OPINION: Miami SwimShow organiser Judy Stein

Organiser Judy Stein provides an intimate account of the preparations that are currently taking place for the Miami SwimShow and explains what to expect from the 2011 event.

“With July just around the corner, my plans and preparations for the 29th Annual Swimwear Association of Florida’s SwimShow are in high-gear. It’s an exciting time for all us at SAF but especially for me. Having been with the organization for over 14 years, I’ve been working with the participating brands, the designers and their reps and with the retailers for a long time. Every year is a like a family reunion. I love to mix and mingle with everyone and catch up on their lives. Of course meeting the new members is another major highlight. I really enjoy forging new relationships. I know you’ve heard people say ‘I’m a people person,’ but in this case it’s not only true, it’s one of the main characteristics of my job. I’m a type ‘A’ personality who likes to be in charge and a multi-tasker who enjoys taking on a challenge.

There are over 2000 people who will be working to exhibit their collections from July 16 – 19, 2011 and over 7,500 people including buyers, national press and VIP’s who will walk through the show. I love that my responsibility is to make sure that they’re as happy and as successful as possible.

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Planning the floor layout, deciding how to organize the booths, and creating the ambience is another aspect of my position. There is something very special and exhilarating about seeing an empty convention center morph itself into the most beautiful tradeshow in the world. And this is a banner year for the organization as we launch the debut of the LingerieShow. We’re very proud to be recognized as the largest and most comprehensive swimwear tradeshow in the world and now with the expansion of the show, I feel we can really take advantage of the synergetic relationship that exists between the two markets.

Over the past several years, we’ve had many requests to integrate lingerie into the show and after thoughtful consideration the SAF Board decided that with the critical mass of interest that this year was the right time to introduce it. The changing economic outlook is altering global buying behavior and buyers are looking for more valuable interactions with quality brands. Our show facilitates this process by being able to offer the finest presentation of swimwear and the addition of lingerie is an organic outgrowth that will make the show even more productive. Buyers have less time to source, so they need to ensure that they use their time effectively.

In terms of the layout, we’re basically creating a show within a show. Since this is our first year, our plan is to start slowly. We are not inviting a tremendously large group of lingerie brands. Our focus is mainly on our current members who have a lingerie brand extension and a few new vendors whose collections fit into the category. SAF is a juried tradeshow and that same level of standard holds true for the lingerie exhibitors. We have always attracted the world’s leading brands and most significant buyers to our show. Global and iconic brands ranging from Diane von Furstenberg to Sports Illustrated favorite Sauvage and Luli Fama are just a few of the brands newly re-signed to participate.

The swimwear exhibition will feature over three-hundred and fifty exhibitors from around the world including Milly, Shoshanna, Roidal, Manuel Canovas, Seafolly, Zimmermann, Melissa Odabash, LSpace, Jets, Despi, Delfina, Emamo, Maryan Mehlhorn, Heidi Klein, Valery, Just Cavalli, Chloe and many more. We will ensure that the lingerie category will be made up of the same caliber of design and reputation.

One of our goals at SAF is to always try and make the four days of the show a fun and affordable experience. We’ve partnered with the Miami Beach Visitor & Convention Authority again to offer increased access to the endless possibilities of South Beach with negotiated rates at a range of hotels, complimentary transportation, and an onsite concierge. Full of activity, events and shopping, South Beach has an amazing synergy with the swimwear industry as a premier resort destination with designer boutiques, world-class hotels, five-star dining, beautiful beaches, and captivating nightlife. We are also introducing our members to the IN-CARD, a complimentary card created by the Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce that offers discounts on attractions, hotels, museums, nightlife, and more.

Since our fashion seminar has been a tremendously popular addition, we will again be offering a thorough analysis of the industry and offer projections and forecasts for the upcoming season. Plans are for the seminar to be handled on-site but it will be one of the few events open to the general public. One of the most exciting events that takes place at our show, and a personal favorite, is the annual runway presentation. It is a real treat to work closely with our show coordinator to merchandise all the looks. The show offers a sneak peak of every participating designer collection and in most cases, this is the first opportunity for buyers to see the pieces on the runway. I love seeing everyone’s reaction and I get as excited about their lines as they are.

We still have quite a bit to do but we can’t wait to see everyone, so get ready for four action-packed days of SwimShow & LingerieShow at the Miami Beach Convention Center from July 16 – 19, 2011.

Feratures of this year’s show include:

Swim Lounge
SAF invites our members and buyers to relax and unwind in our luxurious Swim Lounge area. Repleat with comfortable sofas and armchairs the space is perfect to take a quick break or utilize the table top seating for a more discrete business conversation. Free WiFi is available for all your needs. Plus enjoy Monday evening’s Happy Hour from 6-7:30pm

Breakfast Bar
The breakfast bar featuring complimentary coffee and muffins is open daily from 9am – 10:30am.

Kick-off Cocktail Event

To be held on Saturday evening from 6-8pm; location to be announced shortly. Come early…space is limited.

Pre Show Cocktail Party
Our annual event will be held in the Convention Center Ballroom for the ease and convenience of our members. The cocktail party will begin promptly at 6pm followed by the SwimShow & LingerieShow Fashion Show at 6:30pm which promises to be a dazzling highlight, featuring a look from each of the participating brands in the tradeshow. It is an amazing line-up of the industry’s most exciting designers.

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