LAS VEGAS — International Market Centers said attendance at the Aug. 22-26 summer Las Vegas Market exceeded the April market attendance thanks to demand for fresh, new product. And that’s despite the industry’s continuing struggle to get much of anything that’s new shipped.
Overall attendance at the summer market, held one month later than usual, reached about 60% of summer pre-pandemic attendance, the company said. Despite some reports of light attendance, that was better than the roughly 40% of prepandemic attendance levels, IMC reported for the April show.
“Las Vegas Market has continued its positive recovery trajectory despite recent setbacks in the nation’s response to the pandemic,” Bob Maricich, IMC CEO, said in a release Friday.
“This week again proved that Las Vegas Market is the preferred Western location for discerning buyers and brands to come together to get business done.”
In addition to its core West Coast audience, the market attracted buyers from all 50 states, with IMC saying it saw notable increases in attendance from from the Northeast region (32%), Southeast (19%), Southwest (10%) and Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana and Arkansas (11%). International traffic rebounded, too, up 60% growth over April, with buyers coming in from 42 countries. The overall attendance gains were driven, in part, by the more than 20 buying groups and trade associations, which held meetings, gatherings and buying visits here.
In the release, IMC quoted Mike Norris, buyer for Houston’s Gallery Furniture, who called Las Vegas Market “important because in-person touching, feeling, and seeing products is imperative.”
And from David Gebhart, CEO of exhibitor Global Views: “The Las Vegas Market was consistent with high quality, well-educated buyers and designers that arrived prepared to place confirmed orders rather than write notes or hold orders.”
Crossover with the concurrent HD Expo and ASD also drove traffic to Las Vegas Market. “We’ve been able to court some of the HD Expo attendees who have come over to World Market Center and once we get them into our showroom, we win them over,” said Vanguard Furniture Vice President of Sales John Pigg, who reported giving look books to more than 2,000 designers at market.
The new EXPO at World Market Center, temporary exhibits also performed well with exhibitors reporting strong shows and many new accounts.
The market also marked the return of in-person events — with masking and proper social distancing protocols in place — with strong attendance at six trend-focused at-market activities. Live seminars included IMC’s FirstLook and Ahead of the Curve programs and sessions with design and retail thought leaders. The ANDYZ, hosted by The Las Vegas Design Center (LVDC) and the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) California Central/Nevada Chapter, also brought the design community together “to celebrate resilience and recognize excellence” with 11 winners in 10 categories.
But the market also played it safe, given the rise in Covid cases nationwide and a Nevada mask mandate that went into effect just prior to market, cancelling all indoor receptions that included food and drinks.
IMC said buyer pre-registration activity was brisk for JuniperMarket – IMC’s new digital e-commerce marketplace launching later this year.
The next Las Vegas Market is slated for Jan. 23-27.