Every year the team at Shirt Agency heads to Las Vegas to meet with brands and help them fulfill next season’s orders. It’s February again and it’s time for SOURCING at MAGIC Las Vegas. MAGIC is the ultimate fashion trade show that happens twice a year in Vegas with thousands of exhibitors showing off next season’s collections. To help you make the most of your week, I’ve compiled five tips to make your trip a success.
Have a plan but remember- it’s Vegas
MAGIC 2015 is going to be massive. It’s going to spread across Las Vegas – in the Mandalay Bay Convention Center and the Las Vegas Convention center, where SOURCING at MAGIC will be hosted. Not having a plan of attack would be downright silly. Check out SOURCING at MAGIC Online for a full map of exhibitors and the daily event schedule. That being said, remember that it’s Vegas, and you wouldn’t want to miss out any serendipitous business and sourcing opportunities.
Be prepared for a long day
Whether you’re at a booth representing your brand or looking to buy up the hottest, new trend, get ready for a REALLY long day. A full day of business at the tradeshow requires you to be equipped with the essentials that you need to succeed – you need a huge stack of business cards and you have to charge your smartphone so that you won’t have to worry about it. Better yet, get a power bank.
Go outside of your comfort zone
MAGIC spans the full breadth of the industry in order to get a good sense of current fashion. Take some time out of your schedule to explore other areas of the tradeshow. In sourcing, you will be able to see how and where many of the best brands make their apparel. Make sure to stop by the Maker’s Row booth in the “Made in USA” section. See designs from TV Shows and visit Lyn Paolo’s booth, the costume designer of ABC’s Scandal, and Mandi Line of Pretty Little Liars.
Connect with other attendees after hours
Some of the best business relationships can be forged after MAGIC has closed for the day. Brand promoted parties and events are a great way to casually mingle. Remember not to be too heavy-handed with the business talk and keep the conversation flowing. In my experience, people love to work with people they have had a good connection with.
Schedule meetings for your most important business contacts
The bottom line is that your trip to MAGIC is to connect with entrepreneurs and create business opportunities. Be sure to create a list of your most important vendors and schedule a meeting ahead of time to ensure you have their full attention. It’s essential to send a polite follow up email to the people you meet at MAGIC; it’s an excellent way to continue the conversation after the event.
Most importantly, it’s Vegas, so make sure to have a lot of fun.