Looking back at CHAMPS Atlantic City.
They say hindsight is 20/20, so hopefully, I get the recap of this epic show right. Being native to the west coast it has been some time since I attended an Atlantic City Trade show. The atmosphere has totally changed. There is a certain excitement that has swelled up. You could feel it everywhere.
The show was packed with great vendors, in fact, it was sold out! That is right they finally did it. They sold out the Atlantic City Convention Center. Not only did they sell it out they actually filled it with buyers too. Buyers were winning and happy! CHAMPS Show gave away $1000’s in cash and prizes to stores from all over. Stores like Jamaica Junction went home with both! $1500 in gift boxes and $500 cash.
Companies like FLO, 420 Expressions, Party Nuts and ABR showed up and knocked it out the park. They all had new and exciting products to share and the buyers responded. With all the action on the sales floor, it would be easy to forget about the 24 emerging glass artists battling it out for $5000 in cash and a chance at the $10,000 grand prize at the Glass Games Masters Tournament next year.
This year’s Emerging Artists Competition was very close. Artists from all over the country brought their A-game. You could tell they were pushing the envelope bec
ause multiple contestants failed to complete their intended pieces. In the end, there were winners and losers but everyone grew and learned together. The top three were, Chaiah Sullivan – Unparalleled Glass (1st), Grant Fitzcharles – Eios Glass (2nd), Ch
ase Hardman – Hardman Art Glass (3rd)
It was such a close race the judges had to discuss the winners and take a second look.
The quality of art represented in Atlantic City was as good as you would find at any show of the year. Seasoned vets Like the Glass Enthusiast, Waldo’s Wonders and American Helix showed up in force. The names may not be hyped up but the prices and quality were for sure right on the mark.
Over the three days of the show I saw and met many people. Everyone was happy with the attendance and selection of vendors.