with the California Gift Show.

As divisional manager, English will be responsible for the day-to-day sales, marketing and management of At Home at the California Gift Show. The California Gift Show, held semi-annually each January at the Los Angeles Convention Center, features 1,800 exhibitors and attracts 31,000 attendees. English brings years of experience in the craft industry, most recently serving as co-founder, Melange, an important wholesale company specializing in contemporary design and traditional craft.

English also has significant experience within the international craft community, having served as consultant for Aid to Artisans, the West African Trade Hub and the Kenya Export Promotion Council. "Colvin has been connected with GLM and our tradeshows for years through his manufacturing and consulting work," commented Alan Steel, executive vice president. "His creativity and in-depth knowledge of the industry will be assets to GLM's tradeshows."

Dallas Market Center Welcomes By Hand Canada in January 2006

Gift and home-decor product from Canada to debut alongside F!NDS at January market.

Dallas Market Center (DMC), the world's largest wholesale merchandise resource, in partnership with Ottawa-based Signatures Shows Ltd., announced that By Hand Canada, a special section featuring Canadian handmade gift and home decor products, will debut alongside the F!NDS Temp Show in January 2006. This temporary venue represents the U.S. premiere of Signatures Shows, which has signed a multiple show agreement with Dallas. By Hand Canada will run concurrently with the F!NDS Temp Show, taking place January 20-23, 2006.

By Hand Canada, located on the 13th floor of the World Trade Center, will consist of more than 20 exhibitors offering a variety of high-design product from Canadian artisans, including decorative accessories, leather goods, metal art, functional pottery, jewelry, glassware, toys, fine art and ceramics. "We are pleased to introduce high-design Canadian handmade to U.S. and international buyers for the first time" said John Ladouceur, founder of Signatures Shows. "We are thrilled with our new partnership and look forward to January."

By Hand Canada joins the growing number of international resources at Dallas Market Center. In June 2005, Dallas Market Center opened the Mexico Pavilion and in January 2004 opened the India Pavilion. "By Hand Canada is part of Dallas Market Center's strategic plan to create a global marketplace with a selection of the best products from all over the world," said Cindy Morris, Dallas Market Center's COO. "These new, juried product sections will offer buyers more quality product and more reasons to shop Dallas."

Each January, Dallas Market Center hosts Super Market, which is multiple markets held simultaneously so that buyers may select from a wide range of product categories: International Gift & Home Accessories Market (January 18-25), F!NDS Temp Show (January 20-23), Holiday and Home Expo (January 17-23), International Lighting & Accessories Market (January 19-23) and Furniture Market and National Gourmet Food Show (January 20-23). Super Market will offer more than 25,000 lines of gift products, decorative accessories, lighting, floral, gourmet, furniture, toys, seasonal items and more.

PetStyle Division Premiers at the January Seattle Gift Show

New division will showcase various pet gifts including pet fashions, toys, home items and more.

The 151st semiannual Seattle Gift Show, which takes place January 28-31, 2006, will premier PetStyle. Following the successful launch of the division at the August 6-10, 2005 San Francisco International Gift Fair, the management team was urged by Northwest retailers and exhibitors to expand the pet gift category to the Seattle market. This new section will feature a wide range of pet gifts including pet fashions and accessories, jewelry, toys, home items and more. PetStyle will join the 12 established divisions in over 1,300 booths and 4,000 product lines at the Washington State Convention & Trade Center.

"Our goal is to offer retailers throughout the Northwest region an opportunity to benefit from this $34 billion per year industry. Over 62 percent of American households have at least one pet and at least 63 percent of them celebrate their pet's birthday with a gift. The PetStyle division will open the door toward a new profit center for retailers in the Northwest," said Mike Dean, President of Western Exhibitors, Inc.

The Seattle Gift Show features the following show divisions: At Home; Cash & Carry; FoodFocus, GardenStyle; Gifts & Collectibles; Handmade; Jewelry Vault; Personal Style; PetStyle; Northwest Directions; Gift/Stationery & Trend; Village Arts; and The Vintage Collection.

Las Vegas Market

Attendees to the upcoming show in Las Vegas - which runs January 30 - February 3 at World Market Center and the Pavilions, will include the Design Gallery, a juried exhibit area. The Gallery will feature "stylish products and displays depictive of up-and-coming trends, driven by some of the industry's most promising suppliers," according to a show spokesman.

The Design Gallery was created as the centerpiece of the Las Vegas Market's temporary venue at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center. Exhibits are selected by an internal committee of the show management; among other things, the committee looks for products that depict current consumer trends.

"At the Design Gallery, attendees can expect to see more of the high-style products that represent home decor and furniture," noted Babs Blair, director of leasing at World Market Center. "We want this area to be a destination that showcases trend-setting products and serves as an incubator for unique new companies. Companies selected more than once will be moved to different locations within the Design Gallery to keep it fresh and exciting."

Another feature of the Mandalay Bay venue is free buyer breakfasts, served Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at 8:00 a.m. in the main hall. Temporary exhibits at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center will open on Tuesday, January 31 and run through February 3.

January '06 Gift & Home Furnishings Market at L.A. Mart Adds Wireless Net Access to Buyer Amenities

Retailers and designers attending the January 2006 Gift & Home Furnishings Market at the L.A. Mart from Tuesday, Jan. 17 through Tuesday, Jan. 24 will experience convenience and resources. Not only will attendees find thousands of gift and lifestyle products, home decor and furniture lines under one roof, they will be greeted with state-of-the-art services that will make their one-stop shopping experience easy, productive and cost-efficient.

"We are dedicated to providing our attendees the best market experience possible," said Gerry Seibel, vice president and general manager, L.A. Mart. During the July 2005 market, the L.A. Mart offered services such as free transportation to and from Union Station, as well as numerous contests taking place throughout the 13-floor building designed to add "pizzazz" to a buyer's visit.

"This coming January, we have contracted with SBC FreedomLink to offer wireless internet access on the first and second floors of our building, which means that our attendees can have high-speed wireless internet connection for their laptops or PDAs. Now they can easily communicate by e-mail, surf the Web and stay connected with their companies while they are taking care of business at the L.A. Mart," said Seibel.

Gift Center Appoints Goodman, Trott

The Seattle Gift Center named Lisa Goodman marketing director, and Julie Trott to its new marketing team.

Goodman has worked in the b-2-b and consumer industry sectors for more than 20 years with companies such as Starbucks, Expedia, Office Depot, Ralph Lauren, Western Exhibitors and IDG. She also founded Service Intelligence, where she was president and CEO, and served as a U.S. Department of Defense contractor. Trott comes from Gift Box Corp. of America, where she was a territory manager. She also managed the showroom at The Seattle Gift Center

"We are excited to have Lisa Goodman and Julie Trott join the Seattle Gift Center team," said Dave Vranizan, director of property services for the Benaroya Co., which owns and manages The Seattle Gift Center. "Each brings exceptional experience to the property, and we believe they will personally ensure that The Seattle Gift Center becomes a key destination in the retail industry."

Urban Expositions to Launch Las Vegas Souvenir & Resort Gift Show September 27-29, 2006

Souvenir and resort merchandise show producer Urban Expositions expands into the western region with the launch of the new Las Vegas Souvenir & Resort Gift Show, September 27-29, 2006. Running concurrently with Fun Expo and the AMOA International Expo at the Las Vegas Convention Center, the new annual exhibition will be the only one of its kind in the western US dedicated exclusively to the specialized needs of the souvenir and resort merchandise industry.

Set to debut with more than 400 booths, the Las Vegas Souvenir & Resort Gift Show will complement Fun Expo and AMOA International Expo offerings with a comprehensive product selection, including destination, resort and tourist merchandise, souvenirs, t-shirts, beach items, coastal and nautical, lake, mountain and lodge, ski-themed products, destination, resort and tourist merchandise, logo products, shell items, jewelry/fashion accessories, toys/games and more. For show information call Stephanie Buice at 678/285-3976 or email

San Francisco International Gift Fair Announces Comprehensive Programs and Events Roster

The San Francisco International Gift Fair will present the latest look at today's business-building tips and trends, offering a new roster of educational and networking opportunities, February 4-7, 2006, at the Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco.

This year's line-up includes a record number of seminars on effective retail management strategies; web-site design and store appearance. An added plus is a concert from the Motown band The Best Intentions. For attendee information, contact Western Exhibitors Inc. at 800-346-1212

Ex-Tracts: New Discoveries in Beauty and Wellness

A wide array of high-end personal care product lines will be introduced at Ex-Tracts: New Discoveries in Beauty and Wellness, January 28-31 at the Penn Plaza Pavilion in New York.

The show will feature more than 60 personal care manufacturers, showcasing the latest in cosmetics, beauty accessories, bath and body products, fragrances and well-being merchandise to an expected 5,000 attendees. Product categories include Baby & Infant Personal Care, Bath & Body, Fragrance, Spa, and Inspiration Wear, which includes clothing featuring motivational statements of inner strength, ambition, and wisdom.

7W Welcomes New Resources for Gift Week

Gift showroom building 7West New York, located at 7 W. 34th St. in Manhattan, will debut four new showrooms during 2006 New York Gift Week, January 26-February 2. New tenants include: Christopher Radko (suite1135), designer of seasonal and special occasion gifts and home decor; Tag (suite 904), stylish, affordable gifts and home accessories, including dishtowels, rugs, and tabletop; Kkooll Collections (suite 622), eclectic mix of women's and home product from Mexico, Morocco, and Paris; and Archer Worldwide (suite 613), specializing in creating promotional items with high perceived value across product categories.

"We're pleased to welcome the addition of powerful industry brands and some very unique new resources for our January Gift Week," said Chris Collins, vice president and general manager of 7W. "This incomparable assortment of companies is what makes 7W such an attractive experience for buyers, both during our shows and on a daily basis."

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