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AmericasMart's Icon Honors going for more ‘wow' in 2012

Awards recognize innovation in the gift and home industries

The Icon Honors are about to become ... well, even more iconic.

The 2012 Icon Honors, set for next July in Atlanta, and recognizing innovation and accomplishment in the gift and home industry, promises to be an even more "transformative" event, AmericasMart Atlanta President Jeff Portman said in announcing initial details recently.

"We want to create an iconic American-type moment that celebrates our roots and also celebrates the future of where we are going. I'm really excited about how we're going to transform this event, making it crisper and cleaner, with a program that is dynamic and relevant to this industry. And have fun too," Portman said.

AmericasMart created the Icon Honors in 2009, in partnership with the Gift and Home Trade Assn. Sandow Media, parent company of Furniture/Today, joined as a co-sponsor for the 2011 event, held in and attended by more than 900 people during the summer Atlanta market.

The 2012 Icon Honors will be held July 14 in Atlanta.

Specifics on the event are still forthcoming, but one big change involves the simplification and timing of the entry process. Nominations will be accepted starting this month, four months earlier than the past, and all submissions will be handled online rather than through a printed form, at This will allow for earlier judging and will provide time for video crews to put together presentations on the winners.

Portman said the use of videos will be a key component of next year's event.

"I want to create a true theatrical performance set-up," he said, adding that efforts also will be made to encourage attendance by more retailers and smaller companies.

"We want everyone in the industry to come and talk about it. Icon has been a very transformative moment in the gift and home industry. And if we don't do that, we haven't accomplished our job," Portman said.

"We're going to raise the bar next year so that the one word people say when they walk into the Icon Honors will be ‘wow.'"

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