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I checked in with ASR Group Show Director Andy Tompkins to get an update on the upcoming ASR show.
How is ASR September shaping up?
We're excited that the industry is really getting behind the ASR Marketplace event as the best opportunity to influence retail buyers from all over the globe - given the economic conditions that we are all facing, we are thrilled with the show's size and scope.
Do you expect the show to have as many exhibitors and attendees as last September?
I'm not sure if much in our world is the same as this time last year. September 2008 was really the beginning of the downturn for many, so candidly we do expect a smaller show. ASR showcased approximately 700 brands in 2008 and for 2009 we expect a little over 500 brands. But these names will be the most influential in action sports across categories.
What has been the response to Class@ASR? How many exhibitors will that event have?
We expect about 100 brands to exhibit at CLASS @ ASR. It has received a very positive response as a great addition to the ASR platform. We have been able to re-engage brands such as Stussy, Original Penguin, and Howe with the launch while attracting new labels such as Comune and Lira. Retailers that visit ASR will have a much wider selection of products to choose from and the fashion forward element will attract premium boutique retailers to ASR bringing new buying power to the entire Marketplace.
How have SIMA and ASR been working together? What are some of the new ideas that have come as a result of that working relationship?
SIMA has been an incredible partner to ASR for over 10 years and we are working together more closely than ever. We are working together to make sure the top 200 accounts are at the show, conducting a press conference with the top CEOs of the industry to provide some insight on what they see for the industry's future, creating a dedicated URL to capture information from the show floor and building added vibe and environment to the show through a centralized lounge where retailers and manufacturers can hang out and talk (very important right now!), etc.
Are you seeing exhibitors opting for some of the new cost-effective booth options?
Exhibitors are taking advantage of several different booth options that ASR can offer. We're hearing many companies tell us that they feel exhibiting at ASR is crucial but they are less committed to shipping and building elaborate booths like they have done in the past.
How is ASR helping cash-strapped retailers get to the show?
ASR has devised several programs to help retailers travel to the show. We have leveraged flight rates via our Travel Planners partners. Hotel rooms will be more affordable as a result of our working with San Diego hotels for the most aggressive rates and buying down certain hotel blocks to help off set nightly rates. VIP retailers will have access to breakfast and lunch on-site, free parking coupons, and a multitude of city discounts. Retailers can find more information on our programs by visiting ASRbiz.com.
Coming later this week: Updates on Agenda and Surf Expo.