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California Gift Show opens Friday

Newly integrated show emphasizes Fair Trade, small business consultations

The newly integrated California Gift Show opens this Friday, July 17, the first edition of the show that combines the L.A. Mart and the L.A. Convention Center into one unified market.

The market now features one registration process, one comprehensive show directory and one shuttle system.

“We are excited to welcome thousands of show attendees to Los Angeles this summer,” said Mark Furlet, vice president and general manager, L.A. Mart and California Gift Show. “We know they will find incredible new resources, both by way of not-to-be-missed product and business-building, best practices presentations and services.  \We believe our two show locations will satisfy all of their buying and educational needs.”

Business building programs and services will be featured. Following are highlights:

Fair Trade Product and Programming Focus
As part of its partnership with the Fair Trade Federation (, the California Gift Show will offer buyers access to more exhibitors with a heightened emphasis on Fair Trade products. The Fair Trade Federation is the trade association that strengthens and promotes North American organizations fully committed to fair trade.

As consumers gravitate toward global product and embrace social responsibility, it has become more important for retailers to include ethically produced merchandise in their store's offerings. Many California Gift Show Buyers have indicated that they will be seeking fair trade products in 2009 and beyond. FTF members have been rigorously evaluated for their commitment to Fair Trade Principles and only companies displaying the Federation logo are recognized members, so buyers attending the show can easily identify them.

For the first time ever, the California Gift Show at the Los Angeles Convention Center will feature a pavilion dedicated to fair trade exhibitors located in the World Style division in Kentia Hall. On Friday on the South Hall stage from 3-4 p.m. and Saturday from noon-1 p.m., Carmen K. Iezzi, executive director, Fair Trade Federation will present Great Products, Tremendous Impact: Introduction to Fair Trade and the Fair Trade Federation, designed to introduce participants to the principles of Fair Trade, ways to identify Fair Trade Organizations, and more.
Score! One-on-One Complimentary Business Consultations:
Service Core of Retired Executives, a non-profit organization dedicated to strengthening small businesses nationwide, will be on hand for one-on-one consultations. All show attendees and exhibitors can register for a 30-minute business counseling session with a volunteer member of SCORE LA, founded in 1964, and dedicated to providing professional guidance and information to maximize the success of American’s existing and emerging small business. This free service is offered in five practical areas of learning including: Product Development, Marketing, Finance, Accounting and Export/Import. 

Volunteers from this nonprofit organization, which was founded in 1964, provide professional guidance and information to maximize the success of American’s existing and emerging small business. Most have owned or still own successful business – others come from high-level management positions; directors and VPs of Fortune 500 companies, owners of retail chains, manufacturing companies, distributors and franchisors – all on site at the California Gift Show at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Sessions are available from 10 a.m.-noon and 12:30-1 p.m. Friday, July 17 – Sunday, July 19. Advance registration is encouraged at Counseling sessions are available on a first-come, first served basis.

Small Business- Professional Resources:
The California Gift Show will feature business-to-business resources offering show attendees and exhibitors new options for managing the day-to-day operation of their business. Challenging economic times often lead to new ways of doing things including hiring new vendors for a fresh new approach. These business resources will available on-site at the Los Angeles Convention Center and in the Temporaries in the L. A. Mart.  A few include: Tax Lady- Accounting services  at the LACC, Retail Smart Guys- Retail Consultants at the LACC, Exhibitek- Booth and Exhibition supplies/ services at the LACC, The Company Image/ TCI Consulting – Financial Stress Management at the L.A. Mart  and DM Steele- Printing Services at the LACC.

The Robyn Waters keynote presentation, The Trendmaster’s Guide from A to Z, has moved from Friday to Saturday, July 18 at 9:30 a.m.

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