ITMA and MMPI Renew Five-Year Partnership to Grow Showtime

Oct. 14, 2008

HIGH POINT, NC - Merchandise Mart Properties Inc. (MMPI) recently announced a new five-year agreement with the International Textile Market Association (ITMA), organizers of the bi-annual Showtime™ fabric fair, to continue to host the event in Market Square and the Suites at Market Square.

Based on this new agreement, ITMA and MMPI will work together closely to identify and attract new segments of the industry to build attendance for the Showtime events. MMPI will also support the ITMA Education Foundation in its various initiatives such as publishing, seminars, internships, and design competitions.

"This new agreement with MMPI creates an even stronger partnership between our organizations to work together to grow the Showtime events, to maintain our leadership position in the industry, and to enhance our educational offerings" says ITMA director Catherine Morsell.

The ITMA's primary mission is to promote its members, their professionalism and to foster a fair working environment. This objective is pursued primarily through Showtime, which is produced by and for ITMA members to bring together all segments of the home furnishings industry in one place, at one time. Every December and June this internationally-acclaimed market offers the most comprehensive fabric, leather and trimmings presentations in the western hemisphere. Showtime attracts thousands of buyers from a wide array of industries including furniture manufacturers, furniture and fabric retailers, home textile manufacturers, apparel companies, jobbers and distributors, marine and recreational vehicle manufacturers, interior designers, as well as other complimentary industries.

The Market Square Textile Tower, owned and operated by MMPI, was home to the first International Textile Market in July 1990. The Suites at Market Square section of the building began hosting the temporary exhibits for Showtime after it opened in April 2000. Since then, Showtime has established itself as the leading fabric fair in the United States.

"We are thrilled to continue to host the Showtime event in Market Square and the Suites at Market Square," says Tim McGee, senior vice president and general manager of MMPI, "and to use our resources as one of the largest tradeshow organizers in the country to work with ITMA to continue to grow this prestigious event."

As part of the Showtime growth strategy, the December fabric fair will feature a new Eco area. This new exhibit is designed to provide an educational forum for attendees and exhibitors to learn about the importance of sustainability in the textile industry and how companies can adopt sustainable practices that will benefit their companies, their customers and the environment. As part of this exhibit, attendees will see the hottest new eco-friendly fabrics available.

"As eco awareness among general consumers grows, the demand for more sustainable products will increase," adds Morsell. "We feel it is important for the ITMA to help educate the industry on the importance of this movement, and our new eco exhibit is the first step in accomplishing this."

The next Showtime event is scheduled for December 7-10, 2008. The show will again feature the latest fabric, leather and trims from more than 200 mills, converters, tanneries, and trimmings manufacturers. The ITMA Showtime Studio, originally launched in 2007, provides an exciting addition to the show that features some of the best textile design studios from around the world. The Studio gives exhibitors and buyers a chance to purchase original artwork for product development. It's also a wonderful opportunity for mills to work with their customers on exclusive designs.

Registration for Showtime is now available online at

About ITMA
Founded in 1990, the ITMA is a nonprofit trade association that produces Showtime™ in December and June for more than 200 member companies. For more information, visit or call the ITMA at (336) 885-6842.  

About Market Square and Merchandise Mart Properties Inc. (MMPI)
Merchandise Mart Properties Inc. is a trade show and property management firm, specializing in managing buildings devoted to wholesale showrooms and commercial office space. MMPI produces more than 300 trade shows, market events and conferences each year. MMPI manages The Merchandise Mart and 350 West Mart Center in Chicago; Market Square, the Suites at Market Square, Hamilton Market, Plaza Suites, Furniture Plaza and the National Furniture Mart in High Point, N.C.; the Architects & Designers Building and 7 W New York in New York; the Boston Design Center in Boston; the L.A. Mart in Los Angeles; and the Washington Design Center and Federal Center Southwest in Washington, D.C. To learn more, go to

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