Impressive growth in attendance and exhibitor participation resulted in the largest New York International Gift Fair® (NYIGF®) since summer 2008. Reflecting a pre-Recession level of business activity, last month’s NYIGF (Aug 13-18) presented more than 2,800 companies – 110 more than in winter 2011 – and attracted 35,000 attendees.

 

Despite the recent economic downgrade, visitors to NYIGF actively wrote orders in advance of the fourth-quarter holiday season. Attendees hailed from all 50 states and 80 countries, with especially strong attendance from Japan, Australia, South America, and Canada.

 

“Anecdotally, exhibitors reported strong sales and order-writing,” says Dorothy Belshaw, NYIGF director and George Little Management senior vice president. “Despite negative economic reports, buyers were optimistic and the resulting energy on the show floor was palpable.”

 

Nanda Soderberg, an exhibitor in Handmade Designer Maker® and owner of Solos Glass, adds, “The summer NYIGF has been our best show in the last four shows, and the most successful show of all our gift shows!”

 

Nearly 450 companies exhibited for the first time at NYIGF. The Fair’s international representation was bolstered with new groups from Argentina, South Korea, Panama, China, India, Malaysia, and Nepal. In total, 46 countries were represented throughout NYIGF’s 10 divisions.

 

Two new “neighborhoods,” featuring groupings of related merchandise, were also introduced at the summer market, with a new “On Trend” neighborhood in General Gift showcasing trend-forward personal and home accessories, tableware, toys, apparel and more. The Artisan Jewelry Showcase presented fine handcrafted works ranging in media, style, and price point within New York’s Newest.

 

The summer edition of NYIGF also incorporated five days of value-added programming including educational sessions, industry social events, product awards, feature displays, and buyer promotions. More than 30 educational seminars covered topics of sustainability, social media, home and color trends, and retail strategies. After-hours, the 60th Annual Retailer Excellence Awards recognized excellence among new and established retailers and individuals in the gift, home, and lifestyle industry.