Urban Expositions Acquires California Gift Show from MMPI

June 27, 2012

For the second time in the past few years, ownership of the California Gift Show changed hands – this time from Merchandise Mart Properties Inc. to Urban Expositions.

In 2009, as part of the slimming down of dmg world media’s gift show portfolio, the event was sold to MMPI.

Urban Expositions will take over management of California Gift Show after the event’s July edition on tap at the Los Angeles Convention Center.

 “We seized the opportunity to buy this show as we felt it could accelerate our efforts to rebuild the southern California gift market’s brand as a leading trend, product and style resource,” said Doug Miller, president of Urban Expositions.

As part of the agreement to buy the California Gift Show, Urban Expositions scratched its plans to launch a new show in Anaheim.

“Our original plans to launch a new event in Anaheim were grounded in our firm belief that the timing and market conditions were right to pour significant resources into bringing a fresh, vibrant show to the region’s substantial buyer base,” Miller said.

He added, “We’ll be able to accomplish this goal much quicker and better serve the overall marketplace by using those same resources to build upon the foundation of the established California Gift Show and the synergistic opportunities that exist with neighboring permanent showroom buildings.”

After the July 27-30 show, Urban Expositions will take over all sales, marketing, operations and other day-to-day duties for the Jan. 25-28, 2013, California Gift Show and all future editions of the semi-annual show.

Urban Expositions will work closely with MMPI leading up to the July 2012 event to ensure that a smooth transition of ownership takes place, according to Urban Expositions officials.

“Under the leadership of Urban Expositions, the California Gift Show will continue to lead the southern California gift market into its next iteration,” said Mark Falanga, president of MMPI.

He added, “We’re very pleased that Urban Expositions will continue to direct this positive industry momentum. Urban Expositions is well-equipped to bring the California Gift Show into the next generation, and that is why we transitioned it to them.”

According to company officials, Urban Expositions plans to significantly expand the exhibitor base of the California Gift Show, targeting a Winter 2013 show opening with more than 2,000 domestic and international lines.

As part of the effort to grow the show, Urban will feature nine well-balanced product categories suited to the West Coast retail audience.

The California Gift Show adds to Atlanta-based Urban Exposition’s West Coast portfolio.

The company bought the Portland Gift Show and West Coast Cash & Carry Shows from Western Exhibitors last year, the San Francisco International Gift Fair and Seattle Gift Show from dmg world media in 2009 and launched the Las Vegas Souvenir & Resort Gift Show in 2007.

“We are heavily invested in the Western US, committed to the long-term growth of each of our ventures here, and well-poised to take a leadership role for the southern California marketplace,” Miller said.

He added, “We’ve worked to ensure that each of our shows in each of these West Coast markets uniquely caters to the trends and tastes of the area – making them destinations for buyers across the country. We will build on this strategy for the California Gift Show too. ”

Altogether, Urban Expositions hosts 24 gift and souvenir shows annually, making it the largest show organizer in that segment, according to company officials.

Add new comment

Partner Voices
Overview: The award-winning Orange County Convention Center (OCCC) goes the extra mile to make every day extraordinary by offering customer service excellence and industry-leading partnerships. From their dedicated in-house Rigging team to their robust Exhibitor Services, The Center of Hospitality brings your imagination to life by helping you host unforgettable meetings and events. With more than 2 million square feet of exhibit space, world-class services and a dream destination, we are committed to making even the most ambitious conventions a reality. In October 2023, the Orange County Board of County Commissioners voted to approve allocating Tourist Development Tax funding for the $560 million Phase 5A completion of the OCCC. The Convention Way Grand Concourse project will include enhancements to the North-South Building, featuring an additional 60,000 square feet of meeting space, an 80,000- square-foot ballroom and new entry to the North-South Building along Convention Way. “We are thrilled to begin work on completing our North-South Building which will allow us to meet the growing needs of our clients,” said OCCC Executive Director Mark Tester. “As an economic driver for the community, this project will provide the Center with connectivity and meeting space to host more events and continue to infuse the local economy with new money and expanding business opportunities.” Amenities: The Center of Hospitality goes above and beyond by offering world-class customer service and industry-leading partnerships. From the largest convention center Wi-Fi network to custom LAN/WAN design, the Center takes pride in enhancing exhibitor and customer experience.  The OCCC is the exclusive provider of electricity (24-hour power at no additional cost), aerial rigging and lighting, water, natural gas and propane, compressed air, and cable TV services. Convenience The Center is at the epicenter of the destination, with an abundance of hotels, restaurants, and attractions within walking distance. Pedestrian bridges connect both buildings to more than 5,200 rooms and is within a 15-minute drive from the Orlando International Airport. The convenience of the location goes hand-in-hand with top notch service to help meet an event’s every need. Gold Key Members The OCCC’s Gold Key Members represent the best of the best when it comes to exceptional service and exclusive benefits for clients, exhibitors and guests. The Center’s Gold Key memberships with Universal Orlando Resort, SeaWorld Orlando and Walt Disney World greatly enhance meeting planner and attendee experiences offering world-renowned venues, immersive experiences and creative resources for their events. OCCC Events: This fiscal year, the OCCC is projected to host 168 events, 1.7 million attendees, and $2.9 billion in economic impact.  The Center’s top five events during their 2022-2023 fiscal year included:  AAU Jr. National Volleyball Championships 2023 200,000 Attendees $257 Million in Economic Impact MEGACON 2023 160,000 Attendees $205 Million in Economic Impact Open Championship Series 2023 69,500 Attendees $89 Million in Economic Impact Sunshine Classic 2023 42,000 Attendees $54 Million in Economic Impact Premiere Orlando 2023 42,000 Attendees $108 Million in Economic Impact