FASHION-FOCUSED IN A TIME-CRUNCH
Advice for busy trade show attendees
Trade shows offer attendees a wealth of opportunities, from business-to-business seminars and networking functions to the main event—walking trade shows, looking for new products and trends.
But how do you review a season in just a few days? And what’s the best way to plan for the year ahead while navigating a packed convention center?
Whether it’s one trade show—or several happening concurrently in the same city—there always seems to be too little time and too much to see. With so much for trade-show visitors to do, we asked several show organizers how they recommend attendees budget their time at their trade shows.
Leslie Gallin, President Footwear at UBM Advanstar (including FN PLATFORM, MAGIC, WSA@MAGIC, Sole Commerce and PROJECTsole NYC)
Managing your time at MAGIC is critical. Given that our event is held in two unique venues—the Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC) and Mandalay Bay Convention Center (MBCC)—it’s important to understand which products categories are represented within each of the shows.
LVCC: Footwear (FN PLATFORM and WSA@MAGIC), women’s and juniors trend apparel (WWDMAGIC) and components and factories (SOURCING).
MBCC: Women’s and men’s lifestyle apparel (Project), men’s luxury and advance contemporary apparel (The Tents), and artisan apparel and accessories (Pooltradeshow).
•Pre-plan: Sort out what you’d like to accomplish and what areas you’d like to view.
We recommend a day for an overview and then two days of working collections and writing orders.
It’s important to view categories other than your core buy in order to validate your buy. For example, seeing color trends and styling in apparel might alter the type of footwear you buy and vice versa.
•Matchmaking: Looking for specific types of products, special sizes, materials, countries of origin? Work with our retail-relations team in advance of the show. They help retailers set up schedules, give tours and “match make” as needed.
•Read our MAGIC e-blogs to stay current on what is trending and happening on the show floors. We share show updates, inspiration, ideas and tools from across the fashion marketplace.
•Take advantage of the MAGIC educational seminar series. Learning or being able to take away even one nugget of knowledge to foster advancement of your businesses makes it worth the trip.
•Once at MAGIC: We have created lifestyle/country-of-origin neighborhoods within each show to make it easier for retailers to navigate. Our show floors are mapped out online and in print on the show site for ease of wayfinding.
Each show floor has “Ask Me” staff who are there to provide you a “show guide,” helping you find the exact booths and product classifications you’re looking for.
ENJOY! Take advantage of the many networking events—opening-night parties, on-site mixers and the opportunity to meet other retailers. Forging relationships is key to all successful businesspeople, who want to do business with those they like and trust.
Britton Jones, President and Chief Executive Officer of BJI Fashion Group
(including MRket, AccessoriesTheShow and STITCH)
The BJI Fashion Group advantage is that we are a media company rather than solely a trade-show company. Due to our duality, we have the tremendous capability to help retailers discover new brands, products, resources and strategies. The MRket, AccessoriesTheShow (ATS) and STITCH experience begins months before the shows even open. With our diverse mix of communication to our retailers, we aim to serve their every need.
Our extensive digital media outlets provide a steady source of promotion for the shows as well as all of the participating designers—from our show websites and robust social-media channels to our digital lookbooks and designer articles. Additional digital and print promotions are provided by our sister properties, Accessories Magazine and MR Magazine. We pride ourselves on being one of the only show producers to maintain an extensive preshow print campaign, consisting of retail badge reminders, newsletters and show guides. Our dedicated retail-relations team stays connected to the retail community year-round through the 27 trade shows the BJI Fashion Group produces each year, in addition to the pre- and post-show initiatives developed to keep our lines of communication open at all times.
We are excited about the upcoming Feb. 15–17 edition of MRket, ATS and STITCH. We are adding layers to the experience at the shows, which are:
Fashion Presentations: These presentations will be prominently staged on the show floor and act as a gathering place for retailers, press and photographers in addition to providing added exposure to the brands. The presentation will consist of eight models who will showcase each brand for 45 minutes each.
Menswear Movers: After launching during the July 2015 edition of MRket, the video series collaboration between MR Magazine and MRket will continue into this February Las Vegas market week. Menswear Movers are one-on-one interviews with high-powered industry execs as well as creative innovators discussing the most relevant topics of the day.
Buyer-Hosted Program: This February we are also increasing our efforts to ensure that appropriate retailers are paired with the right brands. We are investing more time on researching which stores our exhibitors are selling and which brands they should add to their inventory. Toward this end, we are developing a Hosted Buyer Program, where exhibitors will have the opportunity to vote on which retailers they would like to attend our shows. Our retail-relations team will then invite these in-demand retailers to the Las Vegas market as our guests. Exhibitors will also be extended a new hotel incentive by offering a new hotel package at either the Venetian or Palazzo Resort Hotel included in their booth package.
New Booth Package: We have been developing a new booth layout for 2016, which was inspired by the need to provide a more open and engaging environment for brands to showcase their collections. This package will highlight the new lighting elements we will be introducing to the hall, which have been designed to further facilitate the discovery process for retailers, who will now be able to view pieces in a whole new way.
We take great pride in being recognized by designers at the Las Vegas market-week shows, where appointments are made and orders are written. Retailers attend our juried, impeccably merchandised show floors to discover new resources, meet with current accounts, network and write orders. What makes MRket, ATS and STITCH unique is that we provide an unparalleled experience that truly caters to conducting business in a comfortable, inspirational and amenity-filled environment.
Brittany Carr, Director of Trade Shows and Events at the California Market Center
Trade shows at the CMC (California Market Center) offer attendees a variety of different ways to stay informed on upcoming collections, future trend forecasts and general industry knowledge. We recommend that attendees research and make appointments prior to attending any event. It is important that they learn about what opportunities will be at the show and which will be the most beneficial to their business. Once they make those connections, they can then budget the rest of their time, discovering new resources and attending different functions within the show.
We know that an attendee’s time is precious, so we focus preshow marketing efforts on informing them of exhibiting brands and resources to help them strategically plan their buying trip. In addition, the CMC offers a Retail Relations service that is dedicated to making a buyer’s visit as smooth and productive as possible, offering buyer perks; tours of the building and show areas; suggestions on brands, showroom and events; and other amenities that help enhance a buyer’s show experience.
Additionally, our trade shows feature seminars, trend presentations and networking opportunities designed to educate and inspire attendees. They are always a great bonus, and we encourage everyone to make some time in their day to attend. This will create the fullest and most well-rounded experience.
Vanessa Chiu, Show Director of AXIS
We really make a point to maintain year-round communication with all involved in the show, keeping an open, one-on-one dialogue going. This ensures that everyone’s individual needs are met but also serves as a great sounding board for the Axis internal team on where it’s best to focus our initiatives. If we feel a certain retailer would benefit greatly from meeting with a certain brand, we make the effort to set up a proper intro on site and vice versa.
Catering to our audience and communicating both on and offline is the AXIS ethos. Every season is different, and our team’s matchmaking expertise aims to meticulously intertwine brands, retailers and media into both on- and offsite events that deliver AXIS as a true 3-D lifestyle experience.
For 2016, AXIS plans to introduce AXIS ReSource, a network within AXIS that is dedicated to connecting brands and retailers to discuss all things encompassing the likes of manufacturing, design, logistics and innovative solutions with a forward-thinking approach.
We also release news and happenings regularly on our Instagram, @axisshow, as well as through our emails. Our online editorial destination on www.axisshow.com features in-depth designer profiles, brands to watch, trend updates, and exclusive editorial Q&As and shoots with the likes of Brandi Cyrus, Carbon38’s Caroline Gogolak, Vice’s Rachael Finley, Stop It Right Now’s Jayne Min and stylist Rachael Wang, many of whom visit AXIS on a regular basis. Year-round content curation is a good way to illustrate what’s not to miss in real life on the show floor when the time rolls around.
Caron Stover, Vice President of Apparel Trade Show Sales at Atlanta Apparel
Atlanta Apparel is the largest apparel market on the East Coast, offering thousands of contemporary and ready-to-wear women’s, children’s and accessories lines all together in one location at one time, meaning there is a lot of ground to cover. We recommend the following tips for successful time management at market:
Create a Digital To-Do: Successful buyers use our online resources to make a plan before they arrive in Atlanta. The AmericasMart app allows buyers to find showrooms, lines, events and locate on-campus dining options. Returning buyers can make an account on www.americasmart.com, where they can manage their market plan, request a fast badge that allows them to skip the line at registration and edit their profile to receive market information that will have the most impact on their business. Buyers should also check the website the week before the market for the latest event listings and prioritize which events and seminars will be most beneficial for them to attend.
Atlanta Apparel’s online lookbook, released before the market by email and online, features trend-making pieces from top lines and where to source them on campus. This interactive guide gives buyers a sneak peek into must-have items and makes it easier to find them at market. Buyers should also check out Atlanta Apparel’s Instagram feed for a curated selection of industry tastemakers who will be at the market.
Make Appointments: When smart buyers see a brand that they love in the lookbook, they make an appointment to see the line at market. With an appointment, buyers don’t waste their time waiting to write an order and the brand can create a presentation that is tailored to their store. Buyers should also make appointments to knock out their must-have reorders with current brands before exploring the rest of the market. Wining and dining in a showroom or booth is great, but buyers should stay on task with their calendar and move on to the next appointment on time.
Take in a Show: Atlanta Apparel’s Daily Strut fashion shows allow buyers to see an array of product live in one quick viewing. With themes including new exhibitors, Premiere collections and Emerging Designers as well as sponsored shows from top brands, the Daily Struts help buyers decide which lines they want to see.
The Friday-night Style Runway show is not only a can’t-miss event for its theatrical presentation of market trends, but it is also a great way to get the pulse of the market. Buyers should look out for the Style Runway gallery, which comes out the morning after the market. The interactive gallery features all of the looks from the show and where to source them.
Walk the Floors: Top buyers always save a day to scour the building for trends and new brands. The “You Are Here” signs located at the entrance of all floors show brand locations and list new lines. Walking the floors gets buyers acquainted with the product locations and makes it easier to spot new and exciting collections.
Caitlin Elmes, Sales Manager for Texworld USA/ApparelSourcing
There is so much to do and see at Texworld USA and ApparelSourcing. Being the largest textile and apparel sourcing event on the East Coast, we definitely encourage attendees to do a little preplanning in order to get the most out of a visit. To get started, just use this simple formula: 50, 30, 20.
We recommend that attendees budget 50 percent of their time for walking the floor, connecting with new exhibitors and resources, and discovering new products and technologies. Next, they should set aside about 30 percent of their time for education—for example, by attending our free educational seminars organized by our show partner Lenzing Fibers—and trend research. Finally, we encourage attendees to block off some “free” time (20 percent) for impromptu meetings and other unplanned networking activities—the best part of attending a trade show of our size is the immense opportunity to make new industry connections right on the floor.
Pierre-Nicolas Hurstel, Chief Executive Officer of CurvExpo
With a seemingly inexhaustible list of exhibitors to see in a limited amount of time, trade shows can appear overwhelming. Budgeting time during the shows that you are planning on attending doesn’t just involve your duration at the trade show. It’s all about finding the perfect balance of organization and management with your time prior, during and after the show in order to maximize your benefits. Carefully planning beforehand, staying organized during and following up with brands after the show will allow you to make the most of your trade-show experience.
Before the show:
•Create a list of brands that you already carry as well as their price points, product category and main client base. Look at your sales from the past season and determine bestsellers and products that didn’t sell as well. Gather feedback from customers as to what products they prefer and new items that they would like to see.
•Peruse the show’s website to look at exhibiting brands using the detailed search engine developed by CurvExpo. Book appointments with any brands that you are interested in that will either accent your current offerings or that will fill a product gap as well as brands that you already have a relationship with to see their new line. Curvexpo.com allows you to map out brands that you will be seeing with our printable interactive floor plan.
•Make sure that you leave time to browse the show floor.
•Read preshow emailings and newsletters, content-rich communications specifically for buyers. The CurvExpo Selection Guide is available one week before the show and highlights innovative and new exhibitors.
•Prepare your staples: business cards, P.O. forms.
•Plan out your upcoming inventory and budget levels. Allocate your budget for orders during the show versus orders after the show.
•Look out for the Events & Services CurvExpo offers during the show such as the Personal Shopper, informative events including fashion presentations and trend previews.
During the show:
•Walk around the show floor to take in brands, colors, styles. Start to form an idea in your head of what products you may be interested in. Note brands that catch your eye and follow up with them when you have free time. Keep all appointments to guarantee that a representative from the brand will be available to meet with you. Keep lookbooks and line sheets as resources for you to reference after the show while placing orders. Sit down at the end of each day to recap who you have seen and their respective product offerings.
•When you have downtime during the show, utilize the resources that are available to you to discover new brands. These resources can aid in finding brands based on category as well as introducing exciting and innovative brands new to the show. CurvExpo Personal Shopper is available if you would like advice about which brands to see.
•Attend short and informative events. Trend presentations are beneficial to determine popular products and styles for the upcoming season and aid in focusing on what products you need to order. Fashion presentations are beneficial to see products on a model. [Events also provide] networking [opportunities].
After the show:
•Follow up with existing and new partners. Maintaining a positive relationship is key for long-lasting business with brands. Place remaining orders with companies using notes, lookbooks and line sheets from the show. Don’t forget that the Curve team is available year-round if you have any questions! Visit the website for after-show reviews.
The CurvExpo team dedicates themselves to giving you an optimal show experience by providing the very best resources to aid in your preparations and organization prior, during and after the show. Do not hesitate to contact us with any questions, and remember that the key ingredients to a good show are planning and anticipation!
Henri Myers, Cofounder and Creative Director at COEUR Tradeshow
At COEUR we have established and nurtured great relationships over the past four years with the buyers that support our shows in New York and Los Angeles. Knowing ahead of time that we offer a heavily curated showing with an array of known and emerging brands is just part of the process of budgeting their time. Since so many consumers are looking for impulse and easy items to buy, many stores have expanded into lifestyle categories and are looking to offer more than clothing, and this is exactly what COEUR is about, as we feature top brands from a mix of accessories, gift, beauty, home and lifestyle arenas.
COEUR is a much more intimate experience than most shows, and we understand buyers have a lack of time when it comes to market week. We’re deliberately unlike other shows, and by only selecting brands that we feel have something special to offer in the marketplace we also let them know they’re only seeing the best of the best chosen for the season. Another way that the buyers can budget their time and schedules is to be aware and up to date on the brands participating with us. This can be viewed online at www.coeurshow.com as well as viewing brands digitally through our social-media outlets (Instagram, Facebook and Twitter) ahead of time to see if they are a proper fit for their store and consumer price points. We encourage buyers to also interact with us and their favorite brands, which helps them target and set appointments before the market starts, which will hopefully enable them to create more time to discover all the things we love at COEUR.
Ashleigh Kaspszak, Assistant Building Manager, Director, Marketing & Public Relations at The New Mart www.newmart.net
Everyone likes to have a good time at the shows! So be ready, and get excited! Your time will be best spent regardless of what you are doing if you are amped up!
To get excited for a show, you must do your research. I recommend checking out the show itinerary beforehand (of course), but oftentimes things are added right before, so look to social media for any last-minute moves. Printed marketing materials are essentially a snapshot in time—if and when you can, look to the show’s websites and social-media handles for the most current information available.
Also, it may help to make a list of what you feel are the “must-see” parts of the show. But keep in mind to stay flexible! If you plan out too much before you arrive, it may not be as enjoyable.
Create a strong “must-see” list by contacting exhibitors, presenters, etc., ahead of time to gather information on them prior to the show. You may find that you were able to gather all of the information for that exhibitor and can now spend your time elsewhere when you get to the actual event. Or [by] calling ahead, you have finished introductions and can be more efficient during your meetings at the show. Or it’s likely you may realize that after connecting with an exhibitor you want to add them to your “must-see” list.
You will enjoy the event so much more if you plan ahead! But remember to be open to new experiences and talk to everybody!
Gilles Lasbordes, General Manager of Première Vision
Since it took over Première Vision Manufacturing [formerly called Zoom] in September 2013 and Première Vision Leather [formerly called Cuir à Paris] in February 2014, Première Vision Paris is actually now fully integrated. All six shows are now organized by only one company, Première Vision.
Following Première Vision’s will of harmonized shows but also its dynamics to propose a whole integrated event serving main qualitative international fashion professionals, from September on, Première Vision Paris teams have started to create a more transversal event with cross-sector zones, with common information, which link shows and savoir-faire together, showing their complementarity and emphasizing synergies between each of them.
The idea is to be more coherent and to make the offer more readable to visitors so they can be more efficient in their visit.
To do so, we have developed tools that can help them prepare their visit but also that can help them to get organized and productive while at the venue:
•The Première Vision Paris smartphone application. It’s a good way to be informed of every event and news but also to access the whole catalog of exhibitors. Here you can sort and then select the companies you’d like to meet at the show and create your own personalized lists to organize your visit.
•To prepare their visit, visitors can also go on the www.premierevision.com website. There, they’ll find the e-catalog but also information about the fashion sector, including news about specific events or product innovations. In the Fashion Live section, they can also find the first trends of the season to come.
•Visitors can also follow us on our social networks. It’s a good way to get a taste of what will happen during the shows and to stay connected to brand-new information.
•Then, before the show or directly there, they can buy the color cards of the season that give all seasonal color, material, trend information. Digitalized since last September, the color card is now well adapted to industrial softwares so that it can be directly used by brands and studios to create their collections.
•While at the show, they have the Guide Map available at the entrance that gathers all practical information to orientate at the shows.
•We also suggest they start their visit with the forums (16 fashion zones over 5,500 square meters of space). There, they’ll have fashion information developed by Première Vision fashion teams. Through a selection of the best innovative, creative and qualitative products of the season chosen among exhibitors’ collections, they can have a real perception of what is not to be missed this season and of which company can respond to their needs.
•To know more about seasonal orientations but also about transversal trends and offers, they can take part in our news fashion seminars, the Trend Tastings, [to learn about] the general season, the fabrics season, the leather season, in terms of materials, colors and silhouettes.
Regarding practical questions, on our website there is information to help them—for instance, the schedule for shuttles to come from Paris to the venue or from the airport and a direct link to book their badge.
Suzanne De Groot, Executive Director of Fashion Market Northern California
The Fashion Market Northern California/FMNC has grown considerably even in the last few years.
Most of our shows continue to sell out. FMNC continues to offer emerging new designers, local California companies and national brands at every price point.
We recommend at least two days to all buyers who attend our three-day show—especially for the first time.
For first-time buyers or buyers who have not attended our show in over a year, the FMNC offers a free night at the Marriott, our hotel partner. This way the buyers can avoid traffic and relax to be ready to continue to shop the next day.
Buyers also can take advantage of our “Late Night” on Monday night. The FMNC stays open until 7 p.m. on Monday, offering a Happy Hour from 4 to 7 p.m., [with] free beer, wine and prosecco for all buyers on us!
Buyers can take advantage of this time to work, with or without appointments, finding new collections and new resources.
Our show book /directory gets mailed out three weeks before each show to all VIP buyers and is available at the front desk when registering on the first day of the show to all attendees. Inside is a list of all exhibitors and lines by category. Buyers can budget their time efficiently with appointments, leaving time to find new resources. This directory information is also available on our website. Please visit www.fashionmarketnorcal.com.
Meryl Mandelbaum, Managing Director at Designers and Agents
First and foremost, for our audience, Designers and Agents is about buying. D&A has always been a “writing” show, meaning buyers plan on sitting down, working the collections and writing their orders. That is the focus and retailers know that at D&A it’s not about weeding through row after row to find a resource. The show is and always has been curated for creative integrity. Retailers must make sure they have time to work through their existing resources as well as leave time to discover new brands and emerging designers.
In regard to additional content, it is essential to include initiatives that are valid and bring usable resources to retailers. D&A initiatives do not merely raise the bar in terms of creativity and show experience. The intention is to bring valuable, practical content to our retailers.
As an example, D&A has presented several collaborations with Trend Union, the expert forecasting agency led by Lidewij Edelkoort. These presentations were dramatic, visual experiences but specifically focused on elements that would have a tangible impact and offer concrete objectives for retailers.
Judy Stein, Executive Director of the Swimwear Association of Florida/Miami SwimShow
First and foremost, have a plan: It’s important to know what you want to accomplish at the show before you arrive. I definitely believe that it is important to walk the entire show, but I also understand that if you have a limited amount of time you’ll want to hit your top targets first and then go back and walk the floor again to see who you might have missed along the way. Sometimes your biggest successes are the ones you hit upon by accident.
Do your homework: SwimShow is considered the largest of its kind in the world, but no matter which show you are going to, make sure you’ve looked through the exhibitor list. I recommend making appointments ahead of time. Some of the more popular brands get booked up quickly, so if you want to meet with them try to contact them well in advance of the trade show to set up your appointment.
Get some rest: Its tempting to go out for a night on the town, especially for our attendees, since we’re located in the heart of South Beach, but working a trade show, whether you’re a buyer or an exhibitor, is a long day. You want to be fresh and focused on making new contacts and doing business. The more alert you are, the more efficient you are.
Another quick tip: Preregister. If we’ve already got you in the system, then that’s a great time saver!
Kathy Wilkie, Buyer Relations Manager at Surf Expo
The best way for attendees to budget their time for a trade show is to first decide the main reason that they are going to the show and then organize their time accordingly. The overwhelming response that we get when asking this question of Surf Expo buyers is that they need our trade show to find new products, connect with their existing brands and take advantage of the educational seminars.
Since the seminar schedule is the item that is not set by the attendee, they should take a look at the seminars being offered and decide which will be most beneficial to their business, that they really want to attend or have another member of their staff attend. From there, buyers should peruse the information and tools offered by the show. For Surf Expo, we provide many tools and features to make this an easy task.
Leading up to the show, we send Product Spotlight emails, which are a great way to see key products and brands that are new to the market. Our website features an online floor plan and exhibitor search by product category and product type and also highlights brands that are new to the show.
Our Show App offers this type of search capability as well and offers networking features to simplify the scheduling of appointments with exhibitors. From our Show App, exhibitors can be found, appointments requested and accepted, and the floor plan may be viewed to ensure that attendees can always find their way through the more than 2,000 brands represented at the show. Then it is just a matter of finding the right product mix for their business and placing orders for those products.
John Ruffo, Founder of LAZR Trade Show
The LAZR Tradeshow is unique. Our goal is to directly connect our network of retailers who attend to the exhibitors—like speed dating. We work directly with retailers, introducing them to exhibitors. During our last show, the brand SeaVees was able to secure a great opening order from one of our retail attendees. The retail-relations team works relentlessly at matching up retailers and buyers at the show. Another benefit of our show is its open-air, intimate boutique setting. Another benefit of our show is its open-air, intimate boutique setting. [It’s] easy to get around to survey the show, new brands and trends.
Stephen Krogulski, Chief Executive Officer of OFFPRICE
We recommend doing as much preshow planning as possible and getting to the show early. If you familiarize yourself with the show floor in advance, you’ll have an idea of which booths you want to get to, which will in turn, afford you time to unearth new discoveries as well. We have a show app in the works as well as a buyer-relations team ready to help with whatever you need. The resources are there for retailers, so we encourage them to take advantage of them.
By nature of the off-price business, the best finds and best deals are often discovered early in the day. Once an exhibiting company sells off its inventory of a product, that’s it. It’s no longer available. So the best tactic for retailers is to arrive early and find those exciting new products.
Hillary France, Cofounder of Brand Assembly
While appointments make for a smooth market experience, it is definitely worth budgeting some extra time to take a spin around our Emerging Designer section. It is conveniently located in the center of our show and features incredibly talented designers. Hearing their stories and learning about their processes will definitely inspire and make your buying experience more exciting. Brand Assembly is also all about building community, so we hope you’ll spend several hours on the floor exploring and connecting with all of our carefully curated brands (over 110 brands total) as well as other buyers on the floor. We’ve got you covered with coffee, water, juice, lunch and even a bar—all in a beautiful and fun environment, so be ready for a great time and make yourself at home with us!
Roland Timney, Founder of Womenswear in Nevada (WWIN)
With 500+ exhibiting companies featuring more than 2,000 lines of traditional, contemporary, misses, plus and tall sizes, as well as hundreds of accessories, WWIN gives fashion buyers a vast selection to explore. As a very buyer-oriented event, WWIN also offers a number of preshow and on-site planning tools and promotions to help buyers maximize their time and find the right fresh, new resources for their customer base.
First and foremost, it is important for attendees to download the show’s mobile app and directory before they arrive. This easy-to-use planning tool puts all the show’s resources at your fingertips so you can quickly identify the companies you want to see and where their booth is located—all to help you plan your schedule and save time walking the floor.
Before stepping out on the show floor, I encourage buyers to scout the products featured in our Fashion Showcases, located in the public walkways leading to the show and near registration. Offering the easiest way to identify the newest apparel and accessories available on the show floor, each Showcase display includes a QR code along with the exhibiting company’s name and booth number. When you see something of interest, you can use the show app to scan the QR code to quickly take note and go find it on the floor.
We also invite all registered buyers to enjoy free breakfast, lunch and afternoon refreshments served daily—all without leaving the show site. In addition to saving time and money, these show meals offer a great chance to network with fellow retailers, catch up with industry friends and take a quick break from your busy shopping schedule.
We all know that buyers are so busy that we have to grab their attention and offer something that is either truly inspirational or that helps them make their trip more rewarding. So we do both.
Cindy Morris, President and CEO of the Dallas Market Center
When you have roughly 800 exhibitors, it’s important to help buyers budget time, so one of the best ways to prepare for market is by preplanning their schedule via our app. Lots of shows have them, but we built just about everything possible into ours, such as exhibitors, product categories, maps, events, future market dates, a “notes” section and more. When buyers set appointments with key resources, they can add these appointments to their calendar through the feature on our app, allowing them to allocate time to shop for new products and keep their schedules up to date in one, easy-to-access place. Also know that our updated website, www.dallasmarketcenter.com, is another great resource. With information on exhibitors and events, buyers can plan their whole trip seamlessly before they even step foot into the marketplace.
Now let’s talk inspiration. We have so many great new contemporary lines that have come into Dallas Market Center recently that we have to let buyers know they can find the hottest looks while at the show. To help spread the word, social media is key. That’s why we have a team helping buyers stay up-to-date on new lines, events, what’s trending and even prizes, and this team brings in key buying offices to provide trend direction for the upcoming season. Our Spot. Snap. Share! giveaway on Instagram is an additional new way to inform buyers of what’s trending and gives them the opportunity to win gift cards simply by sharing trends as they’re doing their buying.
Finally, we inspire buyers with on-trend displays throughout the marketplace, over-the-top fashion shows and intelligent seminars. The goal is to help buyers gaining insights on the biggest trends for the upcoming season as they look for the right products for their stores. Our discovery tours, trend reports and runway shows deliver fun and invaluable industry information while our displays can be a great help when looking for new products.
The good news is that as we continue to offer more trend-driven products, we also continue to expand our events and seminars.
We are incredibly excited for 2016. Dallas remains the strongest economic region in the United States, and our marketplace is drawing more buyers from a larger array of states across the middle of the country. What they demand is efficiency and inspiration, and our markets deliver.
David Dea, Founder of Factory Direct
At Factory Direct Trade Show, we are a focused event where our attendees are not thinking about selling their product or the social event they have planned in the evening. We encourage our attendees to register early, reach out to a Factory Direct team member to discuss their supply-chain strategy or business need. Whether it is different countries they want to do business with, types of product they are looking to make, software to run their business, website development, logistics and more, we are here to assist.
Factory Direct recommends attendees come prepared with the type of product or business need they are looking for so they can effectively walk the show and accomplish their goals. And if they do not know, we are here to guide them through the process. As we see brands develop, we want to provide a platform of curated resources to assist in their growth.
Hisham Muhareb, Co-founder of NW Materials Show/NE Materials Show/So Cal Materials Show
The NW, NE and SoCal Material Shows are about sourcing and networking. The time attendees spend walking the shows is focused on finding the right material or component to spec into their product.
The show directories are available to attendees prior to each show. This will allow them to research exhibitors’ profiles and plan ahead, to better utilize their time during the show and afford them additional time to network and look for new and innovative materials. Also, during the upcoming NW and NE shows, we will be bring back a “Trend and Color Forecasting Presentation,” offered by a new partnership with Ars Sutoria School [based near] Milan, Italy.
Andrew Olah, Founder of Kingpins
Come early, stay late! In all honesty, we design the Kingpins Show so that people will be comfortable enough to stay all day—or be able to quickly shop the show if they have limited time.
If you have limited time, check out our exhibitor specialty chart (it tells you at a glance what all our exhibitors specialize in and what regions they work in) and hit the mills or resources that match your immediate needs.
If you have more time, the sky is the limit. Come early, enjoy some lunch on us; hit a WGSN trend seminar or a panel discussion about the issues affecting the denim industry; visit our special projects on the show floor, which can range from student workshops to fun collaborations with exhibitors; and, finally, stay for the party.
We are invested in educating the denim industry and being a place where denimheads come together to move the industry forward, so we are very invested in the experience we offer attendees—no matter how much time we have with them.
Sam Ben-Avraham, Founder of Liberty Fairs
My recommendation for attendees is to always do your homework ahead of the shows. We place a huge focus on making sure retailers and press are prepared and informed on what’s new and noteworthy at our events. We work diligently to keep the community updated via our social network as well as our website so they can be as prepared as possible when show time comes. With so much to do and see, it is incredibly important to budget your time appropriately. That said, how you spend your time should be based on your strategy, budgets and where you see a void in your business.
We believe that regardless of budgets or open-to-buy, it’s important to spend time on the floor at Liberty Fairs to see the best of what’s new in the marketplace and be inspired. If you can get your business done on the floor and allow extra time for educational and networking experiences during the show, it’s absolutely something you should capitalize on. For me, personally, the shows have always been a valuable place to see old and new faces and network to create new connections.
Lucia Palacios, Coordinator for the Apparel Sourcing Show produced by the Guatemala Apparel & Textile Association
The first action that attendees should do is talk to a show representative or customer service agent before the show, so the show’s staff can give some guidelines as to how to arrange their time between conferences, walking the show and who to meet for potential businesses.
The main idea is to know about the visitors that are coming to the show, what are they looking for and with this knowledge offer them the best tools to have a more productive show.