By Paul Pannone
Show producers are keeping a low profile these days as a very soft market wakes up exhibitors that are just about ready to make tough decisions involving where they are putting their resources. eWedNewz continues our investigation into the growing supply of wedding dresses in a shrinking market and what to expect next season.
In New York this week lower expectations pleasantly surprised exhibitors that said traffic was as good as last season at the Pier’s show. The Piers was called the stronger of the major shows but failed to meet the expectations of its premier in 2010 when exhibitors looked to 2011 and said the show would continue to grow.
Jane Heflin is a wonderful, well-respected wedding industry veteran. Her name sounds regal and from a bygone time and Hollywood greatness. But the Intercontinental show is also felt to be from another era and could be on its last legs, according to a growing consensus. Numerous attempts to get her side of the story remain ignored. Jane, give us a call and tell us what’s happening in your world.
The Intercontinental show continued to diminish, according to sources that walked both shows. Other events and shows in the New York area also came up light on traffic.
“As you know, many people consider Maggie the top resource in the market. You couldn’t prove that by the show attendance.Only about one-third of the seats at the show were filled with buyers. I’m not sure if this reflects diminishing interest in the line or if it reflects the fact that attendance at the Intercontinental isn’t as strong as attendance at the Piers. When I traveled to the Piers only an hour later, there seemed to be a lot of buyers mulling about.
I wasn’t impressed with the show — but I’m a tough critic. There wasn’t enough diversity in the gown styling to suit my taste. Virtually all of the gowns were strapless, had dropped waistlines, and big ball gown skirts. About 95% of them had sequined belts. The show was significantly paired down from the number of dresses I saw in Chicago. Therefore, I can only assume that the NY show included only the gowns that Maggie considers best sellers. I’m not a retailer so I can’t speak with real authority. However, I don’t understand why everyone gets so excited about this line,” reported Jim Duhe.
Duhe made the statement before he was taken to a local hospital after traipsing around town to cover the shows he felt were important. After covering markets for decades, Duhe feels there are too many shows and too much redundancy.
eWedNewz coverage resulted in a crush of comments to people mentioned in the story that gave their account of traffic and what is happening in the market.
“I don’t know what they’re so upset about; the story was dead on and actually very positive,” according to Phillip Cornier.
Cornier covered the Piers, the Intercontinental and smaller shows and agrees something has to change.
Powerhouse exhibitors told eWedNewz our continued coverage and reporting remains fair, accurate and truthful, also saying they’re going to revisit how and where company resources will be doled out from now on.
Steve Lang told eWedNewz,”I am pulling out of everything and consolidating into the Piers show; in consideration for my customers. It will also be helpful to the people in my company, all being together in one place. It just makes better sense,” according to Lang.
Sources hearing the news say it makes better sense for all the reasons stated. They also feel lang is among the most respected in the business and others will follow his lead.
Repeated attempts to contact the people at both shows remain ignored. Sources near the story say they fear eWedNewz and our ability to reach the wedding industry with the truth.
Attempts to reach show producers are ongoing.
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