Six exhibitors return to IAADFS Show after hiatus

Exhibitors worked all day Sunday to set up booths in preparation for the Trademarket opening this morning.

Exhibitors worked all day Sunday to set up booths in preparation for the Trademarket opening this morning.

Six exhibitors took a break from exhibiting at the IAADFS Show, but have returned this year. The reasons for their absence are as varied as their products, but one thing is clear: They are all glad to be back.

The companies are Leanez International, Neuhaus NV/SA, Premium Portfolio International, Safe Skies, Travelpro International, and Viva Sales and Service.

Neuhaus SA/NV took a year off from the IAADFS Show, citing a “corporate decision.” The Belgian luxury chocolate company returned this year because, according to William Legallais, travel retail manager of the Americas, the U.S. is an important market to position yourself as a key player.

“For me, you have to position yourself as a key player, dedicate the time to it, and then attract potential new customers,” he said.

This week in Orlando, the company celebrates the 100th anniversary of two key company developments: bite-sized pralines and the ballotin, a decorative cardboard box to hold chocolates.

Miami-based distributor Viva Sales & Service took a couple of years off, and according to Ellen White, director of sales, is excited to be back with a “double booth” for this year’s new product offering.

Viva is introducing the duty free world to Proof Eyewear, maker of handcrafted, eco-friendly, sustainable sunglasses made out of wood.

Four years ago, three brothers — Tanner, Taylor, and Brooks Dame — launched Proof via their website That first day, they sold six pairs of sunglasses, giving the Dame brothers hope they could make Proof a functioning business.

Proof garnered national attention after starring in an episode of ABC’s hit TV show “Shark Tank.” And while the brothers didn’t ultimately accept the deal offered by shark Robert Herjavec, they felt like they were on the right track.

At the booth, Viva will be playing the Shark Tank episode and Tanner Dame, COO and general manager, will be on hand to meet attendees.

White said working with Proof is gratifying because the three brothers represent the face of the new entrepreneur where their company is not only fashionable, but also eco-friendly and socially responsible.

For David Tropp, president of Safe Skies TSA Luggage Locks, “It broke my heart to miss a year.” By sheer coincidence, the major national luggage show fell on the same week in 2014 as the IAADFS Show. Because luggage is his company’s core business, he attended that show.

Safe Skies’ largest customers are airports and cruise ships, and Tropp likes this show for the ability to add new customers around the world. He sells combination and key lock and straps that are approved by the Australian, Canadian, Israeli, Swiss, U.K., and U.S. TSA government agencies. Safe Skies locks are guaranteed for life.