By Meaghan Brophy
Originally founded in 1961, ASD Market Week is the largest general wholesale tradeshow in the United States. ASD will be held in the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada from February 28th– March 2nd and July 31 – August 3rd 2016. Originally starting as a military and surplus show, ASD stood for Associated Surplus Dealers. Now, ASD, or Affordable Shopping Destination, has expanded into an all-encompassing show, offering unique deals for all retailers. Karla Villalobos, Attendee Marketing Manager of ASD Market Week, says that with around 2,600 exhibitors, ASD really does “offer something for everyone.”
The show is well-organized, broken out into nine different shows. The categories are fashion and accessories, toys and novelties, cash and carry, beauty and fragrance, general store, smoke and vape, gift and home, convenience store, and SourceDirect. The cash and carry section allows buyers to purchase the items on display right on the spot. SourceDirect is a section of the show that allows large buyers to connect directly with overseas manufacturers. There are over 400 new vendors spread across the categories each year, which means there is always something new at every show. “That’s why our attendees keep coming back,” explains Villalobos. “They know they’ll be able to see new trends and products every time.”
New for this year, there is an electronics accessories pavilion. After seeing an increase in the supply and demand for these items over the past year, ASD is separating these booths from the rest of the crowd. Footwear has also increased in popularity over the past several years. Now their shoe section spans over 45 booths. In addition to these sections, Villalobos also recommends visiting a few of her favorite new and recurring vendors: “We’re excited to welcome MoonPie for the very first time. Their pies are really popular. EZ Vane is another vendor that offers really nice made in America weathervanes. We also have to give a shout out to Wrendale Designs – they are a must-see at the show with their whimsical stationery items that are positively adorable. If you’re looking for eclectic home décor, then you have to stop by Berkeley Designs. They have some of the most awesome looking wall hangings made out of cardboard.”
With over 45,000 buyers attending, it is important to plan your visit ahead of time to make the most out of everything ASD has to offer. Register as an attendee on their website in advance for a waived registration fee. Take a look at the registered exhibitors and the show floor plan to map out how you will navigate the booths. If there are certain vendors or products that you are particularly interested in, schedule an appointment in advance through ASD’s Show Planner. If you are not sure which vendor to visit, or would like to be introduced to some new companies, ASD provides a matchmaking service that pairs buyers with the right vendors. To set up an appointment, visit bit.do/ASDmatch, supply your store’s information, select your preferred appointment day/time, and what product category you are interested in. ASD is committed to providing an all-inclusive experience for each attendee, so there are many educational resources available. Throughout the show, there are guest speakers and educational seminars. Through their website there are also a number of downloadable business guides available. ASD Market Week also provides hotel discounts and a free shuttle service to and from those designated hotels. To register and plan your trip, visit www.asdonline.com.