IGES/SSS Show Dates: Tues., November 6th – Saturday, Nov. 10th, 2012 at the Sevierville, TN Events Center.
Show Hours: 9:00am – 5:00pm Tuesday – Friday
9:00am – 4:00pm Saturday
Complimentary ZAG Breakfast served every morning, 8:00am – 9:30am in the ZAG lounge.
Doors open for ZAG buyers at 7:45am each day..
Tues., Nov. 6th – OPENING DAY! CAZAM BAGS available for all Zoo and Aquarium buyers in ZAG Lounge! These special bags for Caves, Aquariums, Zoos and Museums are full of items specific to these buyers only.
8:00am – 9:30am ZAG Breakfast in ZAG Lounge
10:00am – 4:00pm $100.00 cash prizes awarded every hour to lucky buyers who have placed orders on Tuesday!
5:00pm – 6:00pm Happy Hour
Wed., Nov. 7th –Walk-the-Plank Wednesday
8:00 am – 9:30am ZAG Breakfast in ZAG Lounge
11:30 am – ZAA Luncheon, North Concourse, Sevierville Events Center, Show Orientation Continues. Welcome ZAA!
10:00 am – 4:00 pm $100.00 cash prizes awarded every hour to lucky buyers who have placed orders at the show on Wednesday!
12:00 pm – 3:00 pm FREE PIRATE LUNCH & TROPICAL RUM PUNCH for all buyers with coupon (available at check-in)
5:30 pm - Free round-trip shuttle service for ZAG Buyers and Sponsors from the Sevierville Events Center, the Gatlinburg Convention Center and Riverstone Lodge to the ZAG Mixer at Rainforest Adventure, Sevierville, TN. ZAG welcomes all sponsors!
Thurs., Nov. 8th 8:00am - 9:30am ZAG Buyers! Enjoy a light breakfast while learning how to drive traffic to YOUR gift store with Social Media. North Concourse (next to ZAG Lounge), by Kimberly Warren Baker.
10:00am – 4:00pm $100.00 cash prizes awarded every hour to lucky buyers who have placed orders at the show on Thursday!
5:30pm – 9:00pm – ZAG Annual Dinner/Meeting –This year at the beautiful Lodge at Hidden Mountain Resort, Apple Valley Rd., Sevierville! – Shuttles leave IGES at 5:15pm and 5:30pm, cocktails - upon arrival, dinner - 6:30pm, meeting ends 9:00pm.
Fri., Nov. 9th - 8:00am – 9:30am ZAG Breakfast in ZAG Lounge (Special Discussion, “Green Talk”)
Sat., Nov. 10th - 8:00am – 9:30am ZAG Breakfast in ZAG Lounge
Free Freight Saturday! Finish your orders on Saturday and receive ‘free freight’ from many exhibitors!
FREE Shuttle Service during show days and evenings. Call: Rocky Top Tours at 877-315-8687 or 865-429-8687.
Schedule of Events at the 2012 SMGS, Gatlinburg
SMGS Show Dates: Wed., November 7th - Saturday, Nov. 10th 2012 at the Gatlinburg Convention Center in Gatlinburg, TN.
Show Hours: 9:00 amundefined5:30 pm WednesdayundefinedFriday
9:00 am -4:00 pm Saturday
NEW! Enter for Your Chance to Win One of Three Daily $100 Cash Prize Giveaways – Registered buyers can enter each day to win one of three (3) $100 Cash Prizes given away at the end of each day during the show. To enter, pick up an entry form at the Smoky Mountain Gift Show Registration desk, fill it out and drop it off in the ballot box located in the Gatlinburg A & B Room. One entry per buyer per day. Show Management will contact winners by phone at the end of the show each day.
Goody Bag Giveaways – The first 100 retail stores to arrive at the show on Wednesday, November 7 or Thursday, November 8 will receive a special tote bag filled with free gifts from many of the show’s exhibitors.
Southern Hospitality at its Finest – While you’re here, be sure to enjoy our southern hospitality. Start your day by enjoying complimentary coffee and doughnuts each morning from 9:00-10:00 am in the Mills Auditorium and the upstairs meeting room level near the Parkway Tower. Then come back to these locations each afternoon to relax, unwind and “sit for a spell” while also enjoying complimentary beer, wine and cheese from 4:00 – 5:30 pm. Reserved for buyers only.
Product Preview Area – Make this special product preview area your first stop as you walk the show. Visit the South Lobby to quickly discover some of the wonderful lines on the show floor.
Smoky Mountain Gift Show Party
Wednesday, November 7 | 5:45 PM
BLAINES – Free Admission – 21 & Up Only.
Must wear your buyer or exhibitor badge for entry.
LIVING LEGENDS SOCIAL HONORS DICK BROWN
Thursday, November 8 at 5:30 pm | 3rd Floor Parkway Tower
Join us after the show closes on Thursday evening as the Living Legends Association honors Dick Brown, Beachcombers International for his commitment to the industry. The Living Legends Association seeks to honor those whose contributions have helped the souvenir industry take shape. Working together, members strive to improve and better the industry while keeping it vital and having fun along the way.
ZAG will host a variety of networking events for its members, including a new ZAG Bingo game and a special networking reception. In addition, ZAG members are encouraged to come by the show office each day to pick up their ZAG member lunch coupon.
Some of us buyers in Zoos and Aquariums have been told by our institutions that we are not allowed to buy products that contain palm oil due to the fact that many new palm oil plantations destroy rain forests and hurt wildlife populations within those regions of the world. Palm plantations themselves are not entirely the environmental factor but where they are located. As a matter of fact palm plantations can yield 10 times more oil an acre than soybeans thus using less land to produce more oil. As Zoos and Aquariums we want to ensure the survival of great animals like the orangutan and right now some institutions have implemented policies not to buy any palm oil within their institutions as a way to help protect endangered animals.
On another side of the palm oil argument is that palm oil plantations have brought economic growth to Malaysia and Indonesia and palm oil is a renewable resource with future possibilities in creating veggie plastics. With any ingredient or item on the market you have to research and find out if a product is a fit for your institution. Plus as a buyer we must do what is ethical within the world and if the world is greatly harmed from something you purchase then maybe an alternative item should be sought after.
There is some hope for the future of palm oil because of an organization called the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO); they have made a commitment to try to ensure future palm oil can be citified as sustainable. If governments can pass laws on palm plantations, conservation organizations can verify outcomes and business can be held accountable from where palm oil is purchased, then we have made a great progression on having sustainable oil for the future as well as our lush green rain forests and our great orangutans.
Only by working together as suppliers and buyers can we help the palm oil dilemma and strike a balance between animal habitats and human economic needs. In this new era of conservation awareness many companies have already switched from using palm oil to another kind of oil for their products and some companies have made a commitment to only buy sustainable palm oil. So as buyers in conservation organizations ask your vendors about palm oil in their products and find out where it comes from in the world. Together we can end rain forest degradation and animal extinction.
ZAG Member Interview
St. Augustine Alligator Farm
Please describe your facility…acreage, annual attendance, major exhibits, most popular animals, etc.
We are a Zoological Park set on a little under 8 acres of land. We are the only one in the world housing all 23 species of Crocodilians. One of which is our major exhibit, Maximo, a 15’ 3” saltwater crocodile. He is housed in an underwater viewing tank so guest can get an up close a personal look at this magnificent animal. Our reptile keepers perform various shows throughout the day including two live alligator feedings, our rainforest review showing featuring our lovely Macaws (who sing for guests), and live reptile shows. We are located just 2 miles south of downtown St. Augustine so we are a must see for anyone visiting the area.
Please describe your merchandise operations…number of year-round shops, seasonal shops, square footage, seasonal carts, etc.
Our one gift shop is roughly 1800 square feet. We stock anything from plush alligators, coffee mugs, and tee shirts, to hot sauce. We do also have limited merchandise, such a batteries, rain ponchos, and bug spray available at our Photo hut. We are in the process of updating our online store as well. With just a few clicks the customer will be able to purchase much of our best selling merchandise on line.
List some of your best-selling merchandise items and categories. Where possible, please include specifics like vendor name, color, etc.
Some of our top sellers are alligator teeth in a bottle, small squeaky rubber alligators, and designer alligator tooth necklaces. Our plush category is also a great seller. Plush snakes from Wild Republic which come in many colors, many of which are true to an actual snake are a top seller. Fancy Pals Pet carriers from Aurora, which is a purse with a plush animal inside is a close second. And lastly, the hanging monkeys, which come in every color and species still sells strong. We try to stock animals that are actually in our park. We have plush gators, red ruffed lemurs, komodo dragons, and a variety of plush geared toward the exhibits. We also do a custom Maximo plush just for the Maximo lovers.
Are any items or categories trending downward in popularity?
Bottle Cap necklaces were a big hit for us in 2011 but seem to be losing their appeal. Also the redneck wine glasses were selling like hotcakes when they were introduced last year and now seem to be slowing in sales.
What trends do you foresee in 2013?
Nothing on the trend front yet, I will be attending three different gift shows starting next month. It’s usually at these shows that I get the feel for what is hot and trending. Attending these shows and seeing and hearing the buzz of what’s hot is a great way to get the foresight into what we need to stock in our shop.
Will there be any new shops, carts, or attractions in 2012?
We won’t be adding any new shops but we are in talks of a store remodel early next year. As far as new exhibits we are always changing and evolving. Our zip line is our newest addition. Guests pay to zip over live alligators in our alligator lagoon.
What trade shows do you go to?
I will be attending The Gathering in Orlando. And then IGES and the Smokey Mountain Gift shows in TN in November. Next year I will be attending Surf Expo in Orlando as well.
Anything you’d like to add?
That staying on top of what the customer wants and pricing competitively even in an attraction is so important. Attending the gift shows, visiting your area competitors and most importantly listening to the customer themselves, makes for a successful Shop.