OFFPRICE Show Continues Growth Streak in Attendees, Size

February 15, 2012

Even though some fashion trade shows appear to be experiencing slight revivals in participation this year, the event devoted to bargain apparel remains ahead of that pack.

Enter the OFFPRICE Show, the only trade show in the U.S. dedicated to discount fashion, which has been a booming segment since the economic downturn took hold a few years ago.

Owned by U.K.-based Tarsus Group, the event continued its steady, year-over-year growth pattern, as it kicked off Las Vegas’s biannual Fashion Week, which included trade shows at the Las Vegas Convention Center, the Venetian Casino, Hotel & Resort and Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino.

Held at the Sands Expo & Convention Center Feb. 10-13, OFFPRICE boasted a 5-6 percent increase in participation and size, with approximately 11,500 attendees and 497 exhibiting companies. occupying 126,500 net square feet of exhibit space, according to show officials.

Last August, the show attracted 11,000 attendees and 485 exhibitors, spanning 122,750 sq. ft.

Although the show has benefited from a poor economic climate, OFFPRICE will always attract a strong following if the “new normals” in consumer spending are any indication, said Steve Krogulski, CEO of Tarsus Expositions USA.

“Our segment did well when the economy wasn’t doing well, but it’s doing well now because people are buying smarter, and everyone’s looking for value …it’s a mindset now,” Krogulski said.

He added, “That’s the reason OFFPRICE is always going to be there because it’s a channel that helps move excess goods in the market and we’ve become a valuable source for retailers to find those goods.”

Besides participation and size, the event also experienced growth in its newer product categories, including accessories and footwear, Krogulski said. Plans are to continue adding more categories in the effort to make OFFPRICE a one-stop-shop for discount-minded retailers, he added.

But the newest addition to the showfloor was The Connection, a designated lounge and networking area offering free Wi-Fi, as well as educational sessions that addressed digitally oriented topics, including social media, e-commerce and how to harness the Internet.

As an extension of the show’s deeper foray into social media, the intention is to grow The Connection and its offerings going forward, Krogulski said.

OFFPRICE’s showfloor sported colorful booths displaying a diverse array of clothing, accessories, footwear and fashion-related merchandise. Overall, exhibitors were pleased with the show.

“This month’s OFFPRICE was great, as our sales increased in comparison to last year,” said long-time Exhibitor Jennifer Castillo, sales manager of Rosy Loves.

She added, “We had a lot of positive feedback from first-time customers and clients, we made deals with three retail chain stores and we were able to negotiate private labels for new clients. In addition, we had the opportunity to meet customers from around the world and hopefully do business with them in the near future. The show was such a success that we believe our sales will be even better at the August show.”

Retailer Peter Ferraro, owner of Plaza Surf & Sports, said the show was a valuable part of his busy trade show itinerary.

“It’s always a good show,” Ferraro said. “I’m finding everything I need and things are in clear sections. We always try to mix in closeouts with our name brands, so it’s a good place to find different vendors and products.”

OFFPRICE will return Aug. 19-22 to the Sands Expo Convention Center.

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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.