With trade show season in full swing, Laura Van Zeyl assigned me to write my first newsletter column about my inaugural visit to the Las Vegas Market  — an industry badge of honor, if I do say so myself.
I was told that this show would be different than the other major buying events, and it definitely was. The vibe was laid-back — very West Coast — but the hospitality was unmatched and the product was luxurious.
From the jump, and even considering the shifted date pattern with a Sunday start, my impression was that this was a well-attended event. Traffic into the World Market Center complex on Monday morning was slow as molasses with no sign of any accidents. The hallways were hard to traverse in parts and the elevators were steadily packed. Most importantly, though, exhibitors seemed optimistic and happy.
The data backs up this anecdotal evidence. More than 2,224 total exhibitors and lines now fill over 5 million square feet of space across the three World Market Center buildings, and just at this market, nearly 300 new furniture and home décor brands made their debut. Final stats show buyer attendance was up 21 percent over Winter 2013, making this market the biggest and best-attended edition in its nine-year history.
With the influx of new exhibitors and the quality of products they’re showing, Vegas has plenty to be proud of. For the remainder of 2014, the market will focus on increasing the density on lower occupancy floors, adding 300,00+ square feet in new tenancy and continuing to cultivate itself as a fashion-forward resource.
And a resource it is. I left my first Las Vegas Market with new friendships, fresh ideas and added perspective on the industry. I’m afraid, though, that we’ll be breaking the cardinal rule of Sin City because what happened there won’t stay there — watch for additional coverage of Las Vegas Market trends in our magazine, on our website and on our social media pages.