With 98 percent of booth space sold months in advance of the upcoming Aug. 13-15 event at the Cobb Galleria Centre and buyer attendance up 20 percent in early June over last February, the show, sponsored by the Southeastern Shoe Travelers Association, now stands as the top dog.

“Our four partner hotels sold out early, and there’s no more room, per the fire marshals, on the show floor.” Conwell-O’Brien reports. “The aisles have shrunk to where they won’t shrink anymore.”

An indication TASM has attained national show status is the increased attendance from regions well beyond its Southeast base. Exhibitor attendance, up 42 percent from August 2021 and 13 percent from August 2019, includes sales reps who serve the growing number of buyers from the Northeast and West. “We’re picking up retailers, like Schnee’s in Montana, who are bringing eight buyers,” O’Brien says. “These are people who maybe went to Vegas. We’re getting a lot of those phone calls.”

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