Big business in the Big Easy

Halloween and Party Expo gets a boost with greater product diversity and more face-to-face meeting spurring on increased buying activity

Written by Rhys Thomas

Posted 11.02.2019 | Business

Big business in the Big Easy thumbnail

Bringing greater product diversity to the show floor paid off for this year’s Halloween and Party Expo, drawing thousands to New Orleans last month.

This year’s event featured more than 300 companies, including 40 new to the show, as well as an expanded product category selection based on industry feedback – from costumes and accessories to party and paper goods, makeup, novelties, toys, gifts, and business services, products aimed at all areas of the industry were present.

“It was important for us to showcase the products that retailers told us were most important for them to find on the 2019 show floor,” says Halloween and Party Expo senior vice president Mike Carlucci. “We expanded the product categories to provide enhanced opportunities for retailers to diversify their product mix and boost sales, and we thank all of our exhibiting companies for using the Halloween and Party Expo as their opportunity to debut their new product launches for the coming season.”

The changes drew a crowd of more than 3500 industry professionals to the Big Easy who, from initial feedback, tell organisers that expanded buying activity was spurned on as a result of meeting more people relevant to their business.

This was in part driven by an increase in face-to-face meetings through the Buyers Club, an initiative launched last year that aims to connect attendees and increase ROI for all involved. More than 3,000 appointments were arranged through the scheme this year, a 43 per cent increase on its inaugural year. Among the members is Linda Bredemann, from A Walk Through Time and Vintage Costumes.

“I like the concept of scheduled appointments,” she says. “I added about five vendors that I hadn't planned on meeting with but they were great finds!”

Jon Stein, Brand Director of Woochie by Cinema Secrets: "In both my opinion, as well as the opinion of many vendors I spoke to, this year was a big success and it was clear there was a focus to help exhibitors maximise their ability to see increased ROI on the show… I was extremely pleased with the overall experience of Halloween and Party Expo this year and am extremely excited to return in 2020."

Michele Biordi, Executive Director of the Halloween and Costume Association adds: “We are thrilled at the success of this year’s Halloween and Party Expo and were impressed by the scope of new products and innovation we saw from exhibiting companies. We look forward to a successful season and to continue to be a resource for the industry throughout the year.”

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