Trade shows are a vital part of the CPG industry. They’re the perfect opportunity for both buyers and suppliers to get out there and see how the industry is transforming and the trends that are brewing on local and national levels.

Local vendors at the Philadelphia Gift Show 2016

Local vendors at the Philadelphia Gift Show 2016

I recently hit up the Philadelphia Gift Show to see what retailers are stocking that consumers want to give and receive. You might think this sector of CPG would be limited to scented candles, bubble baths, tchotchkes that no one wants to dust. But if you think that, then you’d be missing the real heart of this show. With a majority of suppliers from the Northeast and local Philly area, the Gift Show was a prime opportunity to dig in at the local and regional level, to understand what’s hot now on this side of the country, and to build relationships with suppliers and buyers you might otherwise not engage.

Imagine stepping into a sprawling convention center, with aisle upon aisle of booths and suppliers. It would be easy to get lost in such a place, but Urban Expo, the group that put on the event, offered attendees an app that showed floor layouts, contact info, schedules, and more. This, along with the fact that the show featured small suppliers only, help foster an environment of community and emphasized understanding local markets by buying local.

Local handmade products at the Makers Market

Local handmade products at the Makers Market

The Gift Show offered attendees a lot both on the show floor and off. The Makers’ Market was a popular spot for attendees to stop–this area featured suppliers of handmade goods, and really stood out as the place to find unique products. Seminars held during the show focused on topics like starting and improving suppliers’ social media; creating a sustainable revenue throughout the year, not just seasonally; and honing in on your niche market.

In a few short days the Philadelphia Gift Show showed attendees that gifts today go beyond potpourri and gourmet chocolates. There’s a world of opportunity available to bring something new to retailers, buyers, and suppliers alike.

Stay tuned for more local show coverage in your area!

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  1. Great for Philadelphia…what about Melbourne, Australia??

    1. Stay tuned Jenney! We’ll be reporting on shows in AUS and NZ as well.

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