There's A Meeting for That

World of Prom

Prom is a time-honored phenomenon, and this meeting is always prepared for the big dance.

World of Prom
Aug. 8-12, 2013
AmericasMart Atlanta

SIZE 153,000 + square feet

SPECIAL GUEST Sadie Robertson from TV’s “Duck Dynasty,” promoting her line of “dad-approved” prom dresses produced with designer Sherri Hill.

‘UP-DOs TO UPSELL’ “A live styling demonstration explains how to upsell customers using fashion accessories with up-do hairstyle techniques.”

What will the kids be wearing to prom next spring? The answer was strutting on stage and across showrooms at World of Prom — a show for “social-occasion apparel” whose timing is crucial. Prom-dress buyers “typically like to get those dresses in around the December time-frame,” said Lori Kisner, senior vice president of apparel for AmericasMart, which produces the show. “A lot of the girls get money for Christmas. They want to turn around and buy their prom dress then. They buy them before they even have dates.”

World of Prom’s exhibitors are manufacturers of special-event dresses, tuxedos, and accessories; attendees, whose exact number Kisner declined to share, include representatives from boutiques and department stores. “Prom is huge,” Kisner said. “Prom is based on the teenage consumer that has disposable income. It doesn’t matter if Daddy lost his 401(k) during the recession. His daughter is going to get a prom dress.”

ACRES OF DRESSES “We probably have 10 [exhibitors] that each have six- to seven-thousand square feet. They have to have a runway, because each line has about 300 dresses. They literally have models just come out.”

‘CORSAGE TRENDS: WHAT’S HOT FOR 2014’ “It may seem kind of strange that they’d be talking about corsages and boutonnieres, but that actually affects the dress that they buy. They can actually help sell that girl a dress based on what the matching boutonniere for her date will be.”

HARD DAY’S NIGHTS “We have some retailers that come for a very long time. They come for at least five nights. There’s only one prom season, so they have to get this buy done at the August market or they’re not going to get it done. They start every day at seven o’clock in the morning and sometimes they don’t leave until midnight.”

Christopher Durso

Christopher Durso formerly was executive editor of Convene.