A Perspective on the Licensing Gallery @ NYIGF

8 02 2010

Many of you have been wondering how the first-time Licensing Gallery of the New York International Gift Fair turned out last week for those who had a booth. I took a moment to touch base with Barbara Johansen Newman, a licensor, designer, illustrator and author, who exhibited at the show. Barbara openly admits that she believes wholeheartedly in taking a risk and investing in her business, so it is not surprising that she bought a booth and gave it a go.

Since the NYIGF is run by the same management company as Surtex, they offered participation in the new Licensing Gallery to only those who are already exhibiting at the 2010 Surtex trade show in May. The price is much less, approximately half of Surtex’s fees for a booth, with similar booth sizes to help exhibitors keep design and production costs down. They also limited the first-time section to 30 booths.

The Licensing Gallery @ NYIGF had about 8-10 booths representing artists and agents this first year. Barbara explicitly liked that there were 4 days to exhibit, instead of the three at Surtex. But we both agree, that may not appeal to everyone.

The bottom line is that she thought the traffic was very good. Sunday through Tuesday was steady, with Wednesday being a bit slower than the other days. Putting the Licensing Gallery at the back of the trade show floor by the food court was probably a great move.

It sounds like compared to the recent and also new License & Design section at the AmericasMart in Atlanta, they did very well in terms of traffic simply because they were easy to run into. It was tremendous to be in the same building, and on the same floor, as the corresponding show. Of her many leads, several of the most serious connections were made with vendors from the NYIGF. She felt there was definite traffic from the vendor booths to the new License Gallery section.

Although signage was good, except for exhibitors at NYIGF, most people really didn’t know the section was there. And when attendees walked by, they didn’t understand their purpose and what was being exhibited. She admits lots of people asked what they were selling, but it didn’t bother Newman.

Newman actually felt it was a better show for her than Surtex last year, since there were fewer artists represented. She stated that she would definitely exhibit again. My warmest thanks to Barbara for graciously sharing her thoughts about the show with everyone. If you would like to see her latest art and designs, visit her website and check out her blog.

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