MAGIC Market Week Drives Value Through Custom Experiences

February 23, 2013

At first glance, the mere scope of Advanstar Communications’ MAGIC Market Week, formerly MAGIC Marketplace - the world’s largest trade show for the fashion industry, can be overwhelming. But look closer and you’ll see that each segment is a carefully crafted element that is also an integral part of the exciting fashion mega event.  

The biannual MAGIC Marketplace was held Feb. 19-21 at the Las Vegas Convention Center and Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino, bringing together global buyers and sellers of the latest in men’s, women’s and children’s apparel, swimwear, footwear, accessories and sourcing resources.

This was the first show after Advanstar purchased ENK International, owner of 14 high-end trade show fashion brands, including ENKUSA, ENKVEGAS, Fashion Coterie, Intermezzo and Sole Commerce in November 2012.

The move significantly strengthened the women’s wear segment of the Marketplace and also added East Coast and international events to the Advanstar’s apparel roster. Most of all, it allowed Advanstar to turn the Marketplace into a comprehensive event that serves every major fashion segment.

“It’s the matter of continuously evolving our offerings for the buyers and offering the multidimensional experience,” said Randy Kabat, executive vice president marketing, communications and creative services for Advanstar. “Each show has its own identity, its own point of view. Now every fashion community has its home here at the show.”

One notable new area is THE TENTS@PROJECT, which was literally in a giant tent outside Mandalay Bay. With a vibe of an upscale showroom – think lots of white, chrome touches and live sage plants - it featured a hand-picked selection of top fashion brands that share an artistic approach.

“This is a highly curated experience,” said Exhibitor Sascha Beiken with Kent and Curwen. “We’ve already met all the majors as well as several boutiques. We love being here.”

FN PLATFORM, the shoe part of the show, continues to perform well. “It’s become by far the biggest and most significant footwear show in the country,” Kabat said. “Its international contingent is very strong and square footage has grown over 20 percent since Feb. 2012.”

Advanstar also recently launched the Shop The Floor online portal that allows credentialed buyers and contracted brands to connect before, during and after the show. It is designed to streamline the buying cycle and enables buyers to manage their pre-show planning, create line sheets and merchandise with lookbooks. 

“The immediate reaction has been tremendous,” Kabat said. “Face-to-face relationships are very important, and buyers still need to touch the products, but this online marketplace extends the window of the relationships.”

On the floor, exhibitors were pleased with the traffic and quality of leads. “We’ve had a great show,” said Exhibitor Erica Levine Ryan with Hart Denim. “We’ve just launched our spring collection and we were writing orders for two days straight.”

Veteran Attendees Michael Inskeep, with What on Earth Catalog, and Ernst Hirsch, with Universal Direc,t scouted the floor for men’s licensed apparel items.

“We have to keep up on what’s hot,” Hirsch said. They noted that that the licensing area seems to be getting smaller, but there’s a growing emphasis on trend fashion apparel. “The show seems to be getting younger and younger,” Inskeep said, adding he especially loved his experience at FN Platform and said, “I spent four hours there with a buyer. It was very good.”

Updated numbers were unavailable at press time. In 2012, it attracted about 80,000 attendees, featured nearly 4,000 exhibiting companies and spanned more than a million net square feet.

Magic Markeplace is coming back in August to Las Vegas.

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