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Held May 18-20, 2004 at the Miami Beach Convention Center, the co-located Material World, SPESA EXPO, and Technology Solutions event attracted more than 10,600 members of the sewn products industry ranging from manufacturers, suppliers and contractors to designers, branded apparel companies, private label retailers, and others. Co-hosted by the Sewn Products Equipment & Suppliers of the Americas (SPESA) and the American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA), this triennial gathering generated tremendous new business opportunities for the 557 exhibiting companies from 29 countries, as well as positive feedback from attendees who took advantage of the opportunity to see fabric/findings, sourcing, information technology, machinery and equipment, and a full range of educational programming - all under one roof.

"SPESA and Urban Expositions decided to co-locate for 2004 in direct response to the dramatic changes the sewn products industry has experienced over the past few years, as well as additional challenges anticipated for 2005 and beyond," explains Tim von Gal, executive vice president, Urban Expositions. "The response we've received from exhibitors and attendees has been extremely positive. By bringing together all aspects of the supply chain in this spring 2004 time frame, we were able to provide industry members with the products and information needed to gear up for quota removal, changing technologies, and other industry developments." "The industry said they wanted to be able to buy one airline ticket and make one hotel reservation to come and see the full spectrum of their needs - everything from fabric and sourcing, to equipment and technology - to help them succeed in this changing world," adds Benton Gardner, SPESA Executive Vice President. "The industry spoke . SPESA, AAFA, and Urban Expositions listened. The resounding success of the 'Three Great Events' was the result of collaboration and cooperation within our industry."

"The Three Great Events [Material World, Technology Solutions and SPESA EXPO] brought a depth of business, networking and educational opportunities to our industry on a global scale. It is very rewarding to witness its needs being met with such impact," states Kevin M. Burke, President and CEO, AAFA. "We look forward to continued growth and success in the years to come."

Material World and Technology Solutions will continue to be held annually, with the 2005 edition slated for March 16-18, 2005 at the Miami Beach Convention Center.

Occurring in the spring of every third year, the new, all inclusive "Three Great Events" will return May 8-10, 2007 as SPESA EXPO, Material World, and Technology Solutions once again co-locate to provide the industry with a comprehensive marketplace for global solutions. -more-

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Among the show highlights for the May 18-20, 2004 "Three Great Events":

MATERIAL WORLD An official event of the AAFA, the sixth edition Material World, which is owned by Atlanta-based Urban Expositions, attracted an increased number of representatives from leading apparel companies and private label retailers who came to explore the exhibition's extensive full-package, fabric, fashion information, and educational resources, as well as the expanded offerings available at SPESA EXPO and Technology Solutions. Of special interest to attendees was the variety of educational programs, including a special pre- show conference hosted by the AAFA's Enterprise Competitiveness Council focusing on Advanced Strategies for Today's Sewn Products Companies. In addition, the AAFA's sold-out Headliner Breakfast Event attracted more than 180 apparel industry leaders who came to hear from top level executives from Jones Apparel Group, Inc., VF Corporation, and Wolverine World Wide. Putting the spotlight on the 2005 trade and sourcing environment, the 2004 edition of Material World offered a full roster of programs, like those listed above and countless others, which addressed quota removal and other industry developments for 2005 and beyond.

Perfectly timed for the Spring/Summer 2004 buying season, Material World also featured a trend pavilion as well as programs demonstrating the latest in colors, fabric and trim, including color and trend presentations from Cotton Incorporated and WGSN.

Returning and first-time Material World exhibitors were especially pleased with the business-building opportunities the combined events generated. "Our business increased 10-fold," said veteran Material World exhibitor April Booth, National Sales Manager, ECLAT. "Holding the three events together was a major plus because garment manufacturers visiting SPESA EXPO were coming into Material World to source fabric. We were also especially pleased with the quality of attendees as most of the customers coming to our booth were active and contemporary sportswear buyers. We didn't have anyone coming by who wasn't specifically interested in our product."

SPESA EXPO 2004 As the only U.S.-based exhibition for the full range of equipment and technology for the entire global sewn products industry, SPESA EXPO, which is solely owned by SPESA, gave attendees the chance to see live, on-floor demonstrations and the newest introductions from exhibiting companies specializing in cutting, spreading, sewing, ironing, finishing, design, automation and production software, sewing threads, needles, purchasing, shipping services, and more. In addition to new resources, SPESA EXPO also featured a comprehensive conference program with more than 20 seminars and educational events. Among them, the Keynote Presentation, "Y2.05K - Will History Repeat Itself? The Theory and the Numbers Behind the Western Hemisphere in 2005," led by industry experts Mary O'Rourke of The Jassin- O'Rourke Group, LLC and Dr. Mike Fralix of [TC]2, was a resounding success and drew an audience of industry and supplier executives.

Exhibiting companies reported steady booth traffic and countless new leads during the new trade show. "In 1990 SPESA members identified their criteria for a successful trade show event in the United States," noted Stephen Lovass, SPESA President and Executive Director, Gerber Technology (SPESA EXPO exhibitor). "It should be a triennial event in synchronization with JIAM in Japan and IMB in Germany, it should take place in the spring of the year in the Southeastern part of the United States, it should concentrate on the Western Hemisphere marketplace, and it should focus on equipment and technology for all segments of the sewn products industry. It was a long time coming, but SPESA EXPO 2004 verified the validity of these criteria. We are already eagerly anticipating SPESA EXPO 2007." -more-

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"Three years ago SPESA sought the endorsement of the Japan Sewing Machinery Manufacturers Association (JASMA) and the German Garment & Leather Machinery Association (VDMA)," added Dave Gardner, SPESA Director of International Affairs. "At that time these organizations made specific requests of SPESA in regard to a trade show in the United States that concentrated on the needs of suppliers and customers in the Western Hemisphere. At a meeting in Miami during SPESA EXPO, the leadership of these three organizations reported that SPESA EXPO 2004 met and exceeded their expectations and their requests, and indicated their enthusiasm and endorsement of SPESA EXPO going forward."

TECHNOLOGY SOLUTIONS This event showcased all aspects of information technology solutions for the sewn products industry, including design/merchandising, product development, manufacturing, sourcing, ERP/business management, supply chain, logistics/distribution, and retail solutions.

The exhibition also featured an extensive Educational Conference in the show floor's "Technology Solutions Theatre," giving attendees the chance to attend a range of case study presentations and other programs led by industry experts and analysts, including keynote speaker, Paula Rosenblum, Aberdeen Research.

"As a first-time exhibitor, we were pleased with the attendance and the steady booth traffic we experienced during all three days of the show," noted Stephanie Lightman, Vice President of Marketing, Computer Generated Solutions (CGS), an exhibiting company that also hosted a case study presentation in the Technology Solutions Theatre with their customer, Zana Di Jeans. "Coupling Technology Solutions with SPESA EXPO and Material World gave us a larger base of prospective customers stopping by our booth looking specifically for technology-related information."

Further expanding the offerings of the new triennial event, Urban Expositions, SPESA, and the AAFA jointly produced the 2004 edition of Technology Solutions. (For 2005, Technology Solutions, which will be produced by Urban Expositions and AAFA, will run concurrently with Material World.)

For more information about SPESA EXPO 2004 or SPESA EXPO 2007, contact SPESA at 919.872.8909, ext. 203 or www.spesaexpo.com. For more information on Material World, call 800.318.2238 or www.material-world.com. For more information on Technology Solutions, call 800.318.2238 or www.techsolutionsexpo.com

June 2004

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