As the first edition under Urban Expositions management, the January 25-28, 2013 California Gift Show will  welcome an expanded exhibitor base, including established industry leaders, emerging newcomers  and two new product categories custom-tailored to the Southern California  lifestyle  – Boardwalk and Outdoor Living. Free parking for buyers, discounted hotel rates, a full-scale educational program and a host of other new buyer services further enhance the offerings buyers will find at the revitalized show at the Los Angeles Convention Center.

Urban Expositions acquired the California Gift Show from Merchandise Mart Properties Inc. (MMPI) at the close of the Summer 2012 edition. Upon completion of the management transition, the Urban team set its sights on rebuilding the trade show marketplace for retailers throughout Southern California and the surrounding areas.

“With more than 22 million people living in Southern California alone, there’s a vibrant, underserved retail audience right at the show’s doorstep,” explains Doug Miller, president, Urban Expositions.  “Since taking over the reins of the show in August, we’ve focused tremendous effort on rebuilding this show and working to create a whole new buying experience for these retailers.  When they come back in January, retailers will see that we really are making a fresh start at the California Gift Show  — with new resources, new programs and new plans  for continued growth and development.”


Booth sales for the Winter 2013 edition are tracking ahead of schedule, fueled by vendors who have decided to return to the show after a long absence, first-time exhibitors and others. As part of its long-range plan to expand the depth and breadth of the show’s selection, Urban Expositions has added two new categories to the show’s offerings:

Boardwalk – Featuring souvenir, resort, beach apparel and board sport resources.

Outdoor Living – Items reflecting the  casual lifestyle unique to Southern California including casual furnishing & garden.

These new additions will join 7 other product categories –all ideally suited for the fashion-forward, trend-driven southern California marketplace. The order-writing categories in South Hall will all feature an expanded selection  this January, including Design LA, Handcrafted, Gifts and Personal Style (including Spa). In addition, the popular/destination categories of Kentia Hall – World Style, Jewelry Cash & Carry and Vintage, will all return with new resources and designs.


The selection at the California Gift Show (Friday, January 25 – Monday, January 28) comes together with the permanent showrooms at the LA Mart (Wednesday, January 23 – Monday, January 28 | ) to offer an unprecedented collection of leading lines and resources.  For added convenience, each location will honor the other’s admission badges and complimentary shuttle service will run between both locations.

To help kick-off the first California Gift Show under its management, Urban Expositions is offering free parking to buyers who pre-register and arrive early to park at Los Angeles Convention Center lot (offer valid at this lot only – maximum $12 value). 
When they pre-register, buyers will receive a special parking rebate coupon along with their badges in the pre-registration packet.  To receive the $12 parking rebate,  buyers need only present this coupon at the parking rebate desk on the show floor, along with the Los Angeles Convention Center lot parking receipt, buyer badge and photo ID.


Buyers will find a full-scale seminar series at the January show.  Running throughout the 4-day event, all programs are free to registered buyers.  Programs will include a presentation  on marketing/selling Made in America products by Chris Lake, National Merchandise Manager for Aramark Parks & Destinations ; a number of social media marketing and strategy sessions by Crystal Vilkitis, Crystal Media; innovative and effective visual merchandising techniques led by Christopher Gaona, Christopher Gaona Design Studio; buying strategies and  inventory management  led by Mita Patniak, co-founder, Vianza; airport retailing opportunities presented by Airport Revenue News and more.  The full schedule will be announced soon.

The first 200 buyers to arrive on Friday, January 25 or Saturday, January 26 will receive a free goody bag filled with product samples from participating exhibitors.

‘LAUNCHING PAD’ PRODUCT PREVIEW AREA – Before stepping onto the show floor, buyers should make a point to explore the new “Launching Pad” product preview area.  Here they will get a sneak preview  of new introductions and best-selling designs they’ll see on the show floor.


Eco-friendly and handmade products are key growth areas for the California Gift Show.  To help retailers quickly locate the many resources they’ll find at the show, special Green By Design and Handcrafted Resource  Lists will be featured on the show’s website and in the official show directory.

For more information, visit  the California Gift Show website or 678.285.3976 (EXPO) or 800.318.2238.


Urban Expositions is the largest gift and souvenir trade show organizer in the U.S., hosting a total of 24 shows each year.  In January of 1996, Urban Expositions launched the semi-annual Philadelphia Gift Show, which has become one of the largest and most successful regional gift events in the nation. Since then, the company has continued to grow through acquisitions and new show development. Based in Kennesaw, GA, Urban Expositions offers a complete roster of trade show management services, including exhibit sales and marketing, operations, exhibitor/ attendee promotions and services, media relations, seminar and event coordination, database development and management.  For more information, visit or call 800.318.2238