Re: Gift Shows

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Posted by Mary Strope on April 12, 2001 at 12:03:10:

In Reply to: Re: Denver Gift Show and others posted by Ingrid Borah on April 06, 2001 at 16:33:29:

Just wanted to add a few things. The GLM Handmade sections are not strictly "made in America." GLM takes a global view of the gift industry. We do have many companies who produce their products, by hand, in other countries. We also have small importers who purchase tribal crafts and sell them here. San Francisco has Crafts Australia every summer and NY have the British and German craft groups (fantastic innovative work!) We do offer American craftspeople tent cards they can place in their booth saying "Handmade in America".

You will get a good number of ACC/BMAC buyers in NY and also in SF in the summer. The SF summer show overlaps one day with the ACC Fort Mason show. Craft buyers come into town and shop the gift show first. Three of my SF jurors tell me they always shop ACC & BMAC in addition to the major gift shows.

We don't pretend to be a craft show. We are about gifts. Handmade is for handcrafted gift merchandise. We share many exhibitors with ACC & BMAC. Gift shows are not for everyone. Its a next step to increase your sales and provide alternative venues. But you have to pick the right show that supports the right price points. Each of our shows are different. Each one is juried. Gift shows attract a wider range of store types: catalogs, gift shops, specialty stores (book stores, bed & bath,etc); craft galleries, small mom & pops, department stores. In our buyer surveys, the buyers often say the Handmade and At Home sections are the best. It amazes me how many craftspeople do our shows and not always in the Handmade section. We also find craftspeople in our other shows- furniture, stationery, textiles, and new age.

With our new business merger with dmg world media, and partnership with Western Exhibitors, we now have a Handmade section in 7 shows: NY, San Fran, Dallas, Boston, Washington, Seattle, and Toronto.

If you are only looking for buyers who sell american made objects, then gift shows may not be for you. But, if you can deal with imports, gift shows may be a wonderful next step for your business. I hope I don't sound like a commercial. Just wanted to provide a little extra info.

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