San Juan Capistrano, CA – Emerald Expositions has acquired the International Gift Exposition in the Smokies (IGES) from M&M Gift Shows and will add it to its already strong portfolio of gift exhibitions.
Held annually in Tennessee’s scenic Great Smoky Mountains, the IGES and concurrent Souvenir Super Show (SSS) draw buyers including wholesalers and a wide range of high-traffic souvenir retailers, particularly resorts, amusement parks, museums and zoos. The attendees include delegations from the Zoo and Aquarium Gift Buyers, the National Caves Association and the National Association of Retail Buyers.
The shows will become part of Emerald’s Gift, Home, and General Merchandise brands overseen by Executive Vice President Karalynn Sprouse. The portfolio includes the venerable National Stationary Show and perennial
Trade Show Executive Gold 100 shows NY Now and ASD Marketweek.
“This is another example of a healthy, long-standing, market-leading event that fits well within our portfolio,” said David Loechner, President and CEO of Emerald. “I am confident that under Karalynn’s strong leadership, the show will continue to thrive and bring new and exciting opportunities to the buyers and sellers in this market.”
Emerald plans to continue the IGES and SSS as a stand-alone event. The combined metrics for the 2015 event include nearly 600 exhibitors and approximately 120,000 net square feet of exhibit space. Attendance set a show record of around 5,000 buyers.
The Toledo-based show management team from M&M will join Emerald. Susan Mills and Jerry Mayer, who launched IGES in 2000, will take part in the transition. “Jerry and I look forward to being actively involved through this November’s show and will then provide our support and insights through the transition to Emerald and next year’s show,” said Mills.
The two shows are held seven miles apart at the LeConte Convention Center in Pigeon Forge and the Sevierville Convention Center in Sevierville. This year’s show will include a designated area at the Sevierville venue for Made-in-America products.