Monday, July 21, 2014

Atlanta Gift Show 2014

I went to Atlanta last week to check out The Atlanta International Gift & Home Furnishings Market - the South East's bi-annual gift show. Now that Maginating's headquartered in St. Louis, we're quite a bit closer to this part of the country and I thought now was a good time to see for myself if this show might be a good fit for us in the near future.

First off, this show is MASSIVE! I've never been to NY Now, but this was overwhelming at first. The Buyer's Guide is phone-book-thick and covers a collection of permanent and temporary spaces within three immense buildings.

This is part of Building Three - 40K+ square feet per floor!

Unlike the NSS, the Atlanta Gift Show is broken up into a multitude of product-specific, themed areas, including some juried sections as well. This isn't anything unusual to those of you who are familiar with NY Now, but it was an eye-opener for me. Over the course of two days, my goal was to try to figure out where a Maginating booth would be best located within the profusion of categories.

"Write On!" is the area set aside for all things paper and you'd think that would be the place for us. But after walking the section, which is somewhat small, I found the majority of companies didn't fit very well, thematically, with Maginating. The section trended towards the feminine, with a healthy collection of flowers and calligraphic typefaces. But don't get me wrong, I love those styles as much as the next designer... it's just not Maginating's overarching theme.

After considering the Toy, Museum, Hand-made, Gifts, On-Trend Gifts, Paper, and High Design sections over those two days, I believe the best-suited locale for Maginating is On-Trend Gifts. It's juried, so we'd have to apply for consideration, but if this section was a store, Maginating would fit in quite naturally.

The next show is January 2015, so I guess we'll see. Overall, it feels like an appropriate next step. It's pricey, about the same costs as the NSS, though it's a little closer geographically, but filled with great potential!