Each year, trade shows are recognized for overall attendance, exceptional exhibit spaces and outstanding product offerings. In 2012, the OFFPRICE Show received a nomination as one of the fastest growing trade shows in terms of exhibit space and won for its overall growth in 2011, for a combination of the February and August shows. With 17 years under its belt, the OFFPRICE Show and its team of organizers have the attendee and exhibitor experiences down to a science, starting with the timing of the February show. "OFFPRICE in February is held during Las Vegas Fashion Week, which is a key component in the planning of the show," explains Stephen Krogulski, CEO. This strategic timing enables buyers to purchase goods as close as possible to upcoming seasons, while affording them the advantage of viewing future fashion trends in advance. "It allows retailers to make very opportunistic buys," he continues.
Throughout the year, exhibitors from the OFFPRICE Show source cutting edge trends in New York, Los Angeles and overseas, working with manufacturers and brands to anticipate what future seasons' hot sellers will be. During this process, they uncover the best sources for overstock merchandise and closeouts, which in turn become the products they bring to OFFPRICE. This process is tried and true and, because of this, the show maintains a 90 percent exhibitor retention rate. Each year, returning sellers are joined by a number of new companies that expand the available product categories. "What we have been extremely successful in, as we've grown, is rounding out our offerings," Krogulski says. Though OFFPRICE has previously been predominantly a soft goods and apparel show, during the last few years, the production team complemented that with accessories, intimates, handbags and, most notably this year, footwear. The shoe component has grown to comprise around 15 percent of the total exhibit floor and, as a result, item categories in the showroom mirror those of an actual retail store. Much as the show itself has diversified, attendees may also wish to consider adding categories to their stores. "This show enables buyers to view their options in a very economical way," Krogulski points out.
When it comes to knowing what styles and seasons of merchandise to expect at the February OFFPRICE Show, standard season buying patterns apply. This month, exhibitors will primarily feature summer and formal styles that range from flip flops to stilettos, with merchandise for men, women and children available. "You may still find some boots for very immediate needs, but a lot of what you'll see will be more for future seasons," Krogulski adds.
The OFFPRICE website, where visitors can search for products by category, is the ideal place to explore which booths to visit. The website also has a wish list feature that Krogulski finds is helpful for buyers looking for something specific. If an attendee is considering a new category, they are able to select particular items for their wish list, which the Buyer Relations Team then uses to help connect that individual with the appropriate exhibitors. "Preplanning helps everyone make better use of their time once they have arrived at the show," he observes. "Our goal is to help not only new buyers, but also seasoned buyers to better network within the show community," Krogulski stresses. "Our Buyer Relations Team can help suppliers and attendees connect in the most advantageous and efficient way possible."
To help foster this networking environment, OFFPRICE has added The Connection to this month's show. Serving as a hub for mingling with other industry professionals, The Connection will be a coffee lounge, complete with high-speed wireless Internet access, where attendees might take a minute to exchange information with others via Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn. Daily show giveaways also will take place at this spot.
Krogulski's additional advice for all attendees is to bear in mind that "the concept of OFFPRICE is that no two deals are the same and it is an immediate goods show. Do your homework on exhibitors by looking at the website and call them in advance and set up appointments. Get a good night's sleep, a coffee and hit the floor running."
The OFFPRICE Show will be held Sunday through Tuesday, February 17-20, at the Sands Expo and Convention Center on the upper level, located at 201 Sands Avenue, Las Vegas, NV. In addition to visiting www.offpriceshow.com for more information, those interested in attending may call 262-782-1600 or fill out an online contact form.
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