Post-Show Recap: 7 Engagement and Community-Building Ideas That Worked at MAGIC

February 27, 2024

Pink is out, red is in. If that’s too bold, neutral “quiet luxury colors” are still going strong. Those were just some of the fashion trends featured at the apparel-focused trade shows MAGIC, Project and Sourcing at MAGIC that took place Feb. 13-15 at the Las Vegas Convention Center

Days before the shows opened, Informa Markets Fashion, which owns and operates the events, announced the group’s brand transition to MMGNET Group and the launch of MMGNET (pronounced “magnet”), the new insights and resources-powered parent brand designed to support the wider fashion industry and connect the group’s portfolio of brands and their diverse communities, products and resources and the wider fashion ecosystem in new, impactful ways. 

“This is more than a rebranding or launch of a new parent brand; this is about addressing how we serve our audience and the industry moving forward, as an evolution of our business,” said Kelly Helfman, president, MMGNET Group. “It will allow us to launch innovative products and bring new ideas to move the fashion industry forward.”

MMGNET Group President Kelly Helfman

MAGIC celebrated its 90th anniversary this year, and the move to MMGNET comes as part of the strategy to respond to the changing needs of the industry and keep it young and vibrant, which was the vibe on the showfloor.  

Helfman noted the team’s concerted effort to bring in emerging product categories and track the larger consumer trends influencing fashion. Combined, the shows featured about 2,650 exhibitors spanning 547,197 net square feet. Attendance numbers were pending as of press time. 

“The number of brands and the growth we’re seeing year-over-year has been incredible,” Helfman said. “It’s the testament to the importance of the wholesale industry.”

It is also a testament to the value of a face-to-face marketplace that is agile in response to the shifts in the industry and that provides a vibrant and welcoming environment for its community. In serving the apparel ecosystem, MAGIC, Project and Sourcing at MAGIC share the convention center, and in some cases, hall space, but their personalities and their vibe are distinctly different. Maintaining and nurturing those distinctions is one of the top priorities for show management, Helfman said.

MAGIC, Project and Sourcing at MAGIC took place Feb. 13-15 at the Las Vegas Convention Center

7 Engagement and Community-Building Ideas That Worked

  1. Curated spaces. Sourcing at MAGIC featured a Sustainability Gallery with a fashion installation of sustainably sourced products and a presentation theater with topic-specific programming, making it easy to bring together the exhibitors and buyers in this space. At Project, attendees could learn about the show’s commitment to positive and sustainable change in Ad Infinitum, a curated space that featured environmentally responsible brands and also offered attendees a cozy space to take a break from the floor. Other curated spaces highlighted trending colors and other hot topics.
  2. Instagrammable moments. Granted, it’s the nature of the fashion industry to be on camera and influencers need perfect sets for content. The show turned them into splashes of color on the showfloor and sponsorship opportunities while promoting engagement. 
  3. Authentic activations. “You can’t do epic shit with basic people” was a tagline across the skateboard ramp by Cult of Individuality in the center of Project. The space brought the brand community together around the activity that’s central to their ethos and made for a perfect place to debut products, shoot content for socials and build all the right engagement. 
  4. The r +r suites on the floor. Each show had a Rest and Relax experience that offered a comfortable space for “those 5 minutes you’ve promised to yourself,” as well as thoughtful features such as massages, makeup touch-ups, nail art and other touchpoints. 
  5. Personalized and limited-edition merch. To celebrate MAGIC’s 90th anniversary, the show partnered with an apparel brand Inimigo to offer attendees customized t-shirts. They could also grab limited-edition show bags and exclusive water bottles, both sponsored items. Feeling truly hands-on? DIY buffs could bejewel hair bows into perfectly personal fashion statements. 
  6. People first. Informa Markets took a strong stance to promote its ETHOS Initiative, which represents the concepts key to the organization, defined as equality, trustworthy, humanity, open-hearted, safety, and focuses on promoting “an environment of mutual respect, free of harassment and unprofessional behavior.” The signs about the initiative and a number to report for support were positioned at the entrance to every hall. 
  7. Bonus points: Free rides on the Las Vegas Loop.
MAGIC celebrated its 90th anniversary this year.


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