Accessories trade shows, encouraged by a warming economy, are embracing new social media-based initiatives and loyalty programs to grow their attendance.
This story first appeared in the June 23, 2010 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
AccessoriesTheShow, which is owned and produced by Business Journals Inc., will stage its next show Aug. 1 to 3 at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center here.
“Retailers are very selective about the trade shows they attend, and while they are still buying carefully, they are spending more aggressively,” said Britton Jones, president and chief executive officer of Business Journals.
For the August edition of AccessoriesTheShow, exhibitors include Vera Bradley, Elliott Lucca, Laundry by Shelli Segal Accessories, Fossil, Echo and Tano. AccessoriesTheShow also will host an Aug. 16 to 18 edition at The Venetian Resort Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, and returns to the Javits Center again from Sept. 21 to 23.
Jones said he hopes to grow attendance and the AccessoriesTheShow brand by “doing more telecommunication and e-marketing, launching our in-show network, which is a series of video screens strategically placed throughout the show floor that enable our exhibitors to extend their brand exposure to the retailers.” He added, “We are also supplementing our traditional marketing with significant social media efforts on Facebook and Twitter.”
Social media outreach has become a part of virtually every major accessories trade show, from Accessorie Circuit’s active Facebook and Twitter accounts to JA New York’s social media-focused seminars to the International Vision Expo’s frequent online updates.
Susan Martonik, senior manager of marketing and communications of The Vision Council, which co-owns Vision Expo along with Reed Exhibitions, said of Vision Expo: “We stepped up our social media outreach over the past year on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube. We are also launching a smartphone application which will allow attendees to plan their visit, view show specials, receive mobile updates from exhibitors and more.”
The next International Vision Expo West will take place Oct. 7 to 9 in Las Vegas, and Vision Expo East will take place March 18 to 20 in New York.
Vision Expo also has “developed comprehensive VIP programs…and created specific areas of interest on our Web site to make it easier for attendees to find exhibitors.” Some such exhibitors will include high-fashion brands Fendi, Jil Sander, Vera Wang, Bill Blass and Cynthia Rowley.
For its July 25 to 28 event at the Javits Center, JA New York will feature a considerably refurbished educational program presented by America’s Best Jewelers and Jewelers of America, entitled “Connected in New York.” The primary focus of the series is to encourage all attendees to effectively communicate with their clients and customers through social media. Programs include “Twest-ival” and “Peer Panel 1: Social Networking Best Practices,” as well as more traditional offerings such as “Insurance Appraisals: More Than a Pretty Price” and “Scrap Metals…Tips for Securing the Gold Rush.”
The Accessorie Circuit, owned and operated by ENK International, reports traffic has been “trending upwards” over the past five years, despite the lackluster economy. Elyse Kroll, chairman of ENK International, highlighted recent improvements to the trade show’s customer service offerings such as enktravel.com, which offers travel deals, plus hotels with free Wi-Fi and free breakfast. The show will take place Aug. 1 to 3 at the Javits Center.