Welcome to ASD! Here’s your retailer’s guide to the March 2017 ASD Market Week trade show – the events, big changes (!), speaker sessions, must-see vendors, product categories, and planning tips you need to know about. Read this and you’ll be all set.
ASD Market Week – the largest general merchandise trade show and retail education conference in the U.S. – is on Day 3 already!
Whether you’re a trade show veteran or first-timer, it’s essential to plan so you can maximize your time, dollars, future profits, and energy (!). Here is (almost) everything you need to know.
It’s Showtime! ASD opens today and each day at 9 AM at the Las Vegas Convention Center. The registration counters open even earlier. Check out the show hours for each day here.
Follow the tips below in order to have an efficient, easy, and profitable experience that leaves time for new high-margin discoveries (and maybe even some Vegas fun).
15 Essential Tips to Having a Successful ASD Show.
1. Getting Around
The Vegas monorail has stops from most hotels to Las Vegas Convention Center. There are also free ASD Market Week Shuttles each day.
AIRPORT: Get from the airport to The Strip for as little as $11.
2. ASD’s New Show Map! Some areas have switched places – take note!
The Big News! Now you can shop the show floor even more efficiently.
- Source Direct – now in South Hall Lower Level
- Gift/Toy/Home/Novelties – now in North Hall
- Souvenir & Novelty – now in North Hall
- Licensed Products – now in North Hall
- Electronics – South Hall Lower Level
And New Show Areas:
The Prosper Show – Central Hall (adjacent to Fashion Accessories)
Prosper features top-tier seminars for large Amazon Sellers – additional entry fee applies.
Startup Arena – in the North Hall
A curated selection of exhibitors who have already been featured on ABC’s “Shark Tank” (so they already have some serious visibility!).
If they can handle Mark Cuban and Barbara Corcoran’s feedback they must be ready — gift, toy, home, and novelties products.
Culture+ – South Hall, Lower Level
The premier venue for alternative products.
3. Download the ASD Mobile App: It’s Your Key to Having an Efficient Show Experience
Download the ASD Mobile App Here. It will change your life. Ok, we admit that might be a slight exaggeration, but it will improve the efficiency of your show experience big-time.
ASD Market Week’s mobile app enables you to do all of your show planning, booth research and on-site show navigation directly from your mobile phone.
“One of the most important tools to help you navigate ASD Market Week is the mobile app,”
-Mercedes Gonzalez, co-keynote, new buyer orientation sessions at ASD
4. Use the ASD Show Planner
- Email and schedule appointments with exhibitors (registered attendees only)
- See your vendor recommendations based on your preferences and mark your favorites
- Add speaker sessions that you’re interested in attending
- Easily create your own customized show navigation map (“My Show Plan”)
“The best advice I can give any buyer is to start by looking through the online Show Planner before the show or better yet, start making a list of the categories you plan to buy for.”
-Brady Kimball, Marketing Director, ASD Market Week
Tip: The ASD Show Planner also integrates seamlessly into ASD’s Mobile App
5. Get Matched to the Right Vendors*: ASD’s Free Matchmaking Services
ASD provides free matchmaking services to help assign buyers with just the right vendors at the show.
There are 3 ways to do it:
- by contacting the ASD Attendee Concierge team here. Anytime.
- visiting the “Match Me” desks on the show floor
Take advantage of the fully staffed “Match Me” desks located throughout the show floor to help buyers like you find products and connect with the right vendors – quickly.
- inside your Show Planner
After looking at your matches in the planner, you can visit websites and review products online to do a little “window shopping.” Then, you can send them private messages and set appointments before you get onsite to really maximize your time.
Tip: Our fast-growing SOURCEDIRECT at ASD, features its very own Factory Matchmaking Desk to help you find suppliers from all over the world – right on our show floor.
6. Schedule your days according to the show floor layout, paying special attention to category locations
ASD Market Week is a really comprehensive show – essentially nine shows in one – so it’s important to plan ahead before you hit the show floors.
The nine “shows” inside ASD include:
- Gift + Home Accents – now in North Hall
- Beauty + Fragrance
- Fashion + Accessories
- Souvenir & Novelty (Includes Sports & Character Licensed Products) – North Hall
- General Store (& Closeouts Too)
- Convenience Store
- Cash + Carry (Includes Jewelry and Gifts To Go)
- Culture+ (a newly rebranded alternative products section)
- SourceDirect At ASD – meet factory reps from all over the world (now in South Hall). Opening Ceremony on Sunday, March 19 at 9:30 AM
Tip: Prepare for the unexpected. Shop multiple categories.
Related Tip: Schedule your exhibitor visits according to their floor locations within each show category.
Your main goal? To keep appointments and exhibitor visits closer together in location, in order to save valuable time getting from one to the next.
This will allow you to move easily from category to category adding complementary items to your haul.
“Once you’ve downloaded the ASD mobile app, make sure to follow us on Instagram and Facebook. This will ensure you’re getting up-to-the-minute updates on hot products, vendors, VIP networking events, and speaking sessions.”
-Brady Kimball, Marketing Director, ASD Market Week
7. Get Social (Media): Follow ASD on Instagram and Facebook
Follow ASD on Instagram and Facebook for up-to-the-minute vendor, product, and speaker sessions update each day of the show.
Follow @ASDShow on Instagram HERE.
Like us on Facebook Here HERE
Tip: Use the #asdshow hashtag and we may repost and give your shop or booth a little shine.
First-Timer to ASD? Listen and Read This:
Listen: to this short guide to having a successful trade show experience
8. Retail Education at ASD Market Week: Visit Over 90 Free Educational Seminars
ASD Market Week supports show attendees with 90+ free retail education and e-commerce strategy sessions that take place directly on the show floors, between the South and Central Halls.
Learn how to:
- quickly take your brick-and-mortar shop online
- amp up your Amazon and marketplace selling
- launch online and foot-traffic retail marketing campaigns
- find the right wholesale inventory to carry
New Buyer Orientation – Room N245
Sun, March 19, 8:00AM – 8:45PM and Mon, March 20 – 8:00 AM to 8:45 AM
Amy Sadikoff, ASD Market Week Buyer Concierge Manager, ASD Mercedes Gonzalez, CEO, Global Purchasing Companies
In this brief 45 minute session, you will learn how to navigate the sections of the show to maximize your time (and budget!) this week at ASD Market Week.
Today at The Independent Retailer Conference – Central Hall Lobby
Sunday, March 19, 9:30 AM – 9:45 AM (and each morning of the show)
Rich Kizer, Retail Expert at Kizer and Bender Georganne Bender, Retail Expert at Kizer and Bender
Learn what you can expect from the Independent Retailer Conference at ASD – with short talks and experts each morning.
Wholesale 101 – Room N245
Sunday, March 19, 11:00 AM – 11:45 AM
Speakers: Robyn Johnson and Eddie Levine, Internet Merchants Association
Discover how to find wholesale sources at a trade show and analyze them to find the most profitable items.
Welcome to Treasure Hunters at ASD: Amazon FBA and Beyond – Room S231
Sunday, March 19, 2017: 11:00 AM – 1:00 PM
Speaker: Katharyne Shelton of Blue Sky Curate and Create
Building a Brand on Amazon: How You Can Win! – Room N245
Monday, March 20, 2017: 1:00 PM – 1:45 PM
Speaker: Jeff Cohen, Seller Labs
How to Use Pinterest to Drive Traffic and Sales to Your Amazon Listings – Central Hall Lobby
Tuesday, March 21, 10:00 AM – 10:15 AM
Speaker: Janet Johnson, E-commerce Business School
Tip: View the Entire March 2017 Speaker Schedule Here – allocate time for educational seminars you want to attend in advance so that you are not overlapping with necessary exhibitor time.
Did you know you can add your preferred seminars to your Show Planner?
9. Let’s Party. Or Shall We Say, Network.
Source Direct Opening Ceremony, Sunday, March 19 at 9:30 AM South Hall
SourceDirect at ASD is the premier wholesale trade show for sourcing professionals around the world. Join us on Sunday, March 19 at 9:30 AM for a traditional Ribbon Cutting Ceremony & Lion Dance on the South Hall lower level.
OFFICIAL ASD PARTY
Where: Marquee @ Cosmopolitan Hotel
When: Monday, March 20, 2017
Time: Doors open at 10:30 PM, Open well bar at 10:30-11:00 PM
ASD VIP: Complimentary admission with ASD badge until 12:00 AM
Where: Beauty & Essex @ Cosmopolitan Hotel
When: Monday, March 20, 2017, and valid for the whole week
ASD VIP: Buy 1 Get 1 Free with ASD badge
CLOSING NIGHT PARTY
Where: Omnia @ Caesar’s Palace
When: Tuesday, March 21, 2017
Time: Doors open at 10:30 p.m. with 1 drink ticket
ASD VIP: ASD badge holders receive complimentary separate line entry until 12:00 a.m.
10. Stay glued to the ASD Insider.
ASD Market Week’s blog, The ASD Retail Insider publishes features on vendors, trending products, and events each day of the show.
11. Set Your Budget.
If you have four days at the show, know what your budget is and be sure to stay on track so that you aren’t left with an empty “wallet” by day 2.
It’s vital to be aware of your buying dollars during all exhibitor appointments while keeping future vendor visits and surprise discoveries top-of-mind.
12. Pre-register for the show next time to avoid unnecessary time spent in lines and the $40 on-site registration fee.
Keep your wait times to a minimum and save money as well when you register prior to the show opening. It’s free if you register in advance, but if you wait to register on-site there will be a fee of $40.
Tip: Registration counters are located in the Grand Lobby Central Hall, South Hall Lower Level lobby, and outside of North Hall.
13. Show Hours vs. Registration Hours (The Fine Print).
ASD Market Week has extended, early registration hours to help welcome attendees on day 1 (7AM-6PM) and opens one hour early on days 2, 3, and 4. Note all show and registration hours here.
14. Present Your Store Properly. Here’s How…
Prepare a 1-page overview for exhibitors you are writing orders with that has your business information on it.
This 1-sheet should include your store contact information, your credit card billing information, Federal (for shipping over borders or non-US distributors) and State tax ID, ship-to addresses, credit references for terms, and/or credit card information – and even store photos.
Also, remember to have plenty of business cards on hand.
15. You’re Ready to Shop the Show Floor! Watch This.
Go inside the show!
ASD Market Week recently won TSNN’s Award for 2016 Trade Show of the Year. Here’s a big part of the reason why: