The Northern Michigan Gift & Souvenir Show is a wholesale trade market. Its exhibitors are gift and souvenir manufacturers, their representatives and other independent reps. Visitors to the show are retail store owners or their buyers placing orders in quantity on the wholesale level to be shipped at a later date.
Registered with the State of Michigan as a non-profit organization, the show's exhibitors are the organization's members by virtue of paying their booth fees.
The show is held once annually in April or May.
Each year, five members are elected by the membership to serve as a governing Board of Directors who enforce the By Laws of the organization.
The show hires a show services subcontractor to oversee daily management of the organization and show.
The Northern Michigan Gift & Souvenir Show was started in 1953 by the promoter of the former Detroit Gift Show and a small group of forward thinking Manufacturers' Representatives who wanted to accommodate their customers in the northern reaches of Michigan by bringing a wholesale market to their doorsteps.
The show's first home was the Park Place Hotel in downtown Traverse City from 1953 to 1963. In that period of time, it grew out of this facility and moved to Boyne Mountain Resort in 1964 and 1965 while the Mountain's sister resort, Boyne Highlands was being built. Once completed and on line the beautiful Boyne Highlands golf and ski resort in Harbor Springs became the show's home from 1966 until 2022, when it moved to The Ellison Place in Gaylord.
The show enjoys a reputation of mixing business with pleasure. Most buyers do not merely visit the show, do their buying and just leave. Most of these reps and retailers have known each other for many years and treat one another like family more than business acquaintances. As new generations come in to the industry this infectious tradition continues to steep - on a "first name" basis.