Timing, traffic and turmoil spark debate over which trade show will emerge as the national leader.

Where will you be, come February 2? With both WSA and FFANY now scheduled to take place Feb. 2-4, 2010 (and overlapping again Aug. 3-5), both fashion footwear vendors and buyers will have to make the choice between Las Vegas and New York or split their resources among the two. The general sentiment? This isn’t a good thing—especially if you are of the belief that a national trade show is the ideal forum for the industry to exchange ideas, make deals, and discover new trends, brands and partners in an atmosphere that generates excitement for the upcoming season.

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Where will you be, come February 2? With both WSA and FFANY now scheduled to take place Feb. 2-4, 2010 (and overlapping again Aug. 3-5), both fashion footwear vendors and buyers will have to make the choice between Las Vegas and New York or split their resources among the two. The general sentiment? This isn’t a good thing—especially if you are of the belief that a national trade show is the ideal forum for the industry to exchange ideas, make deals, and discover new trends, brands and partners in an atmosphere that generates excitement for the upcoming season.

“I have no idea why ENK [International, WSA’s parent company] and FFANY have to compete,” says Marty Rose, agent/distributor for All Black, who notes his small company won’t be able to attend both. “There should be a way to work it out so shows are spread across the year in a balanced way so buyers don’t have to decide.” According to Dave Murphy, Dansko’s executive vice president of sales and marketing in West Grove, PA, “Any time the shows conflict, it means additional investment in time and money for the brands. Anything that reduces the amount of business opportunities you have is bound to cause damage.” Birki’s vice president of sales and marketing Robert Mangione agrees. “If we pick one over the other, there’s a chance we may miss,” he says.

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