Emerald Expositions, LLC, a leading business-to-business trade show and conference producer, today announced its acquisition of The International Gift Exposition in the Smokies (IGES), from M&M Gift Shows.
Started in 2000 by Susan Mills and Jerry Mayer, IGES is now one of the largest gatherings of wholesale souvenir, resort and gift buyers in the United States. The show encompasses two events – IGES and The Souvenir Super Show (SSS), the latter focusing on custom souvenirs. Both take place concurrently in November each year at two locations in eastern Tennessee – Pigeon Forge and Sevierville – that are only seven miles apart.
“For the longest time we’ve had great respect for the Emerald organization and their shows in our market, particularly ASD Marketweek and Surf Expo,” said Mills. “Jerry and I look forward to being actively involved through this November’s show and will then provide our support and insights through the transition to Emerald and next year’s show.”
The International Gift Exposition in the Smokies is scheduled for Nov. 1–4, 2016 at the Sevierville Convention Center and Nov. 2–5, 2016 at LeConte Center at Pigeon Forge. The show attracts more than 5,000 buyers from across the United States, Canada and around the world.
Mayer added, “This is the right time for us to pass the baton to Emerald, an organization which has a great affinity with our buyers and sellers, and very professional in the way it operates. We are proud of the show we have built and we expect Emerald to take the show to the next level and deliver even greater value to our exhibitors, our attendees and our staff.”
IGES will join Emerald’s Gift, Home, and General Merchandise brands, which include ASD Marketweek, NY NOW, and National Stationery Show, and Executive Vice President, Karalynn Sprouse, will oversee the show.
“This is another example of a healthy, long-standing, market leading event that fits well within our portfolio,” said David Loechner, president and CEO of Emerald. “I am confident that under Karalynn’s strong leadership the show will continue to thrive and bring new and exciting opportunities to the buyers and sellers in this market.”
Loechner noted that the Toledo, Ohio-based team at M&M Gift Shows joined the Emerald organization.
Media Front LLC of Sudbury, MA was the exclusive advisor to Emerald in arranging and negotiating this transaction. The financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Photo: Opening day of the IGES at the Sevierville Convention Center. – IGES/ Emerald Expositions