ASD Market Week, a.k.a your affordable shopping destination, is one of the biggest trade shows in the country. Hosted as a subset conference of The Independent Retailer Conference, ASD Market Week was held in Las Vegas this year at the Las Vegas Convention Center from March 19-22. ASD is packed with speakers, educational breakout sessions, and a wide variety of B2B consumer-good merchandise.
This year, we spoke at the IMA, Internet Merchants Association, track. But along the way, we thought we would share our first-hand tips on what to expect at ASD Market Week for first-timers.
Organization and Direction
The Las Vegas Convention center is huge, but luckily, the staff at ASD made it easy to get around. They appeared to be very organized and interested in helping each attendee. There was golf cart transportation provided between parking lots and buildings, as well as the Vegas monorail, Uber, and Lyft.
The app created to navigate around the conference worked really well and was organized nicely. The signage around the convention center was helpful, too, and the maps were plain to read and made sense. Not to mention the guide book provided was small, so it wasn’t hard to lug around.
As you can see, the show floor consists of many levels. But some areas were busier than others. The apparel area made lots of connections with attendees walking by, while the general store, gifts, closeouts, toys, and cash and carry were busy making deals. People were cramming into their booths.
The booths were eye catching and kept tidy. However, the sponsor area was laid out differently this year and not in a good way. Some booths had better booth positioning than others, in terms of visibility and scale. Be sure to check the app each year to see if area layouts are different.
On Sunday and Monday every seat was filled for all the speaker sessions. Some people even sat on the floor. If you want a seat get there early. Anything with Amazon in the title seemed to get the most attention. The IMA track was crowded both nights with a wealth of networking opportunities.
The important thing to remember when speaking, especially our talk about organizing inventory with SkuVault, is not to present it as a hard sell. Sprinkle information in to win the audience over. Many of the sellers attending the IMA track are smaller, so they want educational information rather than a sales pitch. Keep it light.