Although the concept was only unveiled in May, exhibitors have been quick to confirm that they will be at the Materials at WSA Expo & Conference. Companies such as Adige Conceria, Alba Gruppo, CMC Gruppo, Conceria 800, Conceria Kara, Conceria N.C.L., Conceria Virginia, Creative Leathers, Gruppo Mastrotto, I.P. Valdarno together with Cuoificio m.p.g, Nuova Antilope, Pellami Macchini, North American Tanning, Rino Mastrotto Group, Romapelli and Wolverine Leathers are just some of the tanneries that have applied for stand space. While on the synthetic materials side, key players such as Clarino, Omnipel Technologies, and Rogers Corporation are also on board. Components and technologies companies exhibiting will include Caster, Davos, Prialpas, Reltex, Texon International, Sappi Warren and the mould maker Apego and B.E. di Borsani Egidio & C. among many others.

Not surprisingly, these major companies have chosen to exhibit at the inaugural show, given that the show’s content is being crafted with the assistance of an advisory board of key industry professionals. This board is made up of executives who are all leaders in the various supply chain sectors of the footwear industry including:

* Daniel Friedman (senior vice president, product development & sourcing, Brown Shoe)

* Doug Clark (vice president, Timberland Invention Factory, Timberland)

* Michael Jeppesen (divisional senior vice president, global sourcing & product development, Payless)

* Michael Schaeffer (global creative director & vice president of design, Reebok)

* Ray Tonkel (inventor, former design, development, advanced technology executive with Adidas, Nike, Reebok, Rockport).

These companies have also been attracted to the show by the unique opportunity to showcase their latest products and services alongside the world’s largest footwear and accessories show and the greatest concentration of buying power, The WSA Show. Twice-yearly, The WSA Show covers 2.1 million square feet, attracts more than 36,000 participants from nearly 100 countries, and spans both the high-volume and the high fashion ends of the market. Beginning next year, the new Materials at WSA Expo & Conference will give key suppliers to the major manufacturers, brands and retailers an opportunity to be at the heart of this global gathering.

Douglass Clark, VP, Timberland Invention Factory agrees there is a real need for the event: ‘In today’s global footwear industry, innovation has become the currency of success. Combing the world to find the most innovative supply chain resources means sifting through many suppliers until you reach what is truly non-obvious. It is the ‘truly unique’ that resonates with the consumer. Having these resources in Las Vegas, where everyone goes already will put innovation where the decision makers already are so decisions can be made.’

The Materials at WSA Expo & Conference is an ‘invitation only’ event. It will include the most innovative companies operating in the footwear and accessories supply chain including the following product show segments:

* Components such as insoles, outsoles, buckles, heels, bottom units, lasts

* Leathers such as full grain, exotics, napa, nubuck, suede

* Synthetics such as eco-friendly, PU coated, PVC, microfiber

* Technologies such as coatings, insulation, release papers, chemicals

* Services such as testing, logistics, packaging, financial, compliance

* Software such as ERP, PDM/ PLM, Rapid Prototyping, CAD/CAM

‘With the platform that The WSA Show affords, building on the strength of the most comprehensive finished product show for footwear and accessories in the world’s largest affluent market does the industry a great service’, comments Diane Stone, chief operating officer of The WSA Show. ‘By bringing supply chain leaders to the key decision makers at a show they already attend, there will be business opportunities created that have never been possible anywhere else. This industry needs to constantly innovate. With our new show, we’re saying there’s no need to travel the globe to find the next great design concept, materials, finish or production method. We’re bringing all of the latest developments to the place where the mass market and over 350 luxury footwear and accessories designers from around the world already congregate’, Stone added.

To facilitate the participation of European suppliers, the Materials at WSA Expo & Conference has a multi-lingual sales and service team on the ground in Europe. Based in Italy, Philippe Versluysen and Monica Cagnolati will ensure that European exhibitors and attendees have all the information and help they need in a timely fashion. To find out more about exhibiting at the Materials at WSA Expo & Conference, contact:

Monica Cagnolati, customer service coordinator

Tel +39 331 3341748 or email

Philippe Versluysen, director of international development

Tel +39-02-45483834 / mobile +39-339-7295457 or email