The Crystal Ball Outlook for Trade Shows

Mike Alic

Fashion Managing Director

UBM Fashion

With a goal of driving connections among participants and increasing the level of service, UBM Fashion is ramping up its current offerings both at MAGIC and in its New York shows including Coterie and Project NY.

Examples include enhancing the existing services of retail concierge and matchmaking with state-of-the-art digital tools including recommendation engines driven by artificial intelligence, or AI. Incorporating this new digital layer will create a more efficient and effective program while cohesively adding to the physical experience.

UBM Fashion's online digital platform, ShopTheFloor, will also be revamping its services. Attendees will see an updated interface and navigation, making it easier to browse and discover brands. They will also be able to enjoy a curated shopping experience with personalized recommendations based on the retailer's preferences and suggested brands.

In an ever-changing market, the need for knowledge has become more important than ever. Having seen strong growth recently in retailer and brand attendance at educational seminars at MAGIC and webinars, UBM Fashion is focused on continuing to grow the quality and quantity of its educational offerings, which includes the launch of its educational hub on

The educational hub will provide resources on key topics for the industry-including fashion trends, omni-channel, merchandising, social-media techniques, e-commerce and other areas of interest for brands and retailers.

Lastly, increasing the trade show's role in brands' visibility and communication to consumers is an area UBM Fashion has seen success with and continues to look for ways to evolve.

Examples of opportunities would include letting consumers participate in the trade shows digitally, in a controlled way and based on the needs of the exhibitors. This will raise brands' profiles and help them amplify their messages-whether it's working with influencers, media partners or using their own channels.

In addition, the upcoming new June [pre] Coterie market will expand the Vintage@Coterie section to include beauty and will be open to consumers.

Jennifer Bacon

Fashion & Apparel Show Director

Texworld USA

Apparel Sourcing USA

In the coming years, traceability will be a must as consumers are more concerned now than ever about where their products are originating from.

Traceability is an integral part of the process contributing toward sustainability, and the textile sector has seen an unprecedented demand for sustainable products from consumers.

There is a strong movement and focus on corporate responsibility and for suppliers to provide socially acceptable and eco-friendly solutions. Traceability and sustainability both feed into this as companies look to fulfill this need. In this day and age, sustainability is not just an option but a growing necessity.

While technology is always evolving, trade shows themselves uphold a unique quality by enabling visitors to actually see and feel materials in person while building their business relationships at the same time.

Face-to-face interactions at our trade shows build trust, understanding and a real sense of a shared mission. It's so easy to misinterpret an email in this digital age, so personal connections can make all the difference in the world when dealing with your partners.

In-person interactions have a greater sense of accountability on both sides, trusting your counterparts and having an overall efficiency. An important aspect of our shows is networking for both buyers and exhibitors, which cultivates both old and new connections.

Hillary France

Cofounder and Chief Executive Officer

Brand Assembly

Over the last five years, our team has worked to broaden exposure for emerging and established brands through our commitment to evolve ahead of the retail landscape.

In the last year, we've made priorities of expanding our category offerings, reaching emerging, local markets and exploring new avenues through our programming.

Through our expansion into two new markets (New York and Dallas), we've come to see the true value of these regional ecosystems. Our brands have benefited from direct contact with high-level buyers who prefer to buy close to home, and our buyers, in turn, have shown a keen interest in our elevated array of brands.

In the next three years, we hope to continue supporting these underserved regions as we continue to experiment with new categories such as lifestyle and beauty, which we are just beginning to deploy with the help of partners like, Sugarfina, Casery and more.

We also hope to continue building upon the solid foundation of Brand Assembly's community through our programming in Los Angeles, New York and Dallas. As an industry leader in interactive, informative panel discussions and workshops, we are continuously working to provide our network with content of the highest caliber.

As always, Brand Assembly will maintain the mission to provide our brands, buyers and industry professionals with fresh, exciting trade shows that reflect our specific voice and vision.

Desiree Hanson

Vice President, Fashion Events

Womenswear In Nevada (WWIN)

Clarion UX | Urban Expositions

With the ever-changing business climate affecting most industries, the WWIN shows are evolving as well. We're launching a number of ongoing show enhancements, changes and new initiatives to continually strengthen exhibitor return on investment and the attendee experience at WWIN.

Over the next three years, these changes will be reflected in a number of areas, including:

Production Selection and Merchandising: Throughout its 20-plus-year history, WWIN has built a strong reputation as an order-writing womenswear show with heavy emphasis on the modern, updated (misses) sector. While we will never lose sight of this key-sector foundation, our sales team is working to bring in more new, different, better brands and fresh, contemporary lines along with expanded accessories offerings to meet the needs of the buyers.

We continue to refine booth placement to ensure the show floor is merchandised in a way that makes the most sense for our buyers and exhibitors. We redesigned our popular Fashion Showcase lobby displays earlier this year and will update and refresh these featured areas giving buyers a fun preview of what they'll find inside on the show floor.

The Experience-Matchmaking, Networking, Events: We launched our WWIN Buyers Club this year to offer concierge-level service to the show's key accounts and some new buyer segments.

As we continue to listen to our customers, we understand the important need to make new introductions and connections between buyers and exhibitors. Enhanced matchmaking opportunities will be introduced to connect buyers with exhibitors who match their profile.

Buyers can also look forward to a more robust event roster at WWIN, with the addition of high-energy fashion shows, more educational WWIN workshops and retailer panel discussions. WWIN will also continue to enhance its popular complimentary breakfast and lunch feature with fresh, new themed menus and fun food offerings.

These changes and other show enhancements are all in direct response to feedback from our customers, and that's one thing that will never change at WWIN. Our show selection, services and features will continue to evolve to most effectively meet the business and professional development needs of our buyer and exhibitor audiences.

Stephen Krogulski

Chief Executive Officer

Offprice Show

Our community is looking for more business opportunities year-round, not just at the Las Vegas and New York City retail trade shows that have been our roots.

People asked for more interaction online, and we responded by launching our online marketplace at this February. Over the next few years, we're expecting the online extension of our trade show to grow and help off-price buyers and sellers connect in ways that may not have been previously possible.

Small boutique owners to national-level buyers-and everyone in-between-will find value in incorporating an off-price strategy in the years ahead, whether it be through online or offline channels.

Our buyers are busy. Many own and operate their own retail stores and finding the time or money to travel to trade shows isn't always possible. So far, Offprice365 has been a great tool for buyers who can't attend every show. For others, it's been a valuable resource for sourcing quick fill-in products for their stores between shows.

Over the next three years, we'll focus on growing our Offprice community 365 days a year, no matter whether buyers and sellers are scrolling their feeds at home or shaking hands on the show floor.

The retail landscape is evolving. Major department stores are shuttering, but new stores and boutiques are opening new storefronts as well. Especially for new business owners, educational opportunities and networking are key to launching a successful store. In the next three years, we're hoping to offer more educational opportunities, both at the show and online.

Products in the off-price channel fall under many more categories than clothing, footwear and accessories. We're reaching out to our community to find out which products would boost their margins and satisfy their customers but also enhance our show. You can sign up for the Offprice Show newsletter online for show updates as they happen.

Gilles Lasbordes

General Manager

Première Vision

The question is more how we see the trade-show business evolving in the next three years because it's already changing quickly.

Actually, regarding Première Vision's specific sector-the one of selective, creative, international fashion trade shows-we see it going to an articulation between complementary physical shows and digital events.

There still needs to be physical moments, which are the actual trade shows. They are to become more experiential events where brands and designers get inspired, learn, exchange and get information.

At specific dates, those trade fairs are times for the industry to meet, to feel the trends, to discover a selective and creative offer, to touch the material as well as meet providers and clients and do business.

But in addition to these physical appointments, we see digital tools and zones growing, allowing the industry to carry on making business all year long in response to the need of continuous sourcing for brands.

That's the actual direction Première Vision is taking in the next few years through its new Marketplace. This new digital platform will be launched officially in September and will present online booths and areas for every exhibitor. Through this new digital space, people can communicate and have a digital window all year long. It's a platform that is more business oriented, providing services, visibility and a rich offer throughout the seasons.

This is how we see our trade shows evolving in the next three years: digital continuous events complemented by more-experience-oriented punctual physical shows.

Emilie Lewis


California Market Center

Moving into the second half of 2018, the California Market Center has gone through some highly anticipated changes and is expecting many more ahead in the coming months and years.

We are excited to announce that the CMC has undergone a complete change in building and show management. Now owned and operated by Brookfield Properties, one of LA's premier-real-estate-development firms, the CMC is in expert hands.

Over the next two years, Brookfield's mission is to completely renovate the building-inside and out-reinvest in our fashion trade events, expand our retail and brand partnerships, revive the CMC as the permanent home to hundreds of fashion showrooms, and, ultimately, breathe new life back into the Los Angeles fashion community.

Brookfield has also hired a brand-new show-management team to run the CMC and our trade shows: LA Textile and Select/Transit. We are excited to welcome six new team members from some of the leading fashion trade-show and events companies in the world.

Combined with our team of knowledgeable, longstanding CMC staff, we are thrilled to have a strong and dedicated team supporting our building and trade shows.

On our team, we have the prior events director of Saks, the senior marketing manager of UBM Fashion, the account executive of Project Womens, the buying manager of Kitson, the retail manager of G-Star RAW and myself, the former director of Coterie. Together we have produced more than 700 fashion trade shows and events and have more than 100 years of experience in the B2B fashion wholesale industry.

October 2018 will present one of our most anticipated changes to our show portfolio-the rebrand of our Select and Transit shows. They will be combined into a new curated show environment called Label Array.

Attendees can expect to start seeing improvements during the June edition of Select/Transit and a completely new experience in October for LA Textile and Label Array. We are excited to unveil a re-imagined and refreshed platform to shop, learn and network within the heart of the iconic LA Fashion District.

We've been listening to the feedback of our brands and buyers and are making every effort to quickly roll out bold changes to our shows by providing an elevated and improved aesthetic, on-site experience, brand portfolio and retail presence. These changes are only the start of what's to come for the CMC, and we look forward to working closely with the fashion community to elevate the CMC to heights it has never experienced before.

Ed Mandelbaum


Designers and Agents

Three years is a lifetime in fashion years. We are thinking more about what is happening now and what is coming next to engage both our retail audience and our exhibitors on a regular basis.

D&A's strength is the ability to be responsive to the changing landscape in our segment of the market. With that in mind, D&A will launch independent goods (i.g.) at its upcoming Los Angeles show June 18-20.

I.g. will contain a selection of well-curated offerings-each with its own distinct identity. It will be a cross-category offering drawing from the areas of ready-to-wear, accessories, beauty, wellness and decorative objects.

Designers & Agents has had a broad focus on independent ready-to-wear and accessories and has also put a spotlight on sustainable design.

Independent goods will add another layer to the mix, which speaks to the show's passion for creative integrity and the necessity for retailers to have a broader range of great product.

Cindy Morris

President and Chief Executive

Dallas Market Center

The most important word we are using when forecasting our business is engagement.

Three years from now the competitive pressures on retailers will only be greater, so our customers-both buyers and sellers-need more efficient and inspiring methods of engagement with people and products. That's why we are investing in new platforms, tools and an enhanced show experience that adds engagement value for our customers.

What does that mean? More space dedicated to emerging designers and smaller companies to support their point of view and fresh designs, which retailers crave. That will also mean capitalizing upon our unmatched range of categories and even adding new categories of product to help retailers thrive.

And that means delivering information while at market that helps educate and inspire via digital and mobile tools. As stores compete for the attention of consumers who are spending more time and money on technology, services and events, those elements need to be integrated into our trade events.

So our technology, our services and our events need to be highly engaging and experiential. By working together, we are ensuring that three years down the road we are creating even better reasons to do business in Dallas.

Sharifa Murdock


Liberty Fairs

Over the next three years we will continue to invigorate our three trade shows-Liberty, Capsule and Cabana-with more consumer-facing elements and enhanced brand activations.

We know that our brands want a platform where they can not only do business but also showcase the incredible things they are creating to innovate and stand out in the industry and to their customers.

We are going to continue with our programming, including Assembly and The Pillars, to give all of our attendees the chance to connect and discover. Assembly in Las Vegas was a big success that brought brands, buyers and the general public together to listen and learn from the thoughtful leaders in our industry.

The Pillars proved to be a really interesting feature on our floor that presented collections focusing on important topics, including collaboration, sustainability and exclusivity. So we are going to continue with this and expand it with more categories and brands.

We also just acquired Capsule, which will be positioned as the women's answer to Liberty (which only showcases men's and dual-gender brands).

The next few years are going to be exciting for the Liberty community as we continue our growth and evolution to help bring the best in emerging and established fashion to the forefront of the industry.

Lucia Palacios

Executive Director

Apparel Sourcing Show

Guatemala Apparel & Textile Association

The Apparel Sourcing Show follows the market trends of the United Statesbecause those trends are the show's main market emphasis. The show exhibits an integrated supply chain to meet with those market demands and the newest trends.

I think the show will have a lot of technology and machinery, software, new fabric developments and other necessary inputs that make this industry more competitive, faster and flexible for our markets.

Judy Stein

Executive Director

Swimwear Association of Florida/Miami SwimShow

SwimShow is the premier resource for buyers from all swimwear categories and caters to designer boutiques, resort shops, specialty stores, surf shops, department stores, mass merchants and more.

The four-day trade show is considered the swimwear industry's biggest, best and most established annual exhibition. In keeping with that framework, we always challenge ourselves by adding or reinventing small elements that can make our show better.

The mission of our organization has always been about quality, quantity and convenience. We understand that the benchmarks of a successful show are measured by these standards, and we look forward to not just meeting but also surpassing these expectations year after year with the top brands and the most significant buyers all under one roof.

Caron Stover

Vice President of Apparel Trade Show Sales

Atlanta Apparel

Atlanta Apparel is centered on creating an unparalleled market for our buyers and exhibitors. In the next three years, we will continue to focus on all aspects of that experience.

From educational seminars and cutting-edge fashion shows to influencer networking events, stunning photo shoots and physical expansions, attendees can expect major enhancements that will take the market to the next level.

Known for its rapidly growing and celebrated collections, Atlanta Apparel promises to deliver even more quality and variety in the future. Fashion-forward retailers can count on more emerging designers and new brands coming to Atlanta, augmenting the current lines of trend-driven contemporary apparel, shoes and accessories. As an example, the Resort collection will be enriched as Atlanta Apparel positions itself to become the top destination for that category.

As collections continue to evolve, Atlanta Apparel is positioned to move beyond regional strength to offer a national experience to our buyers, built on burgeoning relationships and expanded exhibit space.

However, Southern hospitality will always be integral to our markets. Atlanta Apparel prides itself on its strong local ties and will continue to strengthen its relationships with the community. Market-goers can anticipate more collaborations with area businesses-breweries, wineries, chefs-for a glimpse of what Atlanta has to offer.

With strong leadership and strategic planning, Atlanta Apparel looks forward to the coming years and meeting challenges and opportunities with fresh ideas and new vision for the industry.

Mary Taft

Executive Director

Fashion Market Northern California

FMNC will continue to offer a very cost-effective show for both the buyers and manufacturers who attend. The one-night free hotel room offered to new buyers upon their first visit to the show is a popular perk because once they see how convenient the show is, they usually return.

FMNC will still offer lunch, parking reimbursement, hotel shuttle, continental breakfast, afternoon treats and the Monday night "Sip & Shop" event.

The San Mateo County Event Center venue offers a great location, which is only 20 minutes from San Francisco, an easy drive from wine country, Marin County, the East Bay and the Central Valley.

The unique booth system gives a fresh backdrop for all merchandise categories, unlike any other shows.

FMNC offers a real sense of community-to exhibitors as well as buyers-and will continue to offer a friendly and fun shopping experience.