I caught up with Toby Bost, CEO of O'Neill Clothing, to talk about ASR and trade shows, following the decision by Quiksilver to skip the January ASR show.
O'Neill and the other La Jolla Group brands will attend, Toby confirmed. He told me that ASR worked hard to make the show affordable. He also said that he expects industry trade shows may be changing more in the future.
Here's his note to me:
"La Jolla Group will be attending the show. ASR has been completely accommodating from an expense perspective and has made this show affordable. There will be business to be done there regardless of how anyone tries to spin it.
"After what will probably end up being the worst Holiday season on record, our retailers need us. They need face time and a venue where they can discuss business while making the best use of time and travel expenses. It takes a large degree of scheduling to put a retailer, sales reps and executives together. In fact it doesn't tend to happen often or at all outside of a tradeshow.
"There will be some interesting strategic plays at this show. I would say the brands attending smell opportunity and will be focusing on building market share.
"We are focusing on making it worth it for the retailers that show up.
"As a result of the activity around this show, I will say that moving forward the tradeshow landscape as we once knew it has changed. That change has been coming for a long time.
"All the brands and industry as a whole are guilty of marketing to each other and letting tradeshow spends get out of control. It's time to participate in a much more controlled and business like forum. We're looking forward to what the future holds here.
"It's another step in the right direction for an industry that continues to mature."
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