Miami Beach Convention Center

High-end decor show set for Miami Beach in May 2015



A renowned Parisian interior-design show has signed a deal to start a U.S. version in the Miami Beach Convention Center in May 2015, with plans to use all four halls at the city-owned facility by 2017.

The Maison & Objet show takes place twice a year in Paris, and is set to launch its first permanent Asian show in Singapore next year. It has no presence in the United States. Executives at the trade show, which features high-end furniture, housewares and decor, have signed a deal with Miami Beach to rent one hall at the convention center in 2015, and them move to all four halls by 2017.

“I think it could be a really great thing for the city,” said Craig Robins, the primary developer of the Design District in Miami, which features high-end furniture showrooms, and an owner of Design Miami, a show opening this week that is devoted to collectible decor. “It’s another example of how Miami is a great location for marketing things to Latin America and the Caribbean.”

The challenge will be to create a U.S. show from scratch that will have demand for exhibit space and sales to fill up the center. Managing director Philippe Brocart said the Maison show, which started in Paris in 1995, has never tried a U.S. operation in the past.

“It’s always a big challenge when you launch a new show and a new product,” Brocart said. “But we are quite confident.”

Closed to the public, the Maison show rents space to high-end decor and furniture dealers, and sells tickets to people in interiors trade: retailers, architects, decorators and even hotels and restaurants looking for furnishings. The show picked Miami Beach as a way to target both the U.S. and the Latin American market.

“I was in Mexico last week,” Brocart said. “The design community is very excited to have this in Miami.”

The show’s Miami Beach debut is set for May 12 through May 15 in 2015, and it would stay in one hall in 2016. Maison expects about 200 exhibitors to start, and then 500 by the time the show takes over the entire convention center in 2017, Brocart said.

Brocart said he had no issue with the Miami Beach Convention Center, where a planned renovation is currently stalled amid a political debate over its future. “The convention center is OK for us. It’s really well located. It’s the center of South Beach,” he said. But, he added, renovations would be welcomed by Maison & Objet.

While trade and consumer shows, which include Art Basel and February’s Miami International Boat Show, have thrived at the center, tourism officials say conventions and corporate meetings are demanding a higher-end facility.

Brocart expects Maison to draw about 15,000 people to Miami Beach — far smaller than the 50,000 or so that Art Basel reports in attendance. Basel sells tickets to the public, and a large portion of the art fair’s visitors are local. While Maison would be closed to the public, backers say the value would come from both the hotel room bookings and the spending power that comes with a convention center full of dealers and buyers involved in high-end decor.

“This is certainly going to bring in the crowds,” Miami Beach commissioner Ed Tobin.

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