Custom Printed Pillow from Town Pride

Gift Shop Plus Summer 2022
Tailor Made By Debbie Eisele

Demand is high for namedrop and souvenir merchandise

Namedrop and souvenir merchandise is still popular, and that isn’t going to change anytime soon. Consumers are looking for products that reflect a brand, a city/town/state, specific location (longitude and latitude), or an image that resonates with an experience or personal passion.

Flat Hand-Crafted Candle from Flatyz
Flat Hand-Crafted Candle from Flatyz

Apparel, accessories, bath and body, jewelry, home décor, souvenirs, toys and games and other merchandise can all be customized and retailers can appeal to shoppers by offering a multitude of options.

Bee Bar from Honey House Naturals
Bee Bar from Honey House Naturals

“The products in the souvenir, resort and namedrop category help give visitors and vacationers to attractions and destinations a tangible reminder of the memories they have created. That is something that is timeless,” Lisa Glosson, vice president gift and souvenir for Clarion Events said. “Now with travel and tourism picking up to almost pre-pandemic levels, as many reports have shown, that demand has continued to increase!”

26oz Flex Bottle from Ice Shaker
26oz Flex Bottle from Ice Shaker

“This year we are seeing a surge in demand for products Made in America due to the challenges around shipping and supply chain issues. Other categories that have continued to emerge over the past couple of years are sustainable products, fair trade goods and products made by minority and women owned businesses,” Glosson emphasized.

USA Red Grocery Tote-East Coast from Maptote
USA Red Grocery Tote-East Coast from Maptote

Yet, connecting with others can provide an attractive lure — merchandise that provides a memory of an experience and a way to connect is an additional way to grab shoppers’ attention. For instance, games and puzzles can provide shoppers a reminder of a trip as well as time with friends and family, to enjoy an activity and reconnect.

Name Drop Customs from My Word!
Name Drop Customs from My Word!

“People want to gather again and we are seeing a big lift in all products that bring them to the communal table. From family game nights to wine cheese and trivia girls night, games and products that bring together two to five people are a sweet spot,” Trudi Barlow, Unemployed Philosophers Guild shared.

Self-expression Stickers from Stickers Northwest
Self-expression Stickers from Stickers Northwest

Clarion Events offers several markets across the country that offer selections in a wide-range of categories, and many of its events offer specialty selections. For instance, at the Grand Strand Gift & Resort Merchandise Show and the Ocean City Resort Gift Expo, buyers will find a selection of beach souvenirs and resort merchandise.

Custom Printed Pillow from Town Pride
Custom Printed Pillow from Town Pride

Glosson also shared that at its Smoky Mountain Gift show, buyers can peruse a large selection of products for lake, mountain or lodge resorts. For buyers interested in very specific cultural products, well-suited for national parks, museums and other similar destinations, Clarion has a pavilion dedicated to showcasing Native American merchandise.

Dinosaurs Puzzle from Unemployed Philosophers Guild
Dinosaurs Puzzle from Unemployed Philosophers Guild

Upcoming Clarion Events markets include: Las Vegas Souvenir & Resort Gift Show, Sep. 20-23, Las Vegas, Nevada; Ocean City Resort Gift Expo, Oct. 30-Nov. 1, Ocean City, Maryland; Smoky Mountain Gift Show, Nov. 9-12, 2022, Gatlinburg, Tennessee; and Grand Strand Gift & Resort Merchandise Show, Dec. 4-7, 2022, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

Pewter Keychain from Urban Charm
Pewter Keychain from Urban Charm

“Each show offers a tremendous selection of products from top names and newcomers in every category – including custom, apparel, toys, books, games, jewelry, Made in America, handcrafted, sustainable and more! For those looking to place orders for the 2023 tourist season, we recommend joining us at one of these events happening through the end of 2022.” Glosson shared.

Debbie Eisele

Debbie Eisele is the former managing editor for Gift Shop Plus, Stationery Trends and a variety of special issue publications, including: The Guide, Holiday Shop, Celebrations & Occasions and Waterfront Living.




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Upcoming Trade Shows

Dec 1 – 4

One of a Kind Holiday Show

Chicago, IL USA
Dec 4 – 7

Grand Strand Gift & Resort Merchandise Show

Myrtle Beach, SC USA
Dec 16 – 18

Mid-South Jewelry and Accessories Fair

Memphis, TN USA
Jan 4 – 6, 2023

Surf Expo

Orlando, FL USA
Jan 4 – 10, 2023

Dallas Total Home & Gift Market

Dallas, TX USA
Jan 10 – 12, 2023

Halloween & Party Expo Virtual Experience

Las Vegas, NV USA
Jan 10 – 16, 2023

Atlanta Market

Atlanta, GA USA
GS+ Fall 2022 cover
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