Show organizers are forging relationships with trade groups and other organizations to help boost attendance and energize the show circuit.Strategic partnerships with trade groups, educational institutions and other domestic textile trade shows will help boost attendee and exhibitor participation —from overseas, as well as Stateside — at next year’s round of textile shows, organizers predict.In addition to the traditional fabric fairs, at which designers meet with mills and sample fabrics, there is an increased number of shows next year focused on production issues, such as supply chain management and full garment packaging production.Kicking off the 2003 textile trade show season are the New York print shows Printsource New York and Direction. Both shows are slated for Jan. 14-16.Next year also marks the 10-year anniversary for Printsource, which will be staged at Penn Top in the Hotel Pennsylvania, on Seventh Avenue in Manhattan’s Garment District. Formerly held in an exhibition center at Parsons School of Design, the new space — which occupies the penthouse of the Hotel Pennsylvania — will house approximately 80 booths, or three times the size of the former hall, said Printsource president Massimo Iacoboni."At the last show we had a little less than 30 exhibitors," Iacoboni said. "We’re becoming more international, with more exhibitors coming from England in particular."Perks at this year’s Printsource include a complimentary day of presentations by European forecasting company ESP Trendlab and a free buffet lunch to celebrate the show’s 10-year run.Printsource’s move to the Hotel Pennsylvania marks a collaboration between New York’s textile prints trade shows. As reported, Inprints New York and English Accents merged this year to form the Direction show. Direction will be held at the Penn Plaza Pavilion — also in the Hotel Pennsylvania — during the same three-day run of Printsource. According to Direction show manager Lisa Mainardi, Direction and Printsource collaborated out of convenience for attendees, but plan to remain separate entities for now. For the upcoming edition of Direction, Mainardi said she expects about 60 exhibitors and approximately 2,000 visitors.Mainardi said the show’s advertising budget has more than doubled for its second edition."Now people that shop the show are primarily from the U.S., but we’re trying to attract people from Japan and other countries that may normally go to Premiere Vision," she said. "That would be reaching a whole new market for us."Direction will continue with Surface, its complimentary trend forecast series and has added food service inside the show.Approximately one week after the print shows is European Preview, which runs Jan. 22-23 at the Metropolitan Pavilion in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood.Since it is reserved for European weavers and runs a few weeks ahead of its Paris counterpart, Premiere Vision, European Preview is continually used as a source of inspiration for U.S. designers to organize and clarify fabric themes. Since PV falls during New York Fashion Week for the second time in a row, a head start at European Preview is expected to come in handy, according to industry sources.European Preview show manager Laurence Teinturier said some apparel manufacturers have cut their travel budgets because of the economic slowdown, and plan on sending fewer people overseas to shop for fabrics. This could mean more domestic companies attending European Preview instead, Teinturier said.In Las Vegas, the Apparel Sourcing Association Pavilion will take place Feb. 17-20 at the Las Vegas Hilton Hotel. ASAP, which runs concurrently with WWDMAGIC, is geared at full-garment-packaging production and attracts mills from more than 32 countries, said Frank Yuan, ceo and chairman of Pasadena, Calif.-based Cyber Merchants Exchange, which owns and produces the show.The following month in Miami, Material World will hold its first spring edition March 17-19. Previously, the show was held annually in October; the spring edition is expected to be as big as the fall edition, a spokeswoman for the show said. There were approximately 415 booths at the last installment, with most exhibitors coming from North and South America.Material World established a partnership with the supplier resource division of the American Apparel and Footwear Association in June to host and promote the event. As reported, the October show attracted a variety of foreign exhibitors from Caribbean Basin countries like El Salvador and Guatemala, as well as other domestic fabric, trim and yarn makers. However, full-package garment suppliers, freight-forwarding companies and other players in the sourcing chain reserved almost half of the show’s booths at the last edition.In addition to fabric and sourcing companies, the March Material World will also feature a new grouping of exhibitors aimed at information technology. This area of the show is expected to increase the number of exhibitors by about 100 booths and will feature companies that provide solutions for supply chain management, enterprise resource planning, customer relationship management, manufacturing, sourcing and logistics of distribution.Adding to the already high number of foreign exhibitors at the International Fashion Fabric Exhibition will be a group of approximately 20 mills from Brazil that specialize in denim, among other fabrics. "Our goal is to offer IFFE attendees as much variety in every sector of the marketplace," said Marc Beckman, director of marketing at Advanstar Communications’ East Coast Fashion Group, which produces IFFE. "And we’ve acknowledged that denim is popular and we want to attract both the high and low end of the entire industry."IFFE has also struck up a strategic alliance with Parsons School of Design. All students at Parsons are eligible for a contest to win a scholarship and an opportunity to produce apparel for mannequins placed around the IFFE show floor. After submitting sketches, 13 winners will be chosen. Exhibiting mills at IFFE will supply the fabric.Karen Mamont, director of marketing and merchandise at California Market Center, which produces the Los Angeles International Textile Show, said the next show is expected to ring in more than 100 more exhibitors than the show’s October edition. That would bring the new number to 460 domestic and international exhibitors, she said. The Los Angeles International Textile Show takes place April 28-30 and is supported by the Textile Association of Los Angeles and the Textile Distributors Association. Mamont said the Tex-Italia area of the show sees about a 10 percent increase in exhibitorship with each show and expects it to continue, since it is supported by the Italian Trade Commission.Later in the spring in the Midwest, the Chicago Fabric and Trim show will be held May 29-30 at the Holiday Inn Mart Plaza in downtown Chicago. The show is sponsored by the not-for-profit Apparel Industry Board. "Right now we have 30 booths and we normally only have 40 booths total," said executive director Marsha Brenner. "So it’s a good sign that the majority of our exhibitors have signed up in advance."

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