Las Vegas' World Market Center enacts schedule change
 

Last month, World Market Center announced that the summer edition of its Las Vegas Market, typically held in July, will move to a fall schedule beginning in 2009.

The new lineup has the Las Vegas Market slated for Sept. 14-17, 2009 -- approximately one month before next year’s fall High Point Market, Oct. 17-22. Officials have also scaled back the duration of the tradeshow from five days to four. The winter Las Vegas Market will take place Feb. 9-13, 2009, as previously scheduled.

Bob Maricich, CEO of the World Market Center, acknowledges the competitive nature of the market industry, but he points out that the date change was the result of lengthy polling and customer input.

“We’d been talking about optimal times, probably prior to my arrival [in January 2008],” he explains. “And it’s certainly been a discussion point since I’ve been there.”

Maricich says the move will help broaden the Las Vegas Market’s appeal to international visitors -- many of whom take extended vacations in summer months -- and domestic buyers seeking to minimize travel costs. Airfare, room rates and Las Vegas’ sweltering weather are all generally more favorable in September.

From a broader perspective, the date change is also an attempt to showcase the brand appeal of the World Market Center, Maricich says. With the opening of Building C earlier this year, the integrated campus contains more than 5 million square feet of space, making for an exceptionally efficient buying experience. By holding the market over four days instead of five, the World Market Center makes the case that visitors can spend less time at market and still get the same buying experience.

“We have a unique situation because we own the campus and don’t have conflicting dates, and [we] can really do the best thing for the attendees and tenants,” Maricich explains. “We can do these things because of the unique nature of our operation.”

The date change is not without its headaches, especially for those in the lighting industry. The 2009 fall dates overlap with the American Lighting Association’s annual conference, scheduled for Sept. 13-15, in Palos Verdes, CA. The new dates also fall close to the Chicago International Casual Furniture and Accessories Market (Sept. 21-24, 2009) and the Atlanta Fall Gift & Home Furnishings Market (Sept. 12-14, 2009). The conflicts were unintentional but unavoidable, says Maricich.

“If you pull out the calendar, there’s just no place where you’re not on top of something else.”

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