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Leslie Gallin, President for the Footwear segment at UBM Advanstar, live on World Footwear

Aug 11, 2015 United States
Leslie Gallin, President for the Footwear segment at UBM Advanstar, live on World Footwear
With the Las Vegas shows fast approaching we spoke with Leslie Gallin to learn more about the next events and to reflect on the state of the footwear industry
UBM Advanstar is part of UBM Americas, a US-based event and marketing services business dedicated to the fashion, licensing, life sciences and powersports industries. The company owns and operates a portfolio of 54 tradeshows, 100 conferences, 30 publications and almost 200 electronic products and websites.

Leslie Gallin, President of the Footwear segment is responsible for the shows FN PLATFORM, WSA@MAGIC, Sole Commerce and PROJECT SOLE. With the next editions of FN PLATFORM and WSA@MAGIC fast approaching, and starting on the 17th of August in Las Vegas we took the opportunity to speak to Leslie Gallin and get to know a little more about the shows and hear about her expectations for the future of the footwear business.

Having been on the apparel side of the table for many years, with brands such as Escada, Geoffrey Beene and ABS, Leslie felt a desire to do more, and that led her to the trade shows industry a few years ago. She was responsible for The Collections at WSA - Luxury footwear show, when the WSA was sold (the first time) and she took the opportunity to get involved in the FN PLATFORM project.
 
With an extensive career in the footwear trade show industry Leslie was clear when we asked her about the main challenges of organizing such important events: “Keeping it fresh” is the trick. And she explains: “Human nature dictates people like the familiar but they also like to be inspired and wowed.”

The expectations for the next editions of the FN PLATFORM and WSA@MAGIC (running from the 17th to the 19th of August in Las Vegas) are high: “I hope that the retailers shopping the show will make the time to really look at each and every booth. There is a lot of time spent behind the scenes on finding new and terrific products. The next great new designer or hot selling is for sure sitting on the show floor”, Leslie has commented.

In terms of highlights for the show Leslie has elected the FN PLATFORM Opening Night Party, which had the presence of figures such as The Commodores and Taylor Dayne in the past, as a major moment. This year the opening night party will count with Big Bad Voodoo Daddy playing on the show floor. “A special installation of The GLAMSQUAD at WSA@MAGIC… bringing much needed touch ups to hard working buyers” is another new feature of the show.

The footwear industry is in constant evolution. "We are seeing many mergers and acquisitions resulting in the emergence of new important players. We see the future continuing with a positive outlook". Leslie Gallin believes that the cost of manufacturing, “something that ultimately effects the consumer which is behind the scenes” will be the sector’s major challenge in the coming years.

As for trade fairs? “Commerce will always require people to interact and touch and feel. If money is being spent on products, people want to trust who they work with and see the products”, she says, adding: “The future is bright”.

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