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The Show of Choice
"Workability" Among the Drawing Cards for the Sports Licensing and Tailgate Show
July 7, 2010

As we enter the second half of the year, prospects for a healthy economy appear brighter. Yet as any veteran retailer will tell you, it’s hardly the time to sit back and relax. On the contrary, those who work hard and work smart are positioned to take full advantage of the next economic upswing. Part of this process involves choosing the right trade shows to attend. As the surge in attendance last January demonstrated, more and more buyers are choosing the Sports Licensing and Tailgate Show.

It’s a simple business decision, according to David Spearman of Mr. Knickerbocker in Clemson, SC. “I get more work done in the three days the show is open than in ten days in my office,” he says. “I pick up a lot of new merchandise for the Spring and Summer seasons, which gives me an advantage over my competition. I come away from Vegas each year with the greatest new product available—before others see it.”

Rose Colonna, of Tasteful Treats in New York, likes the “workability” of the Sports Licensing and Tailgate Show. “The size of the show is just right,” she says. “It is easy in most cases to spend time with the vendors—but most important is the exposure to new lines of products. The quality of the vendors and the products displayed are excellent.”

Spearman agrees. “I attend another large licensed show and find the Sports Licensing and Tailgate Show easier to work,” he says. “I do not waste a lot of time walking past booth after booth that do not offer the products I buy.”

From an exhibitor’s perspective, the show is extremely workable, too. The “two shows under one roof” concept is particularly appealing to tailgating vendors, who get to interact with the entire sports licensing and tailgating industry, making it a valuable networking event.

“We love this show,” says Keith Leigh-Monstevens of TaleGator Distributors in Detroit. “It is the premier event on the show calendar for the tailgating community. It’s where we meet old friends and make new ones.”

Another observation that has been made by attendees on both sides of the aisle—in the licensed and tailgating categories—is that the show goes “above and beyond” to improve the business experience.

“The show organizers actually listen to the attendees and are willing to use our suggestions to make the show better,” says Spearman. “That does not happen at other shows.”

For Spearman and others, the License to Buy program is a huge draw. A total of $4.2 million in business was written on the show floor in 2010. That translated into huge savings for store owners, not to mention that many paid for their entire stay. Orders written at the show through License to Buy—which features exclusive show discounts and specials—generate credits toward the hotel bills of buyers.

“Any exhibitor that does not participate it this program,” says Spearman, “is missing the boat.”

The Sports Licensing and Tailgate Show will return to Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas January 17–19, 2011. For more info on the License to Buy Program—or to register for the show—log onto showproco.com or call (800) 327–3736.




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