The Gathering West hosts successful February show
As the only hosted buyer event of its kind offering guaranteed one-to-one buyer meetings during the import winter buying season, The Gathering West debuted to rave reviews from buyers and exhibitors during its inaugural February 4 – 6, 2019, edition at the Riviera Palm Springs Resort in California.
Launched by Clarion UX as a west coast version of The Gathering, which takes place in the fall in Florida, the new event brought 50 curated vendors together with 100 plus top level gift/souvenir buyers from around the country, many with a strong West Coast focus.
“We launched The Gathering West in direct response to requests from our customers over the years and are thrilled with the overwhelmingly positive reception our debut event received,” said Lisa Glosson, vice president of Gift & Souvenir, Clarion UX.
“From the resort venue to the guaranteed one-to-one meetings, incredible networking and social time everyone enjoyed, this proved to be every bit of the high-level, sales and connection-driven experience we hoped it would be,” said Donna Guess, senior consultant for The Gathering Events, Clarion UX.
With the lovely Palm Springs Resort as its backdrop, the three-day Gathering West event kicked off Sunday evening, February 3, with a buyers only preview on the show floor followed by a welcome cocktail reception and buffet with exhibitors. Each day combined a series of designated show floor time blocks with breakfast, lunch gatherings and evening dinner events for the group — giving attendees maximum time for building positive business relationships.
“In my four-plus decades in the souvenir industry, The Gathering West was the best ‘first’ show we’ve ever had,” added Skip Smith, president Smith-Western Co.
A guaranteed meeting method was also part of The Gathering West experience for buyers and vendors. The Gathering West concierge team of Jhana Jordan Valerie Svard worked closely with hosted buyers to prepare a one-on-one personal meeting agenda — identifying their buying needs and matching them with relevant suppliers to simplify and accelerate the process. The buyers had ample time to explore other new vendors outside of their confirmed schedules as well.
The Gathering West will move to the Palm Springs Convention Center, with accommodations and events held at the attached Renaissance Hotel, for the February 6 to February 8, 2020 edition. The next edition of The Gathering in Orlando, Florida is scheduled from September 17 to September 20, 2019 at Shingle Creek Resort.