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Published
Feb 2, 2014
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Who's Next attendance inches up by just 1%

Published
Feb 2, 2014

Regain some momentum after several lackluster seasons, that was the organizers' hope on the eve of the most recent edition of Who's Next, held at the Porte de Versailles exhibition center outside of Paris January 25 – 28. The aisles were once again abuzz with positive feedback, and in terms of attendance, the numbers did go into the plus column — at least a little. Ultimately the number of visitors to the show grew only 1% for a total gate count of 58,232.

One of the Who's Next halls during the January 2014 edition. Photo Who's Next.


The French were the source of these improved results, representing 64% of attendees and sending 3.6% more buyers compared to the winter 2013 edition. It was the foreign buyers who hindered stronger growth. Europe (excluding France), accounted for 26% of visitors but declined by 1%.

On the plus side, more buyers from Italy attended the event (+4%), as well as from Spain (+10%), Belgium (+11%) and Germany (+9%). However, the British delegation showed a sharp decline (-20%), as did the Turkish buyers (-15%).

But the lack of Asians especially dragged down the show's international performance, including Japan, one of the fair's top five countries for attendance, which sent 18% fewer visitors. While China and South Korea are among the show's smaller visitor groups, they also showed a big drop of 32% and 17% respectively.

The usually strong showing from North America also declined in numbers, down 8% compared to last year. However, attendees from the Middle East grew 5%. Smaller delegations, such as Africa and Oceania, were down -23% and -12% each.

But exhibitor feedback was still quite positive, despite disparities between the different halls. For example, in the ready-to-wear sections, Fame was busier than halls 7.1 and 4 as usual, but the brands generally had more business activity than during the winter 2013. That edition suffered a 17% decline in French attendance, especially due to snowy weather.

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