It’s up to you – New York, NY!

View from my room at Element Times Square.

I know it’s a day after the 9/11 anniversary, so I feel compelled to discuss and celebrate NYC. The New York International Gift Fair is normally our most successful show of the year. Why? I have my theories – it’s not only a good show to see all the new items, but New York is a great tourist town. So, why not combine your business trip with a mini-cation? I would. It’s not cheap, but it’s one of the best cities in the world to visit. The lights, the action, the culture, the theater, the food, and all that jazz.

For those of us in the industry, attending the trade shows offers perks as well as pitfalls. Pitfalls include making sure freight gets to the convention center on time, working with tradesmen who have strict union rules on how things have to be done, and the general principles of Murphy’s Law. But in NYC, the perks are that there’s so much to do and see!

Naked! This is how the booth looks with the walls up, but none of the product out.

Nothing starts off as pretty as it (hopefully) appears on opening day. A lot of sweat, tears, and even blood occasionally are shed by us through our own manual labor. I’ve cut myself on the Lucite shelves many a time. But then, I’m a bit of a klutz. We go in on a Friday to set up the product, and hopefully finish the same day, as long as everything goes according to plan, and all product has arrived. If not, then it’s back again on Saturday to make sure everything is perfect for show time! We set everything up in relatively good time this season.

I stayed at the Element Times Square hotel this August and I really like it. It’s within walking distance to the Javits Center, but there’s a shuttle just in case it’s raining, too. I like the mini-kitchens the rooms have. I can bring in water and yogurt and have drinks and snacks in the room or even reheat leftovers from dinner at a local restaurant. Plus, they have a nice free breakfast there each morning too (and wine/beer and snacks for happy hour, but I wouldn’t know about that). I normally go to a Broadway musical while here, getting my discount tickets from TKTS in Times Square. The one restaurant I can recommend from this particular trip was Havana Alma de Cuba, down in the Village. The food was delicious and the drinks were full strength.

Liz, our new Sales Assistant, helping customers.

If you’re planning a trip to The Big Apple, you can also check out recommendations in our best-selling guide:   

The completed booth.

See you next NYIGF — January 27-30, 2013!