Smaller Attendance Predicted for Mood

Carole Sloan, September 7, 2009

American exhibitors at Mood, formerly Decosit, which opens here tomorrow, anticipate smaller attendance as well as fewer exhibitors — the results of the global economy as well as other factors.

In fact, the roster of American companies is now down to 10, a decline of four from last year's total. A few will be showing in hotels downtown rather than at the Brussels Expo, long-time home to Decosit and its related events. This year's show will feature 280 companies from 30 countries for Mood, Expofil Deco, the yarn show and Indigo, the textiles design show.

For the American companies that left Decosit several years ago and elected to show in hotels, even this has been eliminated. "We pulled out three years ago and showed with our Australian/New Zealand rep in a hotel," said Tom Notaro, vp, Wearbest. "This year our rep reported that most customers were not going, so we won't be there."

Compounding the challenge is the fact that Ramadan completely overlaps this year's event, which is expected to cause a major drop in traffic from the Middle East.

For Roc-Lon, a longtime Decosit exhitibor, "as a result of our awareness of the timing of Ramadan, we began soliciting business several month ago," explained Stan Fradin, president. As for the rest of the world, Fradin expects a lot of attendance from Canada and Europe.

Another longtime major exhibitor, Valdese Weavers, also will be situated in the Amigo Hotel rather than the Expo. "We sent invitations for appointment only visits through our agents," said Mike Shelton, president. "We will miss walk-ins but they have been fewer and fewer in recent years. As for the impact of Ramadan, Shelton commented, "The Middle East customers certainly won't be there, but we just do some business in that area."

Another longtime exhibitor, P/Kaufmann will be at Mood, albeit in a different configuration, said Lance Garcy, president. The company had two separate booths, one for P/Kaufmann and its several divisions, the other for its Waverly brand operated under the P/K Lifestyles banner.

"We're combining the Kaufmann and Waverly stands for several reasons," Garcy noted. "One is that it's very expensive, but also Kaufmann and Waverly have different sales approaches. Waverly already has its distributor network, but they needed a place to let their distributors and their customers have a more social, personal opportunity to meet. Kaufmann wants both individual customers as well as distributors to visit. We think we'll see the same number of people as last year, and if we can break even it's worth while. We renew relationships executive to executive and make new opportunities," he added.

For Sunbury, another long-time exhibitor, "We have a new booth, a new location in Hall 11 rather than Hall 7, and we're right across from our new partners Dickson-Constant that is owned by Glen Raven, producers of Sunbrella, a major product line also for Sunbury," said Rocco Simone, senior vp.

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