Advanstar's MAGIC Marketplace Shows Strong Growth

August 23, 2012

Fashion is back en vogue, or at least that was the vibe on the crowded showfloor of Advanstar Communications’ MAGIC Marketplace, the world’s largest trade show for the fashion industry, held Aug. 20-23 at the Las Vegas Convention Center and Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino.

Inspiring several collocated events and numerous parties across town, the biannual event draws global buyers and sellers of the latest trends in men’s, women’s and children’s apparel, swimwear, footwear, accessories and sourcing resources.

"This is our largest show since 2008," said Christopher Griffin, WWDMAGIC vice president. "Our square footage is just at a million square feet. The hotel bookings were up 34 percent.”

He added, “We had a sense that we reached a tipping point in terms of recovery and the show has been phenomenal. In no uncertain terms, fashion is coming out of the recession."

Though specific numbers were unavailable at press time, the event is expected to attract some 81,000 attendees and more than 4,000 of exhibiting companies, according to show organizers.

Last February, it spanned approximately 800,000 square feet and saw around 60,000 attendees and 3,800 of exhibitors.

"What MAGIC offers buyers is very on trend in terms of the shift towards well-designed affordable fashion," Griffin said when talking about the success of the show and its strong comeback after a few tough years, in part thanks to aligning to with the market's demand for democratization of fashion.

FN PLATFORM, the shoe part of the show, also continues to pick up speed in the footwear segment with expected double-digit growth in buyer registration, compared with August 2011, and more than 1,600 exhibitors.

“As international brands continue to see robust retail sales here in the USA, they are attending FN PLATFORM in record numbers to gain market exposure and take advantage of our large retailer audience,”said Leslie Gallin, vice president Footwear for Advanstar. “This August will be our strongest show to date.”

MAGIC Marketplace always pulses with new ideas and initiatives, ranging from Project Love, which highlights brands integrating philanthropy into their business model to social lounges, buzz boutiques, photo studios and live mural painting.

In a true spirit of the fashion week, beautiful images offashion icons Valentino, Cacharel and Alexander McQueen, obtained in collaboration with Condé Nast, lighted up the floor and set atmosphere of a high-profile event.  Live fashion shows turned up the energy level and draw crowds.

French department store Galeries Lafayette partnered with Transatlantic to bring an Airstream with the latest in French fashion and parked it in the Heart of Prêt at WWDMAGIC.

U.S. brands also were a center of attention. "There's a strong buzz on the floor about trying to make products in the U.S.A. again," Griffin said.

"Made in America" brands got special recognition with a logo on their booth and U.S. accessories manufacturers showcased their products in a designated pavilion.

Veteran exhibitor Kathy Barrett, president of Kathy Barrett Selections, also noted the pickup in business. The company recently refreshed its product line with bright, catchy purses that were quickly a hit at the show.

Barrett said that although it's good that more buyers come because of all the events during the fashion week, it's important to do pre-show marketing to get the attention of the right people. She added, "You have to be a destination."

First-time attendee Caterina Talbot with Buraquino boutique traveled from Ecuador in search of new products from top brands.

"We came to see Desigual and also discovered several small brands. It has definitely been worth it,” she said.

MAGIC will return Feb 19 – 21 to Las Vegas. 

Add new comment

Partner Voices
Less than six months ago, Lisa Messina joined the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) as the first-ever chief sales officer after leading the sales team at Caesars Entertainment. A 12-year Las Vegas resident, Messina is a graduate of Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration and serves on MPI International’s board of directors. TSNN had a chance to catch up with this dynamic leader and talk to her about her vision for the new role, current shifts in the trade show industry, creating more diversity and equity within the organization, and advice to future female leaders. Lisa Messina, Chief Sales Officer, LVCVA With Las Vegas becoming The Greatest Arena on EarthTM, what are some of the things you’re most excited about in your role? Our team was at The Big Game’s handoff ceremony earlier this month, and I couldn’t help but think, “We’re going to crush it next year!”  These high-profile events and venues not only drive excitement, but also provide unmatched opportunities for event planners. Allegiant Stadium hosts events from 10 to 65,000 people and offers on-field experiences. Formula 1 Grand Prix will take place in Las Vegas in November, after the year-one F1 race, the four-story paddock building will be available for buyouts and will also offer daily ride-along experiences that will be available for groups. And, of course, the MSG Sphere officially announced that it will open in September, ahead of schedule, with a U2 residency. It’s going to be the most technologically advanced venue as far as lighting, sound, feel, and even scent, and it will be available for buyouts and next-level sponsorships inside and outside. There’s no ceiling to what you can do when you’re doing events in Las Vegas.  Allegiant Stadium As the trade show and convention business returns to the pre-pandemic levels, what shifts are you noticing and how do you think they will impact the industry going forward? Our trade show organizers are very focused on driving customer experience. Most of our organizers are reporting stronger exhibitor numbers and increased numbers of new exhibitors, with trade shows proving to be almost or above 2019 levels. Now our organizers are really doubling down on driving attendance and focusing on the data to provide that individualized, customized experience to help attendees meet their goals and get the best value. Some companies continue to be cautiously optimistic with their organizational spend when it comes to sending attendees, but I think it will continue to improve. As the U.S. Travel Association makes more progress on the U.S. visa situation, we also expect a growing influx of international attendees. What are some innovative ways the LVCVA helps trade show and convention organizers deliver the most value for their events? We focus on customer experience in the same way that trade show organizers are thinking about it. We got rave reviews with the West Hall Expansion of the Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC), so over the next two years, we will be renovating the North and the Central halls, which will include not just the same look and feel, but also the digital experiences that can be leveraged for branding and sponsorship opportunities.  Vegas Loop, the underground transportation system designed by The Boring Company, is also a way we have enhanced the customer experience. Vegas Loop at the LVCC has transported more than 900,000 convention attendees across the campus since its 2021 launch. Last summer, Resorts World and The Boring Company opened the first resort stop at the Resorts World Las Vegas , with plans to expand throughout the resort corridor, including downtown Las Vegas, Allegiant Stadium and Harry Reid International Airport. The LVCVA also purchased the Las Vegas Monorail in 2020, the 3.9-mile-long elevated transportation system that connects eight resorts directly to the convention center campus. This is the only rail system in the world that integrates fares directly into show badges and registration. For trade show organizers, these transportation options mean saving time, money and effort when it comes to moving groups from the hotels to LVCC and around the city. Also, the more we can focus on building the infrastructure around the convention center, the more it supports the customer experience and ultimately supports our trade show organizers. Scheduled to debut in Q4, Fontainebleau Las Vegas will offer 3,700 hotel rooms and 550,000 square feet of meeting and convention space next to LVCC.  What are some of the plans for advancing DEI (diversity, equity and inclusion) within your organization? We’re currently partnering with instead of working with a leading consulting firm, to lay the foundation and create a solid DEI plan and be the leader when it comes to DEI initiatives. The heart of that journey with the consulting firm is also talking to our customers about their strategic approaches to DEI and driving innovation in this space.  What are your favorite ways to recharge? My husband and I have an RV and we’re outdoorsy people. So, while we have over 150,000 world-class hotel rooms and renowned restaurants right outside our doorstep, one of my favorite things to do is get out to Red Rock Canyon, the Valley of Fire, and Lake Mead. Five of the top national parks are within a three-hour drive from Las Vegas, so there’s a lot you can do. We love balancing the energy of Las Vegas with nature, and we’re noticing that a lot of attendees add activities off the Strip when they come here.  Valley of Fire What advice would you give to women following leadership paths in destination marketing? I think it’s about being laser-focused on what you want to accomplish; building a team around you that lifts you and helps you achieve your goals; and being humble and realizing that you do it as a group. No one gets this done alone. Thankfully, there are a lot of women in leadership in this organization, in our customers’ organizations, and in this city that we can be really proud of. We’re a formidable force that is making things happen.   This interview has been edited and condensed. This article is exclusively sponsored by the Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority. For more information, visit HERE.