(Filed Under wholesale Lingerie News). Altitude Intimates, a new trade show featuring lingerie and adult novelties, will debut April 2-4, 2017 at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas. For this interview, BODY asked executives at the sponsoring Lingerie Industry Association (LIA), Eric Ehrens, executive director, and Crystin Ehrens, managing director, to provide details about their show and its genesis.
BODY: Now that Altitude Intimates has launched, in your opinion, what were the two or three most important factors that forced the creation of the show?
ERIC EHRENS: The lingerie industry is undergoing a rapid change as a result of business globalization and the disruptive power of the internet. Exhibitors, buyers, the press, and related industry professionals no longer need to attend trade shows to gather information as they can do this easily and inexpensively on the internet. Instead they want to attend trade shows in order to personally interact with one another and share thoughts, ideas and see products which will enable their businesses to be more successful. In addition, trade show participants want to be in an environment which is pleasant and conducive to business. In addition, it never hurts to have a little bit of fun! Altitude Intimates is an industry event for the industry by the industry. Indeed the organization is run by the industry for the industry in cooperation with the LIA – a professional nonprofit trade association of lingerie manufacturers and ancillary industries. The goal of the industry is to create a buyer centric show in the most pleasant professional atmosphere possible which includes fashion shows, seminars and a trade show with exhibitor products. It is an industry event where people can gather to learn, share, collaborate in order to make their businesses successful. And in the case of Altitude Intimates, they will be in a well catered and comfortable environment at a premier hotel right on the Las Vegas Strip. In addition, the show will be extensively curated in order to insure a professionally run event in a very refined atmosphere. In short the show has been created in response to a changing business environment and to help all trade show attendees, whether buyers or exhibitors, become more successful and also to create a pleasant environment in a first class Las Vegas property.
BODY: We understand that Altitude will have a section devoted to adult novelties that will be separated from the rest of the show. What impact will the inclusion of adult novelties have on the show? What are the positives and/or negatives?
CRYSTIN EHRENS: The Altitude Intimates Show is focused around the lingerie/intimate apparel industry. As such, we will be having fashion shows running all day and present our exhibitors merchandise in the most attractive and upscale manner possible similar to runway shows in major fashion capitals of the world. At the same time, many of our buyers want to see other product and at Altitude, we believe in the importance of presenting all merchandise which our prospective buyers could be interested in but in a very CURATED manner so that the presentation is both professional and responsive to the professional business norms and in the most attractive manner possible. This means that we will also exhibit novelties but in a separate high traffic section. This is all done to insure that all of our exhibitors are welcome at Altitude Intimates show.
BODY: There has been some discussion of free booth space being given away to certain vendors at trade shows. Do you have a comment?
ERIC EHRENS: By this question, you must be confusing Altitude with other shows. The Altitude Show is a very exclusive upscale show supported by LIA members. As a result, our show is more than 75% sold out already and all booth space is being sold at our published rates. Space is never given away free nor at a discounted rate. All exhibitors pay the same published rate although all LIA members do receive a standard 5% discount on exhibitor space. Altitude Intimates guarantees to all exhibitors that every exhibitor pays the same published rate and all LIA Members receive the same standard discount. If Exhibitors are interested in receiving the LIA discount, they can contact email@example.com. Treating all exhibitors fairly and equally is a fundamental principle of Altitude Intimates although all space will be allocated based upon the order in which prospective exhibitors sign up for Altitude Intimates. At the same time, the managing members of Altitude and show management are concerned that we will probably sell out within the next month.
BODY: What comment do you have to buyers (and vendors) who are not happy with the prospect of having to cover two shows instead of one?
CRYSTIN EHRENS: We agree with buyers and vendors that it would be better to just have one show which responds to the needs of the industry and is focused on bringing as many buyers as possible to Las Vegas during the show dates in the most pleasurable environment possible. This is why all of the revenue generated by Altitude is invested back into the show in order to create the most pleasurable professional environment possible. In addition, our managing members and shareholders, which are made up of intimate apparel companies who are focused around re-investing in the show and creating the best show possible, want to promote the entire lingerie industry, helping to make all Altitude Intimates stakeholders successful (whether they are buyers, exhibitors or in related professions). That is what our organization strives for. We created the Altitude Intimates as an industry event by the industry for the industry. We truly hope that within the next year or two, there will only be one premier trade show and this show will be Altitude. We feel that this will be in the best interest of the industry and we hope that we will convince our prospective buyers and exhibitors as well. We honestly feel that in the end, they will all reach the same inevitable conclusion within the next year or two that Altitude is THE Industry event by the industry for the industry. We feel that the industry is changing so rapidly and the need to really create a better trade show focused around the buyers to help drive solutions to the more pressing problems facing our industry which is why we will be presenting seminars during the Altitude Intimates event to help our attendees make their businesses more successful.
BODY: What is the plan for the Altitude show next August/September?
ERIC EHRENS: We are completely focused on creating the very best trade show possible for Altitude at our inaugural trade show in April 2017; however, rest assured that we will be announcing our plans for August/September at the opening party, so you will just have to attend in order to report to your readers about our future plans. We have a number of extremely new and innovative ideas and show formats which we are developing and we plan to query the industry about their preferences before finalizing our plans and announcements for August/September 2017.
BODY: We are still in December and the next round of shows will not be until April. What changes and developments do you expect between now and then?
CRYSTIN EHRENS: We are completely focused on working to make the inaugural Altitude show, a true industry event and the best trade show that our attendees have ever attended. To do this, we need to stay focused and work as hard as possible to produce our first show.
BODY: Drayage fees will be reduced or eliminated by the implementation of simple, standardized booths. Why didn’t this happen sooner? Will vendors remain happy with the simple format in the future?
ERIC EHRENS: In this challenging business environment, it is important that we hold down exhibitor costs and use the extra funds to invest in creating the most exciting buyer focused event possible which will allow us to attract more buyers to see product, share ideas with fellow attendees in an attractive venue at Planet Hollywood located right on the Las Vegas Strip. We believe in a continuous process of innovating and evolving our show to respond to buyer and exhibitor feedback. We want every Altitude show to be innovative and evolve in order to respond to a changing business environment to create the very best event for everyone.
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