Traditionally when you think of MAGIC Market Week (MAGIC), the largest fashion trade-show in North America, you might think it’s strictly a retail industry event. Thousands of brands set up shop to pitch their new lines and collections to retail buyers. However, over the years MAGIC has grown into much more than a “just for retail” event. It is now a fashion industry event not to be missed. With its plethora of runway shows, celeb designer appearances, expert panels, industry seminars and not to mention after parties, there’s a lot for the fashionista to take in.
I attended MAGIC for the first time as blogger press for my blog Live Life in Style. I traveled to Las Vegas with fellow Houston fashion blogger, Marcella Sky of Wrk it Girl. Earlier in the year we had entered a competition to be one of 5 featured bloggers covering WWD MAGIC, but unfortunately we were not selected. However, we were offered press passes to come and cover the event, including access to all 10 trade-shows. That’s right, MAGIC is now made up of not 1 or 2, but 10 trade-shows covering everything from contemporary Men’s fashion to independent brands. The brands are broken down into the following trade-shows depending on the type of clothing/shoes/accessories they are presenting to retailers. WWDMagic, FN Platform, Pool Tradeshow, WSA@Magic, Sourcing@Magic, The Tents @ Project, Project Las Vegas, Project MVMNT, ENK Vegas, & Magic Men’s.
If you are attending as a buyer, you are already overwhelmed with the plethora of exhibitors to visit! The number seems to grow every year. As press you can be a bit more relaxed with your time, and use all 4 days to strategically cover all of MAGIC. Here are my tips for attending as a Blogger.
Tips for Attending MAGIC as a Blogger
- Download the MAGIC Market Week App. You will receive notifications when giveaways, events, etc. have been added and the full schedule is easily accessible. You can search for events by date, or trade show.
- Look at the daily schedules ahead of time and plan your day well in advance.
- Be sure to include transportation time for using the the shuttle between convention centers.
- Wear flats (or at least bring a pair to change into for when your feet start to get mad at you).
- Bring a canvas bag, or tote bag to hold items and all of the information you will receive (including water).
- Each trade show has a resource center where you can pick up a show directory and a nice bag with that trade show name on it. Project Las Vegas even had a newsstand area where you could pick up free copies of fashion magazines.
- Be respectful of each vendor’s requirements for pictures or no pictures. It’s always better to ask first if you can take pictures before you start just snapping away. The shoe brands tend to be more strict on photos so you probably won’t be able to take any photos inside the shoe booths.
- The heavy-hitter booths (Jessica Simpson, Jeffrey Campbell etc.) may require that you have an appointment before they let you in. However, they are more than happy to schedule an appointment with you even as press. I opted not do this. As press I’m just looking for photos and to see the current offerings, and didn’t want to take appointment time from buyers. To overcome this, I took photos of the outsides of their booths which are pretty fancy!
- Attend industry seminars. MAGIC has everything from future footwear trends presented by the National Shoe Retailers Association (NSRA) to companies like The Doneger Group presenting men and women’s trends out to a year or year and a half. You’ll learn a lot about how the retail industry thinks. You’ll have insight to how they decide what they put on their shelves and how they use trend forecasting to stock their stores.
- Attend as many of the fashion shows or trend exhibits that you can. These areas are great locations to take pictures, and you’ll be allowed to take photos. This year the fashion shows were done by InStyle Magazine Fashion Director Hal Rubenstein.
Always remember to be appreciative of the opportunity that you have to attend MAGIC and the PR firms that you are working with.
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