SMOTA Sees Rise in Attendance

The Shoe Market of the Americas wrapped up its third trade show of the year at the Miami Beach Convention Center this month, and with the changes to come in 2010, the show is already prepping for the upcoming events.

SMOTA plans to relocate to the Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center in March and will add accessories and women’s apparel to the mix for the June show.

“I think it’s going to be an easier show to work. It’s a newer building and it’s cost effective for exhibitors and retailers,“ said SMOTA Executive Director Beverlee Maier. “It’s a good venue for both domestic and international vendors to get to.”

Buyers and representatives were still conservative and cautious, but, Maier said, that did not stop the traffic. Attendance was up by 5 percent compared with last September. And 43 different countries were represented, including almost all of the Caribbean.

Domestically, the majority of attendees were from the Southeast, including Texas, South Carolina, Alabama and Tennessee.

With the changes under way, Maier said she anticipates attendance will continue to rise. “There is a heightened excitement about the new facility, so we’re expecting a larger turnout,” said Maier. “We’re excited to be able to offer so much more under one roof.”

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