More than a third of Moroccan apparel exporters attending the MAGIC trade show in Las Vegas, August 28-31, 2006, booked orders worth millions of dollars from U.S. buyers. The Nathan-managed NBO project, which sponsored the attendance of ten exporters, attributes this success to Morocco’s highly visible presence.
Founded in 1933, MAGIC is one of the most influential business events in the fashion industry, occupying 1 million square feet of exhibit space and attracting more than 100,000 buyers and sellers to Las Vegas twice a year. This is the fourth time that Moroccan exporters have attended the show, but the technical and financial support NBO provided for marketing and promotion gave them unprecedented exposure. MAGIC organizers complemented the exporters on being perhaps the most visible international contingent, thanks to banners at the registration counter, posters at the pavilion, and advertisements in directories. And Morocco was the only international contingent visible from outside the main entrance thanks to large outdoor posters.
Visibility paid off handsomely. Buyers rarely place orders at trade shows, especially with companies they meet for the first time. They simply talk to exhibitors, handle sample products, and exchange business cards. Later, they might request samples and place “test” orders before placing large orders. But at MAGIC four Moroccan exhibitors received orders worth millions of dollars on the spot, and others have solid leads from buyers and expect test orders.
Exporters from other countries have approached MAGIC organizers to secure similar visibility at future events—but Morocco now has the right of first refusal for the best locations.