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Atlanta Shoe Market ranks best for convenience and cost - Poll
Feb '09
Retailers and exhibitors looking to maximize their tradeshow budgets in a restrictive economy need only turn to their industry fellows for a recommendation on which event to attend this winter. According to a poll of show participants, the Atlanta Shoe Market ranks best among fashion industry shows for convenience and cost.

Respondents to the 2008 annual “Who's Who: The Top 10 Trade Shows of 2008,” conducted by Focus on Shoes magazine, gave the Atlanta Shoe Market their highest ratings of “9” of a possible “10” for “convenience” and “7” for “cost of attending/participating.” The show also received a poll best “9” for“organization/planning/promotion.”

“As the industry's only non-profit, association-sponsored show, we have always been more concerned about doing what's best for our industry as opposed to what would put the most money in our pockets,” explained Laura Conwell- O'Brien, show manager and executive director of the Southeastern Shoe Travelers Association (SEST), sponsor of the show. “Over the years we have continued to refine the show and make changes with that goal in mind.”

Those refinements have included keeping all exhibits under one roof, making it conducive for buyers and sellers to conduct business, and more recently, making it more convenient for attendees by moving show dates to Friday through Sunday.
The poll analysts agreed with such characterizations, noting that “the survey responses . . . indicated that this show
(Atlanta Shoe Market) is on the rise, definitely a good place for business.”

So do the continually expanding number of Atlanta Shoe Market exhibitors. Despite the current sour economy, the show's Fall Market slated for February 20-22 in the Cobb Galleria Centre in the Renaissance Waverly Hotel in Atlanta, is on its way to another sellout. As of early December, little of the 150,000 sq. ft. of exhibit floor space remained available.

The February 2009 Atlanta Shoe Market will feature more than 1,500 lines. “From all indications, we'll continue on our run of breaking our previous show's participation records,” Conwell-O'Brien noted.

The Atlanta Shoe Market also continues to increase its geographical reach.“Traditionally our show has drawn well from the Southeast and then the Midwest,” Conwell-O'Brien said. “Then a few years ago we started seeing more retailers from the Northeast and Caribbean. Now all sections are well represented – from California to Massachusetts and Pennsylvania, from Texas and Louisiana, all parts of the country.”

The Atlanta Shoe Market is held twice a year in Atlanta, Ga., to feature fall and spring styles respectively. The show is sponsored by the Southeastern Shoe Travelers Association (SESTA), which was founded in 1942 and today counts more than 750 industry representatives as members. The Atlanta Shoe Show ranks among the 10 largest shoe trade fairs in the world.

The Atlanta Shoe Market

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