RISING TIDE

Byline: Georgia Lee

The Cruise 2001 swimwear manufacturers’ show is getting bigger.
Trade show officials expect approximately 2,000 buyers to attend the show at the Miami Merchandise Mart and Radisson Center, compared with 1,500 buyers last year. The show, running July 15-19, will feature 300 exhibitors showing more than 1,000 lines, with 40 new exhibitors this year.
To accommodate the growth, the swimwear show will add 40,000 square foot of exhibition space, for a total of 135,000 square feet.
“This has become the biggest swimwear show in the U.S., and it gets bigger every year,” said Jack Blum, co-chairman of the board of the Swimwear Association of Florida, which has sponsored the event for the past 18 years, along with BASF. “We had buyers calling as early as April to schedule appointments.”
Organizers said the event will include, for the first time, a sit-down dinner at the new Loews Miami Beach Hotel. The evening is expected to be considerably snazzier than the finger-food cocktail party and show previously held in an overcrowded tent at the Merchandise Mart.
This year, educational events at the show will be cosponsored by the Swimwear Industry Manufacturers Association (SWIM). Members of SWIM are also on the show’s advisory board for the first time. The two swimwear industry groups joined forces last year, after talk of moving the show from the Miami Merchandise Mart, among other issues, threatened to fracture the event.
Attendance at the show, which began with 15 exhibitors, has grown at least 15 percent each year over the past five years. It has recently attracted media attention from print publications such as Vogue, Elle, InStyle, YM, Seventeen, Shape, Self and Glamour, Sports Fitness and Sports Illustrated, and television coverage on the E! channel and CNN.

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