By Meaghan Brophy
If you’re looking for an intimate trade show with a wide variety of products, make sure to register for the Army Navy Military Expo. The ANME is an order-writing show for professionals only, offering men and women’s apparel, footwear, patriotic themed items, tactical gear, law enforcement supplies, outdoor gear, and more. David Castlegrant, Show Manager, tells Independent Retailer that ANME attracts many different types of exhibitors and buyers because “there’s no cookie cutter example of what an Army Navy store is today. Back in the old days, an Army Navy store sold strictly U.S. surplus, but that’s hardly the case anymore.” Although surplus is traditionally a strong seller for retailers, “the surplus gear and militaria is not a huge section of the successful Army Navy store today,” continues Castlegrant. “They’ve morphed and are carrying more products for working and outdoor men and women.”
The next Army Navy Military Expo will be held January 17th-19th at the Rio All Suites Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. There will be approximately 260 vendor show booths on the floor and 2,500 registered merchandise buyers attending. Their second Expo of 2016 will be held August 14th-16th at the Tuscany Suites and Casino in Las Vegas. According to Castlegrant, in the winter show there are a lot of exhibitors featuring “tactical gear, police supplies, and gun supplies.” In the summertime, the Expo has more “off-price merchandise, because we get a lot of fashion buyers that come to the show.” At both Expos buyers can expect to find a combination of surplus merchandise and brand new products.
The Army Navy Military Expo has an attendance retention rate of almost 90% over the past few years. Their success can be attributed to the continued growth of the outdoor and sporting goods industry, and also to ANME’s superior customer service. “We have a very loyal buyer following because it’s just such an easy process,” says Castlegrant. “We know a lot of buyers by their first name; we make them feel welcome. It’s not a huge show where everyone is face-less and name-less. It’s intimate. We’re very focused on the service element of our show.” For the January Army Navy Military expo, Castlegrant has gone above and beyond to make sure his attendees are well treated. Buyers and exhibitors staying at the show receive a special rate for hotel rooms, their resort fee is waived, and the Expo offers complimentary lunch.
In addition to the economical accommodations, ANME Expo creates a seamless process for buyers by allowing them to map out their visit ahead of time. On the show’s website, www.anmexpo.com, there is a full exhibitor listing with their booth numbers, a showroom map, and links to the exhibitors’ websites. After registering, buyers may also sign up for weekly email blasts. The emails feature deals and promotions from different exhibitors that will be offered exclusively at the Expo. To even further assist buyers in navigating the floor, these same discounts are also featured at the check-in area of the show with corresponding booth numbers. “We’re trying to make it a very easy, convenient, cost effective, and high service event.”
For more information on the show and to register for the January or August event, please visit www.anmexpo.com.