February Trade Shows Present Mixed Results

March 15, 2024

The high cost of delivering a premium event experience in Las Vegas to both attendees and exhibitors prompted two storied trade shows to collocate last month. Elsewhere around the country, another show posted moderate growth while a third saw slight dips in its numbers. 

Women’s Wear in Nevada (WWIN) co-located with Las Vegas Apparel

Who, When & Where: Women’s Wear in Nevada (WWIN) and Las Vegas Apparel, Feb. 13-15, The Expo at World Market Center Las Vegas

Show Size: 70,000 net square feet of exhibit space with 300+ brands and more than 1,000 lines between both shows

Looking back: The August 2023 edition of WWIN had 400 brands 

Making the move:  For the first time, Clarion Event’s WWIN co-located with ANDMORE’s Las Vegas Apparel (LVA). WWIN provides food to exhibitors and attendees to maximize customers’ time, said Melissa Montes, vice president, WWIN. “If you’re at a booth and need lunch, we’ll bring it.” But that became cost prohibitive at CAESARS FORUM, the show’s previous venue, she added. 


wwinInvesting in amenities: Moving off the Las Vegas Strip and partnering with Las Vegas Apparel and ANDMORE, which owns The Expo at World Market Center, enabled “the two events to invest in the overall experience which was felt by all those in attendance,” Montes said. Throughout the event, attendees were treated to unparalleled, first-class amenities such as curated meals and snack breaks. WWIN arranged two after-hours shopping events, with themed cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, as well as a VIP lounge that featured “Instagrammable moments,” Montes added. “We created vignettes and moments where people could capture some memories.”

What they are saying: “The first co-located edition of Las Vegas Apparel and WWIN was electric, with positive feedback and energy throughout all three market days,” added Caron Stover, ANDMORE senior vice president, apparel. “From the beginning, our partnership with WWIN has just made sense, and last week’s combined market destination proved to be the right and best decision for buyers, brands and both show teams.” 

Beyond the show floor: Both shows usually start on Monday but, this year, on the Sunday before, Las Vegas hosted Super Bowl LVIII, leading attendees to find sky high air and hotel prices. WWIN and LVA shifted to a Tuesday start and made up for the missed day with early and late buying hours. 

Looking ahead: “From the inception of the collaboration, both WWIN and LVA were united on the shared goal of providing an exceptional order-writing experience with the shared ethos of putting the buyers needs first and providing an aesthetically pleasing, conveniently merchandised, experiential destination,” said Montes. “As the fashion industry looks ahead to future editions, we remain committed to building upon the momentum generated by this first round of collaboration, continuing to redefine the boundaries of customer experience, one show at a time.”

Chicago Dental Society Midwinter Meeting

Chicago Dental Society Who, When & Where: Chicago Dental Society Midwinter Meeting, Feb. 22-24, McCormick Place, West Building 

Show Size: There were 21,135 attendees, 563 exhibitors and the 159th annual show spanned 128,600 square feet of space.

Looking Back: Last year, 20,767 attendees visited with 518 exhibiting companies across 127,700 sq. ft.

Best new features and products: A new event, Sips, Suds and Sales — where attendees could wander the show floor in the late afternoon with an adult beverage in hand — was launched. 

“Our meeting continues to be one of the top dental meetings in the country,” said Heather Nash, CEO, Chicago Dental Society (CDS). “We have always been known as the first major dental show of the year, where many exhibitors launch their newest products.” 

Beyond the show floor: CDS offered “Yoga for Midwinter Mindfulness” both days of the show, taught by a local Society member and his wife. Several enhancements were made to the education — more scientific information was added for hygienists and instruction on physical therapy was expanded. 

American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons

 AAOSWho, When & Where: American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) Annual Meeting, Feb. 12-16, Moscone Center, San Francisco 

Show Size: AAOS drew 7,385 attendees this year and 622 exhibitors spanning 197,400 sq. ft.

Looking Back: The show performed better in 2023, when it brought in 10,050 and 663 exhibitors across 210,000 sq. ft. AAOS Annual Meeting Committee chair Matthew Provencher said the dip was “attributed to several factors, including the location, timing, inclement weather and competition with holidays and other live events. Moving forward, AAOS is reviewing a series of initiatives aimed at engaging attendees and enhancing overall event satisfaction and value for exhibitors and attendees.” 

Best new features and products: Zimmer Biomet showcased its 3D-based surgical planning tool; Stryker launched a new knee revision system; Smith+Nephew previewed robotic-assisted surgical solutions for knee and hip surgeries; and Osso VR introduced a virtual-reality-based surgical training system.

Beyond the show floor: Through the meeting app, AAOS introduced AI-driven session recommendations because “we want to make this large meeting feel smaller and more personalized,” Provencher explained. A new Spanish-language track paired American and international speakers, and a technology pitch competition also debuted.

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