Trade shows offer an invaluable platform to connect creators with retailers. The art and design fields have a plethora of these special events in which artists share their work and grow their businesses. Occupying booths that act as both a gallery and a retail space, thousands of people who want to hire artists or purchase their wares come ready to buy.
The cost of a booth at gifts, stationery, and home furnishing trade shows typically doesn't come cheap. Some can cost thousands of dollars! But if you’re a creative who is looking to take your business to the next level, it can be worth the investment. It’s hard to beat that much exposure from people actively looking to purchase art and design. Not only will you make sales at the show, but you'll secure valuable contacts of folks who would like to buy from you later on.
If you’re an artist or designer, here are eight of the most popular trade shows to share your work in the US.
Want to get your work seen in front of thousands of buyers? Home furnishing and gift trade shows are a great way to sell your work and make valuable industry contacts.
NY Now, New York City
Held twice annually, NY NOW is one of the top events where buyers come to look for new and innovative products. The massive show prides itself on showcasing the best design-driven items across many categories including lifestyle, home, handmade, and gifts. People come ready to purchase, too. According to NY NOW, 50% of their buyers source only this particular show for their products.
Las Vegas Market, Las Vegas
The Las Vegas Market (LVM) is touted as one of the fastest growing gift and home decor trade shows in the US. Their categories include furniture, bedding, lighting, flooring, and much more. Buyers who attend the Las Vegas market are heavily concentrated on the west coast, and they don’t attend markets on the other side of the country. LVM offers the perfect opportunity to reach these people.
Shoppe Object, New York City
Shoppe Object was born as a response to the massive New York home and gift market scene. It debuted in the summer of 2018 and focuses on a smaller, curated selection of brands and merchants. They pride themselves on having a communal spirit that unites retailers and makers.
Blue Print, New York and San Francisco
Blue Print focuses on surface design and printing for studios and designers looking to license their work. This show has a boutique feel that’s friendly and relaxed, where exhibitors cannot only sell their work but make lasting contacts. Previously, Blue Print was just in New York, but they’ve recently expanded to the West coast and held their first show in San Francisco.
National Stationery Show, New York City
The National Stationery Show (NSS) is the place to find stationery and related products; it features hundreds of new product releases at the event. NSS is now co-located with NY NOW Summer to bring an additional 9,000 retailers who are looking to purchase.
Surtex, New York City
Surtex is an annual trade show for the surface design industry. Like the National Stationery Show, it is co-located with NY NOW—except this event happens during their winter event. Manufacturers, retailers, markets, and licensing companies attend Surtex to buy art and purchase licenses for commercial use on a variety of products.
Atlanta International Gift & Home Furnishings Market, Atlanta
Located at AmericasMart Atlanta, the International Gift & Home Furnishings Market features more than 8,000 brands across an array of categories including gifts, home decor, and furnishings. It takes place every summer and is the largest industry market of those months. In addition to sales, there are speaker events featuring A-listers like Martha Stewart.
LA Mart, Los Angeles
LA Mart is a gift, home, and design center. They are open five days a week with a collection of showrooms, but they hold seasonal markets that take place over the course of three to five days. Attendees to LA Mart must be registered buyers or designers with the proper credentials.
For a full list of even more trade shows and events, visit Gift Shop Magazine.