Latest from Materials at WSA

20 June 2008

The Materials at WSA Expo and Conference, taking place in Las Vegas from July 28-30, 2008*, will offer exhibitors unparalleled opportunities to expand their businesses within the USA. The inaugural show played host to key decision makers and top-level executives, all set to return again this summer. Sourcing and development professionals attending the show will be looking to resource new materials, components and technologies, and open trading relationships with new innovative suppliers.

Those who may think there is no need to exhibit at Materials at WSA, as they already have strong links with the big US brands' off-shore manufacturers, operating in their territory, are being urged to think again.  Independent research carried out with over twelve major US brand owners, shows that critical specifying and buying decisions are being made in the US - not overseas.  92% of the US products teams from these leading brands said that decisions are not made in the factories, but that suppliers can have a huge influence, inspiring design ideas and impacting on the end product specification.   Steven Mahoney, director of business, the Clarks Companies, echoed this, by saying that: ‘clearly suppliers can influence trends in footwear materials.'  The same interviews also showed how unlikely new suppliers are to be introduced to these brand owners by off-shore manufacturing teams - just 25% said new suppliers are recommended in this way.  The message is clear; suppliers who simply deal with an off-shore manufacturer are not influencing the people who really matter. If further proof was needed that potential suppliers should be targeting the US product teams directly, 83% of these US-based decision makers said it was crucial that potential new suppliers earn their trust and confidence if a long-term relationship is to be entered into. This is something that can only be done face to face. 75% of the US-based specifiers questioned will be visiting Materials at WSA in July, the world's fastest growing footwear and accessories materials supply event in the USA. ‘This event is the most important place for suppliers to exhibit if they are seriously looking to build relationships and begin working with a broad range of US footwear, accessory and handbag brands', says Courtney Harold, Materials at WSA, show director. ‘The decision makers are here in the US and it is crazy to think that solid business relationships can be built across continents.  We saw an impressive attendee list of major US brands at the first show ranging from Brown shoe, Athletic, Fashion and Street. The second edition looks set to host the same calibre and broad range of attendees, all looking for the new material, leather, component or technology.'    The organisers of Materials at WSA particularly expect suppliers from outside China to grasp this opportunity to meet senior US decision makers. Courtney Harold says: ‘With rising global export taxes effecting China's manufacturers, now is the time for other markets to take advantage of this situation and forge new or better relationships US businesses. Materials at WSA offers a perfect platform for companies to showcase their product and gain new business ..' Materials at WSA has recently been incorporated into The WSA Show. With the Collections at WSA also running concurrently with these shows, participants are now offered a totally unique marketplace, a place where the whole footwear and accessories industry will gather in an incredibly time and cost efficient way. Materials at WSA exhibitors will also have open access to the entire WSA Show and The Collections at WSA community, including brands, retailers and supply chain executives from the around the world. * Note date change, now in line with The WSA Show and The Collections at WSA

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