As 2011 comes to an end, it's time to start thinking about how to best use your budget next year. Trade shows offer a plethora of opportunities to retailers, ranging from education and networking to buying and keeping a pulse on the industry. And if they're not currently a priority on your list, there are definitely reasons why attending trade shows should be on your agenda in 2012.
Regardless of what sunwear retail category you fit into—optical, sports, high-end fashion, etc.—there's a show that will benefit your shop. If you're an action sports (surf, skate, swim) retailer, then there's no reason to miss out on Surf Expo in Orlando. The same goes for Outdoor Retailer in Salt Lake City if you're an outdoor sports gear shop. Both Surf Expo and Outdoor Retailer offer two shows per year—during the winter and summer market seasons.
If you're an optician or optometrist, then you're most likely familiar with International Vision Expo (East in New York in the spring and West in Las Vegas in the fall). As the top American eyewear and sunwear show, Vision Expo offers attendees a chance to discover trends, keep up with the latest technology, and learn about best-business practices. It's a MUST for all who consider themselves sunglass experts. The show draws over 30,000 eyecare professionals each year... in case you were wondering why you should go.
And if your budget happens to allow you to travel overseas to explore the latest sunwear fashion emerging in Europe and Asia, consider attending MIDO in Milan, Silmo in Paris, opti in Munich, Germany, the Hong Kong Optical Fair, and IOFT in Tokyo. Get ready to jet set and take in the international flair that's sure to translate successfully onto your frame boards.