FN PlatformFN Platform/WWDMAGIC have several new experiences on tap, including ‘On Point’ and GLAM. By Bianca Herron

Global leaders in footwear will convene at FN Platform/WWDMAGIC Feb. 12-14 in Las Vegas to shape the industry, network and shop for shoes. The international showcase is the pillar of branded footwear featuring men’s, women’s, juniors’ and children’s footwear brands from more than 30 countries. Offering six merchandised environments from luxury to lifestyle, FN Platform provides buyers with a convenient and efficient way to shop the most comprehensive selection of international footwear.

This year’s show is sure to be a crowd-pleaser, UBM President of Footwear Leslie Gallin says. “I always refer to our trade event as the “Davos Summit” for the footwear and fashion industry,” she says. “We are the only footwear event in the United States where key leaders and decision makers of the domestic and international footwear industry convene twice yearly in one place.”

She adds that there are several robust and innovative experiences on tap, including a new neighborhood called ‘On Point,’ a social media initiative called ‘show us your soles,’ and Shoezy & Boozy, a new social event debuting on opening night.

“[This] cocktail social event will touch more retailers and brands,” Gallin explains. “FN Platform will turn the lights down, pump up the music to create a club atmosphere and let brands and buyers network, socialize and have fun. We believe people want to do business with whom they like and trust. Therefore, we wanted to create some time and space to let folks come together and have fun.”

WWDMAGIC also will not disappoint, bringing buyers the largest selection of women’s apparel and accessories in the industry. The show will roll out a new curated beauty area called GLAM located on the concourse. “Beauty products are all the rage right now,” WWDMAGIC Vice President Kelly Helfman says. “It’s all about millennial beauty – affordable cosmetics, nail polish, lashes and more. GLAM will be the place to shop beauty to add into your fashion apparel/accessories stores. Brands in attendance will include Hollywood Fashion Secrets, MakeUp Eraser, B’Livinn and Sarah Horowitz Parfums, and more.”

For the first time, WWDMAGIC will also partner with Lauren Parker, editor at Accessories Magazine, to recognize accessories brands on the show floor for their innovative products, original merchandising and several more categories. “The winners will be recognized at the show site by Lauren and written up in the magazine,” Helfman says.

Attendees can also expect to see more than 500 of the best ready–to-wear and accessories brands in young contemporary and women’s fashion, which more than 110 of those brands are new to the show. “In addition to shopping for your store, we also will offer live DJ’s, yummy food and drink options, trend displays, and instagrammable photo opportunities,” Helfman concludes. “We also will have five major fashion influencers and additional speakers participating in educational panels at the WWD social house, too.”

International Home Houseare ShowRetailers looking to find unique and distinctive products to make their business successful should attend the International Home + Housewares Show. By Bianca Herron

The 2018 International Home + Housewares Show will convene at Chicago’s McCormick Place March 10 to 13. As the world’s largest marketplace of housewares and home goods, the show will feature more than 2,200 suppliers from more than 45 countries, and nearly 60,000 attendees.

Owned and operated by the not-for-profit International Housewares Association (IHA), the IHA Smart Home pavilion expands in 2018 with more than 25 exhibitors of smart home brands and connected products presenting the future of housewares. The pavilion will also offer increased education and networking opportunities, including:

• Smart Talks – Visit this educational stage in the pavilion featuring presentations, panel discussions, interviews with industry leaders and more all Show days.

• Smart Bar – Stop by this lounge to charge your mobile device and network with colleagues. In the morning, the area will feature a Starbucks coffee bar and in the afternoon, relax with a craft beer.

• Networking After Dark Reception – Hosted by the International Business council (IBC), United States, international buyers and news media are invited to end their day at the Show by stopping by the Networking After Dark reception March 12 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the Vista Ballroom. Join U.S. housewares exporters for food, drinks, music, international networking and fun.

New Show Highlights

Before the Show opens, buyers will have another opportunity to visit with exhibitors, Saturday, March 10, at the “Trending Today Preview – A Marketplace for Hydration.” The event features up to 60 exhibitors highlighting a trending merchandise category. For 2018, Trending Today will feature hydration, a key product category driven by the consumer trends of health and wellness.

With “Experience Day,” the International Business Council (IBC) aims to encourage the next generation of housewares suppliers by bringing college students to the Show. Through the two-day event, March 11 to 12, more than 150 students will be exposed to the housewares industry by seeing the industry marketplace, meeting executives, walking the Show floor, hearing presentations from CEOs and having lunch roundtables with members of IHA’s Young Professionals Advisory Council (YPAC).

“The Housewares Young Professionals Event” (HYPE) is an opportunity for young professionals to meet and network with others of their generation. This year HYPE will be held in the Grand Ballroom Lobby (S100) on Saturday, March 10, at the close of the Show.

Additional show highlights include:

• The Housewares Consumer Speaks: Syncing Innovation and Marketing with Consumer Needs – Maureen Azzato, publisher and editorial director, and Allison Zisko, executive editor of HFN, will moderate this panel, delving into their annual “The Housewares Consumer Speaks” research. A panel discussion will follow with industry experts who will share ideas about how the housewares industry can better anticipate shifting consumer needs and tastes.

• Survival and Success in the Retail Renaissance – Monday, March 12, Tom Mirabile – IHA’s Consumer Trend Forecaster and senior vice president of Global Trend & Design for Lifetime Brands – delivers his Top Trends presentation for the year ahead, exploring the consumer and retail shifts that are reshaping the home and housewares industry. Whether you’re a retailer, manufacturer or importer, you’ll find new focus and inspiration as he shares his insights and understanding of today’s consumer and what motivates them.

• New Exhibitor Preview! – Buyers can start their Show early with a visit to the expanded New Exhibitor Preview, open Saturday, March 10, before the Show opens. Take advantage of this opportunity to see new products from 90 first-time exhibitors, including participants in the IHA Smart Home Pavilion.

• Discover Design Expo – The expo features nearly 200 design and trend leaders of the latest in high design from Europe and around the world. Exhibitors cover all Show categories.  On Sunday evening, buyers are invited to stop by the Toast to the Trends networking reception and mingle with colleagues and Discover Design exhibitors.

• IHA Global Innovation Awards (gia) – The IHA Global Innovation Awards (gia) honor the best in product innovation and design. All finalists are spotlighted on display in the Hall of Global Innovation, and winners will be announced during the gia awards dinner on Saturday evening.

• Cooking Theater – Celebrity chefs will demonstrate their cooking techniques in presentations each Show day. • The Innovation Theater – Offering 21 programs throughout the Show in Room E350 in the Lakeside Center Lobby, the Innovation Theater will feature several presentations on various aspects of the smart home and connected products, along with experts on consumer shopping preferences, branding and global market trends.

• Show Mobile App – Download the free app from the iTunes Store, Google Play or by going directly to m.housewares.org from your mobile device. Attendees can search for exhibitors by name, categories or products; link from an exhibitor’s profile to their booth location on the Show floor; and access all Show information including hours and registration details, attendee services, special events and displays, keynote and Innovation Theater sessions, the Cooking Theater line-up and more.

GlobalShopGlobalShop aims to equip retailers with the necessary tools to build their brand and create a more effective retail environment. By Bianca Herron

GlobalShop will provide its more than 10,000 attendees, including designers working in retail, with a wide-variety of new products and ideas. As one of the leading sources for what’s new in retail design and marketing, GlobalShop has the single largest retail design audience of any event in the nation creating the opportunity for its attendees to network, make new acquaintances, and reconnect with existing ones.

Owned by Emerald Expositions, the largest operator of business-to-business trade shows in the United States, GlobalShop will host more than 500 exhibitors at Chicago’s McCormick Place March 27-29. The GlobalShop 2017 event launched the first ever Experience Journey, which will return this year with the theme of “Inspired Retail.”

Key show highlights include insightful educational sessions, design:retail CitySCENE’s networking event, and IIDA’s product design competition. Kendra Scott’s Chief Marketing and Revenue Officer Tom Nolan will also deliver the keynote address “Inspiring Brand Loyalty, One Store At A Time.”

Presented by WWD, Nolan will discuss how the fast-growing lifestyle brand creates retail experiences centered on family, fashion, and philanthropy. Attendee’s will gain insight into Kendra Scott’s unique culture, staffing, store design, customer service as well as community engagement and branding that propel the billion-dollar brand.

In addition, each day a hidden golden ticket will be placed in a secret location on the show floor. Attendee’s can check GlobalShop’s social media, @GlobalShopShow and #GlobalShop, for clues on where the golden ticket may be found. The first one to find the ticket each day will win a prize.

GlobalShop has also teamed up with The Magnificent Mile® Association on the Windows of The Magnificent Mile program held during the trade show. The program features window displays from 15 to 20 retailer members of the association with materials provided by GlobalShop exhibitors.

The windows displays will be unveiled with a big reveal the first morning of GlobalShop, March 27, and will remain on display through the month of April. The Windows of The Magnificent Mile program is not only a celebration of the retail design industry, but also a nationally marketed consumer campaign to pique the interest of shoppers and drive foot traffic to brick-and-mortar stores. The displays will be branded with a custom Windows of The Magnificent Mile cling featuring the name/logo and booth number at GlobalShop.

SOBEWFFThe South Beach Wine & Food Festival will host more than 95 events. By Bianca Herron

Held Feb. 21-25 in Miami Beach, Fla., the 17th annual South Beach Wine & Food Festival (SOBEWFF) is sponsored by the Food Network & Cooking Channel, and hosted by Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits. All of the festival’s proceeds benefit the Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management at Florida International University.

To date, SOBEWFF has raised more than $26 million to support the Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management at Florida International University. In addition to raising funds for the school, the festival serves as an interactive educational platform, providing more than 1,200 students a year with the opportunity to gain real-world experiences alongside world-class talent and industry professionals. 

Festival Highlights

SOBEWFF will feature more than 95 events that take place at various locations throughout Miami-Dade and Broward Counties. This year’s five-day festival includes something for every gourmand to sip and savor for a great cause including:

Women of Syria Dinner hosted by Alon Shaya and Ingrid Hoffmann (Friday, Feb. 23). Renowned chefs Alon Shaya and Ingrid Hoffmann come together to bring the festival a one-of-a-kind heritage food experience at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts. A carefully curated family-style dinner will be prepared by women representing two organizations dedicated to supporting Syrian refugees that Shaya and Hoffmann work with – Denver-based Comal Heritage Food Incubator and Miami-based Zaytouna and Syrian Supper Club. Together, the two will collaborate on a menu rich with their cultural influences to satiate taste buds and stories about their journey to America to satisfy the soul.

Barry’s Bootcamp and Bites hosted by Robert Irvine (Saturday, Feb. 24). In addition to being a chef and popular television personality, Robert Irvine is also the founder of Robert Irvine Foods – and he’s bringing his expertise straight to the sands of South Beach for this first-time festival event. Irvine will be joined by co-instructor Derek DeGrazio, partner and head trainer for Barry’s Bootcamp Miami, to lead guests through a morning workout followed by healthy bites and refreshing libations.

Yappie Hour presented by Fetch My Vet hosted by Katie Lee (Saturday, February 24). It’s no secret that Katie Lee, cookbook author and co-host of the Food Network show “The Kitchen,” is head-over-heels for her new chihuahua rescue, Gus. She’s bringing him to experience the festival for the first time, as they host this pooch-friendly afternoon happy hour at Loews Miami Beach Hotel featuring libations for the two-legged species and plenty of snacks for canines and humans alike.  

Midnight Munchies presented by Thrillist hosted by Jean-Georges Vongerichten and Action Bronson (Saturday, Feb. 24). World-renowned Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten serves as the evening’s host while DJ and cookbook author Action Bronson dishes up his signature beats on the two-block oasis known as Española Way in South Beach.  More than a dozen homegrown joints will satisfy all attendee’s sweet and salty late-night cravings while sipping on specially crafted libations.

Family Ice Cream Social hosted by Duff Goldman (Sunday, Feb. 25). A brand-new addition to this year’s festival line-up, fans of all ages are welcome to join all-around dessert authority Duff Goldman for this afternoon soirée at Loews Miami Beach Hotel. More than a dozen creameries and parlors from throughout South Florida will serve up their most decadent treats for the whole family to enjoy, with specially crafted libations available for the adults.

Additional show highlights also include a significant expansion of SOBEWFF’s featured CRAVE Greater Fort Lauderdale Series, which includes a Dinner hosted by Michael Schulson and Chris Cosentino, Grand Bloody Mary Brunch hosted by Geoffrey Zakarian and Aarón Sánchez, Clambake hosted by Emeril Lagasse and Jorge Ramos and Rooftop Rosé Happy Hour hosted by Kristin Cavallari.

The 2018 Festival will also feature a number of musical talent throughout the weekend, including:

• The multi-platinum, Grammy-nominated group Smash Mouth performing on Feb. 22 at Barilla’s Italian Bites on the Beach sponsored by HCP Media and the Miami Herald Media Company. This event is hosted by Giada De Laurentiis.

• Hit Caribbean DJ Walshy Fire performing on Feb. 24 at BACARDÍ presents Walshy Fire’s Rum & Bass Beach Party.

• Action Bronson serves up the beats on Feb. 24 at Midnight Munchies: An Española Way Block Party presented by Thrillist, and hosted by Jean-Georges Vongerichten and Action Bronson.

• HBFIT founder and popular DJ Hannah Bronfman providing the beat on Saturday, Feb. 24 at Sweet-Moves: Late-Night Desserts & Dancing hosted by Bobby & Sophie Flay.

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bossardIn 2017, the hottest toys included collectibles, squishies, slime, and toys based on popular entertainment properties. By Bianca Herron

At the upcoming Toy Fair show Feb. 17 to 20, every inch of available space at New York City’s Jacob K. Javits Convention Center will be filled with hundreds of thousands of creative new toys and games, including affordable collectibles and innovative tech toys to licensed product and retro playthings, according to The Toy Association’s Executive Vice President of Global Market Events Marian Bossard.

“Buyers and other trade guests will have access to more than 1,000 innovative global toymakers,” Bossard says. “This not only includes veterans brands, but also more than 100 first-time exhibitors whose never-before-seen toys will be featured in the launch pad section of the show. In all, 30,000 global play professionals vying for a stake in the $27 billion U.S. toy market will be at Toy Fair.”

In addition to being one of the top events to spot the latest trends in toys and play, Toy Fair will also feature educational programming and networking activities to ensure that its 30,000 attendees have a satisfying experience. “Seminar highlights include the always well-attended toy safety seminar, drop-in sessions and workshops for entrepreneurs, a toy trends briefing led by our in-house trend experts, an insight-driven seminar led by staff at Amazon, and sessions tailored to the needs of specialty retailers,” Bossard notes.

Attendees also can plan their visit and navigate the show by downloading the Toy Fair Mobile app, which is free on iTunes and Google Play. The app lists seminars and special events, shuttle bus schedules, the exhibitor floor plan and more. “Buyers who want to get a head-start on discovering new products and companies at Toy Fair can also ShopToys365.com,” Bossard says. “It’s the toy community’s premier e-commerce platform, which enables retailers and toy companies to connect year-round and conduct business efficiently online.”

Top Trends of 2017

In 2017, collectibles, squishies, slime and toys based on popular entertainment properties were a huge success across all age groups. Traditional toys with tried-and-true play value – from board games and puzzles to dolls and plush – also drove sales, says Adrienne Appell, director of strategic communications.

“Affordable collectibles of all kind – a trend we dubbed Collectibles 2.0 – was one of the year’s biggest trends,” she says. “From skill-building and innovative collectibles to collectibles in blind packs, these toys were a top contributor to industry growth. We also saw a surge in educational toys for all age groups, and an array of licensed toys infused with creative components and educational play value.”

In a tech-driven world, it’s hard to believe that classic toys and games, including plush, are experiencing a surge in popularity, she adds. “Recent sales growth in traditional categories proves that millennial parents are seeking traditional toys that empower their kids to use their imaginations and limit screen-time,” Appell says. “For generations, kids have played with dolls and stuffed toys, which allow kids to act out their future roles as parents and foster open-ended play.”

2018 Toy Trends Forecast

The Toy Association’s top trends of 2018 will be announced Feb. 18 during its “Toy Trends Briefing.” “Our trend experts will share each of the top-line trends using product examples directly from the show floor,” Appell explains. “While I can’t give the trends away just yet, I can say that toys that teach a wide spectrum of topics will be popular this year, including playthings that teach kids how to make the world a better place. We’re also expecting to see a surge in classic toys and retro brands that attract parents looking to engage with their kids on an unplugged level.”

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