Emerald, owner of the International Gift Expo of the Smokies (IGES), along with Clarion Events, owner of the Smoky Mountain Gift Show, today announce two of the gift, resort and souvenir industry’s most comprehensive buying events will come together to host an in-person Tennessee Market Week on November 4-7, 2020.
The Smoky Mountain Gift Show will be located at the Gatlinburg Convention Center while IGES will be located at the Pigeon Forge Leconte Center. Both events will feature the top name lines and new products from hundreds of leading manufacturers and newcomers. As some of the first live-events trading in the second half of 2020, the top priority is ensuring the health and safety of everyone involved.
Both event teams and management are working closely with the convention centers, service providers, and state and local authorities to implement control measures to assure strict adherence to every health and safety standards. Collectively, the Smoky Mountain Gift Show and IGES will create a Tennessee Market Week that meets every customer expectation from safety and convenience to the hospitality both IGES and the Smoky Mountain Gift Show are so well recognized.
The IGES and Smoky Mountain Gift Show teams have taken a customer focused approach as they plan for the upcoming trade shows. Lisa Glosson, vice president at Clarion Events which produces the Smoky Mountain Gift Show, said “We know that this year has been different and difficult for many in our gift and souvenir family and we want to take every step to help support their businesses. The overwhelming feedback we have gotten is that they are ready to get back together, see and feel new products in person and network with the gift and souvenir community. This year may be unique, but it is the first step on each of our paths to coming back stronger than ever. We are so ready to see our friends back in Gatlinburg for the Smoky Mountain Gift Show.”
Tennessee Market Week
Emerald’s Executive Vice President Karalynn Sprouse solidified the event producers’ shared vision for Tennessee Market Week, noting, “Having conducted more than 20 years of business in the Smoky Mountains, IGES is excited to return to Pigeon Forge and connect with the gift and souvenir community. Our team is working tirelessly to stage a safe and effective live show for IGES’ loyal vendors and buyers. Our customers have expressed a deep desire to secure new merchandise for their retail shops as the busy holiday season approaches, connect with new suppliers and celebrate the longstanding tradition that is IGES. I am truly looking forward to seeing our friends and colleagues move business forward, and particularly safely this year.”
Buyers have echoed that sentiment, “Given the uncertain times we are all facing, attending the IGES show in November is as critical as ever to the future success of our business. IGES helps us maximize the sales and profitability of all our shops by working with our key vendors to get the best products at the best prices. Talking with fellow retailers about what changes they’ve made to their operations and what new products are doing well for them is an additional benefit to attending the show. There is nothing like seeing new items, designs, and colors in person. Not to mention talking with new vendors to see what they have to offer, which goes well beyond just products in a catalog,” commented IGES Attendee, Don Henk, Massanutten Resort.
Ensuring the safety of exhibitors, attendees and staff at Tennessee Market Week will be both teams’ priority as buyers and exhibitors head to the events. Beginning with pre-show communications to many new onsite health and safety additions — Tennessee Market Week will follow government guidelines issued by the CDC, state and local officials with regard to COVID-19 protocols and precautions. They continue to work closely with travel partners, hotels and convention centers to provide a safe and productive environment to conduct business. Each event has a comprehensive health and safety plan detailed through their website. (See www.smokymtngiftshow.com and www.iges.us).
The focus of both shows this year will be on generating connections and business. On the show floors, attendees can expect to find apparel, accessories, souvenirs, décor, gourmet foods, jewelry and more, in a variety of in-demand options including custom name-drop, Made in America, sustainable and others.
The combined exhibitor lists feature more than 600 leading manufacturers with thousands of lines. IGES attendee, Bill Hyland, CEO, The Summer Hut, commented, “Finding new vendors is a key reason for me to go to IGES. All their products are on display and you can compare between several choices. I find the atmosphere warm and friendly at IGES and this is extremely helpful when you talk to fellow attendees to learn more about business in general or a specific vendor. Go to IGES, you will love all it has to offer. Put in the effort and you will find those things that are necessary to push your business forward.”
Smoky Mountain Gift Show attendee Amber Williams of U.S. Space & Rocket Center, added, “I look forward to reconnecting with industry peers, vendors, and show staff. There is always so much to learn from other buyers across all different institutions. Every year after connecting with my peers I discover something that they are doing that can be beneficial for my business. Also, I firmly believe that as things return to a semi normal state, we all need to be prepared for incredible business. My goal for Smoky Mountain Gift Show is to use this time for product development so that I am ready to place orders when the museum begins to see an increase in attendance. I do not want to be behind the curve and just beginning product development.”
The power of Tennessee Market Week also happens off the show floor with the contribution the events bring to local businesses including hotels, retail, restaurants and ground transportation. According to Go LIVE Together, a coalition of over 1,500 organizations representing thousands of business events who have joined forces to support legislative actions that will aid the event industry’s recovery from COVID-19, trade events contribute more than $419B annually in direct spending.
On a local level, both the Smoky Mountain Gift Show and IGES work closely with the Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge tourism and convention bureaus to promote the unique experiences in these destination cities. Tennessee Market Week will help to support many of the destination and travel businesses that attend the shows as buyers.
Smoky Mountain Gift Show exhibitor Beth Long with Beth Long Sales, commented, “I am very excited, as are all of my customers to go to the beautiful fall Gatlinburg Show. There are wonderful exhibitors and customers, and everyone is ready to have the world start moving again — and love that we feel comfortable coming to the ‘small town feel’ Tennessee Valley. I have spoken to a number of my regular customers and they are all excited to join us at the Smoky Mountain Gift Show and see what new products everyone has to offer.”
To make the Tennessee Market Week experience easier and more enjoyable for buyers, complimentary transportation is provided with shuttles running to and from the Gatlinburg Convention Center and the Pigeon Forge Leconte Center every 30 minutes. Both teams also offer budget saving travel incentives.
For more information please visit the event websites: Smoky Mountain Gift Show, www.smokymtngiftshow.com and International Gift Expo of the Smokies, www.iges.us. Registration is free for qualified buyers and you must register separately for both events.