The new, expanded 14th Annual Pacific Home Fashion Fair will open Friday, August 23 and close Sunday, August 25, 1996, in San Francisco, CA. Worldwide suppliers will transform the city's unique Concourse Exhibition Center at Showplace Square into a wonderland of new and improved products, current and future fashions, plus all that's advanced and cost efficient in management/marketing technology and practices.
Running concurrently with the trade fair, but at a different location and starting a day earlier (Thursday, August 22), will be the prestigious and successful Interior Fashions University educational forum now in its 14th year also. From a curriculum of more than 50 seminars, attendee students can choose from a wide range of training and credit courses to help them in their business and personal careers.
The expanded trade fair will help establish new opportunities for all segments of the interior fashions industry. Now, firms and individuals from all over the Pacific Rim countries can get together in one convenient, tourist-favorite location to review the best, most profitable products and fashions.
Exhibitors will set up shop in the superb Concourse Center. It's a charming and comfortable facility blending the feel of old San Francisco with contemporary design.
Exhibitors will offer every style and kind of industry product from carpets to window toppers and ceiling borders. The list will include:
Home textiles of all kinds.
Bed and bath ensembles, linens, comforters, throws, trimmings, pillows, covers and accessories.
Window treatments, draperies, curtains, valances, swags and all the necessary rods, hardware and accessories.
Alternate window coverings including blinds, shades, shutters and accessories.
Wall coverings and borders.
Floor coverings and rugs.
Coordinated packaging and fixturing programs.
Software programs for service, workroom, management and marketing functions.
Equipment and tools for manufacturing and installing window coverings and home textiles.
Attendees visiting the many booths will be among the "Who's Who" of buyer groups and retailers from all over the United States, Canada, Mexico, South America and the major market areas of Asia and Australia.
Bottom Line Show
Attendees will want to find solutions to problems, to narrow down their lists of potential suppliers, to meet with experts and, generally, to see what's new and exciting in styles and trends in the industry including the latest technology. They need in-depth information about where to purchase or order products, how to evaluate the potential of specific products and services and help on figuring costs, pricing and performance.
A recent national study of trade shows found that attendees do take action; 95 percent asked for literature to be sent, 95 percent saw and talked with current suppliers, 77 percent found at least one new supplier, 76 percent asked for a price quotation, 51 percent requested a sales representative be sent to the firm and 26 percent signed a purchase order.
The above percentages undoubtedly would be higher at this show, which has always been known as a bottom-line show, when both attendees and exhibitors come to do business. In many cases, the trade fair is the major sales or buying effort for the year ahead.
Take advantage of the many ideas available at this unique fair where everything comes together. It can turn out to be a dream show. Attendees will see all the products they'll need and have access to multiple learning opportunities. They can save on purchases, improve chances for greater profitability and get a leg up on the 21st century.
There will be no need to attend other fragmented market shows, or to sit through small pre-selling gatherings featuring one suppliers' products. Attendees will see, learn and purchase everything they will need at the Pacific Home Fashion Fair.
The Concourse Center is in an ideal location with plenty of economical parking. It's right off major freeways, 15 miles from San Francisco International Airport and 10 minutes from the heart of the city. Public transportation stops at the front door and connections are easily made with Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART), commuter trains and major bus lines to East Bay, Marin County and Peninsula area.
This year, the educational seminars, held in connection with the trade fair, will be located in a separate facility. All classrooms and pre-registration for the numerous seminars and workshops will be held in the nearby hotel, Crown Plaza Parc Fifty-Five. As noted above, continuing free shuttle bus service will be available between the Concourse Center and host hotel.
As usual, the staff of Draperies & Window Coverings magazine will continue the publication's strong commitment to education and training assistance for individuals in the industry. Attendees can choose the courses they want from a curriculum of more than 50 seminars covering all segments of home fashions.
The magazine now has incorporated its entire educational program as the Interior Fashions University. The program is dedicated to promoting long-term industry growth by providing higher levels of education for individuals in the industry. The University has determined educational levels geared to increase the knowledge and standards of home fashion service for participants and, ultimately, for clients and consumers.
Through the University program, specific guidelines and criteria are established for each educational seminar. Participants earn course credit in the areas of business management, installation techniques, sales techniques, design and decorating, personal achievement skills and workroom techniques.
Attendees taking these seminars can acquire new skills in the essential areas needed to cope with today's and tomorrow's management and marketing trends. They will be able to use the seminars to help run their businesses better and advance their careers.
Every year the topics of the seminars are revised and updated. To keep up with a changing industry, new courses are added. This year, to cover elements of the additional home fashions categories at the fair, many of the seminars will be entirely new. As always, each course is conducted by an accredited professional whose expertise must meet stringent criteria established by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET).
The trade fair/seminar brochure lists and describes each course. The various sessions are of differing duration. Regular seminars last 1 1/2 hours; super seminars are three hours in length; in addition, some two-hour courses are offered. Veteran students have learned to choose courses and pre-register as early as possible. They save money and get the courses they want. Some of the popular courses fill up early.
The best reward for additional education comes with the possible improvement and advancements for business and career. However, participants also can receive special recognition for meeting additional course and skill requirements. Awards may be achieved in three ways:
Certificate of Participation. This basic program has been available since the educational seminars were first established 14 years ago. Complete six or more hours in one of the recognized professional areas and you will receive a certificate to show your customers and clients the advanced training you’ve received through your participation.
Continuing Educational Units (CEUs). This program offers a credit of one-tenth unit for each hour of seminar course completed. Five programs are offered. Each represents advancing levels of training. Credits must be accrued within a three-year period. Transcripts noting credits earned will be maintained for seven years.
Certified Window Treatment Consultant. This top-level program sponsored by the Window Coverings Association of America (WCAA) consists of two parts covering the basic and custom window stylings. Advanced study of at least one month is required. Program registrants also must take and pass a two-part final exam.
Registration and Hours
On-site registration will commence at 8 a.m. Thursday, August 22 at both the Concourse Center and the Parc Fifty-Five Hotel. The show brochure contains detailed data about pre-registering for seminars and the show. Remember, you can save both dollars and time by registering now for those seminars you want to attend.
Exhibition booths will not open officially until 10 a.m. on Friday, August 23. On Saturday and Sunday, show hours also will begin at 10 a.m. Closing time for exhibits on Friday and Saturday will be 5 p.m. Final closing time for the show on Sunday is set for 3 p.m.
What can be written about San Francisco that hasn't already been expressed by a great writer? Many famous authors have tried to capture the essence of the city. It's difficult to do. All agree it's one of the special places that should be visited at least once in a lifetime. And every year thousands of tourists follow this advice.
San Francisco is a dream come true for show-goers and seminar participants. Shows held in San Francisco routinely break attendance records with world renowned restaurants, ecstatic scenery in every direction and unparalleled shopping/cultural activities. San Francisco is everyone's favorite city and a destination to be desired. See you there!
John J. Lichty is a consultant and senior editor for Draperies & Window Coverings magazine. He has more than 30 years experience in the planning and administration of various consumer, trade and retail advertising programs.