Wholesale gift shows are general merchandise wholesale shows for buyers who are looking for new merchandise to fill their stores.
Larger shows are usually separated into market segments such as “handmade” (which is not always handmade, or may be handmade in foreign countries), “museum,” “children,” “home,” etc.
Expenses & Walking a Show
Expenses can be large for doing a tradeshow, not only do you have to pay a large booth rental, you also need to have a display that will stand out amongst your competitors, and also take into account travel, lodging, and shipping costs. Total investment starts at a minimum of $5,000.
Before you take on a major show such as New York Gift Show or San Francisco Gift Show, it would be a really good idea to visit several of these events to see what your competition is, what kind of display you need to come up with, and what the traffic patterns are.
You should visit smaller shows, and at least one major show (located in a major metropolitan city such as Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Chicago, or New York). Try to get a feel for what the stakes are so you can decide if you are ready to make this leap.
If you call these shows in advance, and tell them that you are interested in exhibiting there in the future, they will grant you a visitors pass so that you can walk a show and decide if it will be a good match or not.
Be observant, but don't try to take too much time away from the sellers, as they all paid a lot of money to be there and they need to write a lot of orders while they are there.
Most of these shows have after hours meet and greets, so ask the exhibition company if this is an option, or if they have a networking time with potential and current exhibitors.
Finding Wholesale Gift Shows Near You
Contact the chamber of commerce in some of the larger cities within your region and ask if there are any wholesale shows coming in. These shows usually occor at least twice a year. Here’s an overview of some of the larger gift shows: