World Market Center Las Vegas recently announced new show dates that create two "mega markets" aimed at attracting a wider array of buyers to expand channels of distribution and increase sales for tenants. The new dates also coincide with optimum periods relative to each industry’s business cycles, say show officials.
Later this year, the summer Las Vegas Market will move from its mid-September timing to run Aug. 2-6. It will serve as the anchor of an integrated event that will be co-located with the its debut Gift + Home™ and Vegas Kids™ shows, originally scheduled for June but now taking place Aug. 4-7 and including a Saturday since a weekend component has been identified as key for gift buyers.
The 2011 winter edition dates also shifted from early February to Jan. 24-28, the same timeframe as the organization's new hospitality-focused show InspireDesign, and Surfaces, a leading event in the floor coverings industry.
In future years, Las Vegas Market plans on holding its summer and winter markets around similar dates, with exact timing based on the calendar and strategic considerations.
“Our ‘mega-market’ approach, combined with the new summer and winter Las Vegas Market dates, represent an innovative new way to add value for our partners and empower businesses to increase their profitability in this new economy,” says WMC President and Chief Executive Officer Robert Maricich.
The new summer dates provide retailers an opportunity to see more new product rollouts, cross-shop a diversified product platform, discover new vendors and place orders in time to have merchandise in their stores during the crucial fourth quarter.
The consolidated schedules also minimize staffing and travel considerations for exhibitors, retailers and designers.
Although the plan has the unanimous support of the WMC Advisory Board, the announcement has resulted in some mixed reactions from Las Vegas exhibitors.
Global Views  CEO David Gebhart says his company is excited with the summer market’s move to early August. “Most importantly, our customers will be happy to get at least one more full turnover from the inventory they purchase during this earlier show. This move will also allow us to devote our undivided attention to making our showroom in Las Vegas our most exciting showroom around the country,” he says. “The weekend of selling will also have a huge impact on our customers’ reactions to this show. These are good business decisions for our entire industry.”
But the new dates present an issue for lighting exhibitors in particular since they now touch the tail end of the winter 2011 Dallas Intl. Lighting Market, which runs Jan. 20-23.
“Due to the overlap with the High Point Market, moving the summer market was a wise idea,” says Bradford Smith, CEO of Elk Lighting . “However, a new conflict has been created with Dallas by the date changes announced for the winter. If these marketplaces do not work in tandem, the inevitable result will be further regionalizing of shows, which could be counter-productive for the industry.”
The selection of future market dates was based on surveys conducted with manufacturers and attendees, says Andrew Maiden, WMC Public Relations Manager. “Because of numerous events scattered throughout the year, it is very difficult to not be close to another event,” he says. “Our perspective is that we’ve got to take care of the loyal buyer base. As long as we have buyers coming to this Market, and that base is growing, then manufacturers will want to be at Las Vegas Market.”
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