CLEVELAND, Ohio – September 1, 2021:  Marketplace Events announced today that, after participating in months of negotiations, a deal has been achieved to re-open the I-X Center as a mixed-use venue for exhibitions and commercial warehousing.  This agreement between the Industrial Realty Group (IRG) and I-X Center Corp. allows the Great Big Home + Garden Show, one of the largest and most successful home and garden events in North America, to return to the I-X Center, February 4-13, 2022, and future years.

After I-X Center Corp announced last September that the venue was closing permanently due to COVID, MPE made plans to move the Home + Garden Show to the Convention Center in downtown Cleveland starting in 2022. “From the first conversation, Huntington Convention Center management has been incredibly supportive,” explained Tom Baugh, CEO of Marketplace Events. “But the stakeholders have been honest with each other that – all things being equal – the I-X Center is the preferred location for major public shows and the downtown Convention Center is the preferred location for trade shows.  Our return to the I-X Center reflects that reality.”

The return to the I-X Center will allow the Great Big Home + Garden Show to continue to grow.  “We produce more than 70 events annually and the Great Big Home + Garden Show is one of the top 5 home shows in North America,” said Baugh.  “The investment that our local landscapers, builders and exhibiting companies make to force plant material to be sure it blooms in time for the show, to create exceptional gardens, to construct custom-built homes and build top notch exhibits – we just don’t see that kind of quality and dedication from the home improvement businesses in every city.  It’s what makes the Cleveland show special.”  

It’s possible the 2022 Great Big Home + Garden Show layout will look different, depending on warehousing commitments in the South Hall of the I-X Center, traditionally the area where the event’s 30,000 square feet of feature gardens, showcased under theatrical lights are placed.  The gardens, which take the area’s top landscape designers more than two weeks to install, may be relocated on the main show floor.

“The show may look a bit different, but we are thrilled to be able to return to the I-X Center, where we know it will be beautiful and successful,” said Rosanna Hrabnicky, who has managed the Great Big Home + Garden Show for the past decade.  

Prior to COVID, the company intended to launch a second, smaller Home + Remodeling Show at the I-X Center in March of 2020.  “We do intend to re-launch the Home + Remodeling Show, but not until 2023,” explained Hrabnicky.

The company also announced that they intend to produce the hugely popular Cleveland Christmas Connection this year in its normal November date pattern.  “We are operating under an extremely tight timeline to put the event together from scratch in less than three months, especially because many of the exhibitors are just now finding out the event will happen this year,” explained Baugh. “We know how much this event means to the community and how disappointed people were last year when it was cancelled due to the pandemic, so we’re excited to get it up and running again this year.  It’s tradition!” said Baugh.

More details on the Cleveland Christmas Connection, which attracts more than 400 exhibitors and 40,000 attendees over three days, will be announced soon.  Marketplace Events produces six other shows in Cincinnati, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Minneapolis, Des Moines and Charlotte, where they operate the 12-day Southern Christmas Show, the largest consumer holiday show in the U.S.

Those interested in exhibiting or attending the Cleveland Christmas Connection in November or the Great Big Home + Garden Show next spring, may visit for information.


For further information contact:
Shelly Gepfert, VP Marketing | 828.275.7646

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This is an excellent show. There were lines of people at my checkout counter each day. We love to do this show. This was our best show ever - and we participate in approximately 15 shows a year.
Vicki Stobbe, Main Street Company

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