The fashion industry is fiercely competitive, maybe more so than any other business sector. Apparel trade shows can help you develop the right business connections to gain a competitive edge while helping you market your fashion products to retailers and a broader audience.
Research shows that over 90% of trade show attendees visit to learn about new products and services. This means that shows are an unparalleled opportunity to generate new business leads.
It’s important to make sure that you attend the right shows, however. Selecting the best shows can be a challenge, considering there are thousands of national and regional shows held annually in the United States. That is why we have done the work for you, and selected the top clothing trade shows that you can’t miss!
The Private Label Manufacturers Association (PLMA)
The PLMA is the “gold standard” of private label showcasing. The Association has 4,000 national and global members and hosts annual shows in Chicago and Amsterdam. The 2023 show in Chicago was held November 12-14, at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center.
Attendance is estimated at over 200,000, with 1300 exhibitors. Visitors can expect great trade show exhibits and educational seminars from top experts in the field, providing consumer insights.
Dallas Men’s Show
The Dallas Men’s Show will be held from January 27-29, 2024, as part of the Dallas Apparel and Accessories Market. The show is a prime exhibition space for traditional and contemporary men’s apparel, accessories, footwear, and gifts.
Events at the Dallas Market Center, where apparel shows are held, are exclusively business-to-business. This means attendees can guarantee that their audience is interested buyers, and networking is the focus. Shows at the Center took an illustrious market share from other regional fashion networks by staying open during the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s now considered one of the top national destinations for fashion exhibitions, with exponential growth year-on-year.
ANME Trade Show
ANME hosts business-to-business trade shows for the army, navy, and military tactical audiences and outdoor enthusiasts. Showcasing heavily focuses on clothing and apparel, from uniforms to camping gear. They host two annual expositions, in summer and winter. Winter’s event will be in Las Vegas from January 21-23, 2024. Over 125 exhibits and 1,500 visitors are expected at the event.
AGENDA Trade Show Las Vegas
For streetwear, cannabis, and skateboard enthusiasts, this is one of the top apparel shows. AGENDA is aimed at B2B relationships, with some public entrance for people interested in seeing the fashion exhibits and trade show rental booths. They host two shows a year, in August and February.
Western and English Sales Market (WESA)
WESA is the world’s largest trade show for apparel, equipment, gifts, jewelry, and other related merchandise in the equestrian industry. Formed in 1921, it is one of the oldest trade shows in the United States. Two annual shows attract over 550 product lines and 3,700 retailers. Upcoming trade show dates are:
- January 17, 2024 — January 20, 2024,,
- August 14, 2024 — August 17, 2024
Shows will be held at the Dallas Market Center, with over 200,000 feet of exhibition space.
JOGS Tucson Gem and Jewelry Show
JOGS International Exhibits annually hosts winter and fall jewelry shows in Tucson at the Tucson Expo Center. It is one of the largest global gatherings for industry enthusiasts in gems, rocks, crystals, jewelry, minerals, and fossils. The show hosts jewelry experts from across the value chain: designers, manufacturers, miners, wholesalers, and collectors, from all over the world.
The Tucson Winter Showcase, held this year from January 24 to February 4, 2024, is considered the premier industry event. 4,000 sellers and 65,000 visitors are expected from around the world.
MAGIC Fashion Trade Shows
MAGIC hosts best-in-class trade shows in New York, Miami, Las Vegas, and Nashville. Las Vegas is the largest annual event, with both men’s and women’s fashion. It will be held from February 13-15, 2024 at the Las Vegas Convention Center.
They market themselves as a “high-energy fashion experience” with the largest selection of trendy, modern, and young contemporary apparel brands. Exhibitors range from boutique styles to big-box brands. Influencers and industry specialists can be expected.
Apparel Sourcing New York City 2023
Apparel Sourcing is the largest event of its kind on the East Coast. The show focuses on finished apparel, contract manufacturing, and private label development. Attendees can find new partners for women’s, men’s, and children’s clothing and accessories under one roof.
In 2024, event organizers are bridging the trade show to Los Angeles. On August 13 and 14, 2024, at the California Market Center, attendees can connect with United States and global apparel vendors.
Northstar Fashion Exhibitors
Northstar, a women-owned fashion trade show in St. Paul, Minnesota, will hold a women’s apparel trade show on January 14 and 15, 2024. They have several additional events throughout the year for women’s and children’s apparel. The shows focus on wholesale contemporary, young contemporary, and women’s apparel, accessories, and footwear.
TRENDZ Apparel Trade Show
TRENDZ is Florida’s largest women’s apparel and accessories show for contemporary clothing styles. A hybrid event, retailers can peruse trade booths online and directly connect with exhibitors, or attend in person. TRENDZ covers a regional market, drawing ready-to-wear retailers from across Florida and the Caribbean and also from a growing out-of-state audience.
TRENDZ’s main location is in Palm Beach. Four events are scheduled in 2024:
- January 6 – 8, 2024
- April 28 – 30, 2024
- August 25 – 27, 2024
- October 27 – 29, 2024
TRENDZ West, in Palmetto, will host an event from September 17 to 19.
Making Trade Shows a Part of Your Fashion Business Plan
Now that you have a good idea of which shows might be appropriate for your particular apparel items, you want to make sure you commit to at least a few this year and get your registrations in! Most businesses attend an average of 4-6 shows a year if they hope to be successful. They are the best way to connect with new vendors and will remain the best way into the future. Apparel is something that people want to see and feel in person.
It’s critical to ensure that you’re writing line items for attending/registering for apparel trade shows and also for custom trade exhibits. Research your options! A top company like Blazer will work within your budget to ensure that you have the best display for your price point on the floor. Blazer can also help you utilize your beautiful booth for marketing beyond the particular show – helping you attract press and create multi-use media from the artistry.
“Elevate your trade show presence! Get in touch for a captivating booth that stands out and draws the crowd.”
FAQs about Apparel Trade Shows
If you still have questions about fashion trade shows, we have all your answers here.
What exactly is an “apparel trade show”?
These events serve as a platform for direct sales and promotion of your apparel-related products and services. They also provide networking opportunities with industry specialists, potential buyers, potential business partners and investors, and other related industry professionals (models, stylists, and fashion media, for example).
What can I expect at a Fashion Trade Show?
Expect hundreds, if not thousands, of exhibitions in professionally-designed, multi-media booths equipped with tactile experiences and models of items for sale. You can also expect crowds! Good trade shows will have thousands of visitors a day. Many trade shows also offer break-out sessions with speakers, generally industry specialists or event sponsors. A growing number are now “hybrid”, too, so you likely will have an accompanying web presence with your booth.
Who owns or runs Fashion Trade Shows?
Sometimes these events are “for profit” models, from business conglomerates hoping to raise revenues from registration sales and ticket sales. Most, however, are run by nonprofit organizations in specific sectors or by local government councils.
What are the top benefits of participating? Is it worth the cost?
You can expect, at a minimum, to gain some meaningful connections that will help your business goals (marketing, promotion, accounting, etc.). Most likely, if you have a product to sell and are trying to connect to retailers, you can expect to make at least a few significant sales to stores and retail outlets.
It depends on the size of your venture and the size/scope of the trade show. Larger shows, like MAGIC, will be more expensive but have a stronger marketing impact. Are you trying to appeal to a major national retailer or to a local boutique? You want to set out goals beforehand and then calculate the cost/benefit of attendance. Don’t forget attendance costs should also factor in your cost for travel and your time!