Earlier this month, Clarion Events Gift & Souvenir went back to holding in-person events with its 55th yearly Smoky Mountain Gift Show. This event took place in Gatlinburg, Tennessee from November 4-7, representing fifty percent of Tennessee Market Week, along with the International Gift Exposition in the Smokies (IGES). Their focus was on providing a safe environment for both vendors and buyers to returning to business during those four days, with opportunities for making new connections, buying new products, and writing orders. The feedback from attendees and exhibitors after the event about returning to live shows was positive, with the need for in-person events and for business to be conducted on the floor of the show.
Highlights of the Show
In this year's 2020 show, the floor featured best-selling and new trend, novelty, and souvenir products in a wide range of categories. The Product Preview Area had several vendors participating. This high-traffic area is for vendors to highlight their most recent designs and where buyers can vote on the best made in America and the best new products.
The show's director Christina Bell said they were thrilled to provide a meeting place for the resort, souvenir, and gift community to be able to reconnect in this unprecedented year. We speak to our customers throughout the year and have heard over and over again the desire and need for an in-person setting. That is why we were encouraged to find whatever way possible to meet this year in person. We wanted to support the industry following a year where so many have faced various hardships and offer a fun, productive, and safe meeting space so that people could return to business. It is great to hear about so many success stories after the event. We hope we can continue supporting our souvenir and gift family throughout the year.
COVID-19 Safety Protocols
Along with moving business forward, the other major priority was to ensure the safety and health of everyone involved in the event. The Smoky Mountain Gift Show's management and event team worked closely with local and state authorities, travel partners, hotels, service providers, and the convention center to get control measures implemented to ensure strict adherence to all safety and health standards. A thorough "We've Got You Covered" safety plan was also enforced by the show, which included daily temperature checks, mandatory facial coverings, enhanced cleaning, physical distancing, and more.
Murffy Stevens, Monterey Import Co. vice president, said in a regular year, I can rely on the Smoky Mountain Gift Show to work on sales for next year, finalize orders, and connect with fellow exhibitors in a venue that is very familiar and feel like coming home. During this year of the pandemic, I didn't know what to expect. However, armed with samples, hand sanitizer, and optimism, I decided to give it my best. Things did look a bit different with social distancing and masks, but it was a great show. The buyers were prepared to write orders and were very engaged. Also, the meetings were outstanding. The connection was critical during this unprecedented year and the show this year brought everyone back together again.
What You Can Expect in 2021
Although some of the offerings were altered to b in line with the safety promise of "We've Got You Covered," the event still provided many of the show's hallmark benefits, including a prize wheel and gifts, the Gatlinburg VIP Attraction Pass, Mountain Money Madness, several giveaways, happy hours, daily coffee. This is looking forward to 2021, when the events will return in addition to other staples of the show, including the yearly Show Party.
The Smoky Mountain Gift Show for 2021 will be taking place in Gatlinburg, TN on November 10-13. Visit the Smokey Mountain Gift Show's website for more information.
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