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by Poornima Apte

Las Vegas, NV – As SPREE 2011 wound down the largest, most successful show in its seven-year history, exhibitors reported a much busier day of foot traffic and attendee interest than expected. First time exhibitor and Associate Sponsor Bill Berdie, Vice President and COO of Art Form, said he was constantly busy today and wished he had not let his sales staff go early. “I didn’t know what to expect coming here, but it was a great show,” Berdie said. Art Form is based in Las Vegas and manufacturers small jeweled trinket boxes, many encrusted with Swarovski crystals.

Art Form’s handmade boxes were well received by numerous types of operators from those selling sunglasses to those looking for a seasonal product, said Berdie. He said he even inked a deal with an operator from Moscow, Russia and had interest from Canadian operators. Art Form has over 500 varieties of boxes all that open up. “They are a great addition for mall operators and gift shops,” said Berdie, “because they require little to no demonstration and are very eye -catching.” All boxes have the same retail and wholesale price points to keep it simple. Art Form also designs custom boxes for numerous organizations from the NFL to local school fundraisers.

As vendors wrapped up meetings and started packing up boxes many expressed gratitude and excitement about a successful show and made plans for coming back next year. With a special discount for vendors to commit to returning, there was a flurry of contracts being signed and floor plans being mapped. Daniel Person, representing West Edmonton Mall and Mall of America said that he would not miss next year’s show for anything. “For us, it’s a great opportunity to meet and talk with our operators face to face. Retailers are the backbone of our business.”

Exhibitors were impressed by a qualified and wide range of attendees at this year’s SPREE. Debbie Lahti reported that her preliminary attendee numbers show a more than 42 percent increase over last year. Amit Fridman, President of Smoke Free said he had “a crazy amount of interest” in his product line and that the attendees that came to his booth seemed more knowledgeable than he’s typically used to seeing at shows.

John Buhler, Senior Special Projects Manager with Stak Design, a kiosk and trade-show booth designer echoed the sentiments saying he was impressed with the variety of retailers and products at the show. He was also fascinated by all the impressive booth designs this year.

Buhler seemed to typify many SPREE vendors saying that Stak Designs, which did not make it to the show in 2010, had such a great show that they plan to make SPREE a primary show for them in 2012.

Hope you can join us at SPREE next year! For more information about SPREE 2012, please visit

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