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Party Line: It’s Show Time

This past Halloween, my cousin's six-year-old daughter declared that she wasn't going to be a princess for the third year in a row.

It wasn't that she was rebelling against the fact that princess costumes have topped The National Retail Federations's (NRF) children's top costume list for six years, but rather that she "can [and does] dress like a princess every day" and wanted something different.

I don't tell you this in an effort to explain why my cousin's six-year-old daughter now wants to dress like a witch every day, but rather because she is a prime example of why the party industry has remained strong through the many ups and downs in recent years.

People aren't just dressing up for Halloween. As the feature explores, customers are continually using and reusing costume pieces to fit the events they are attending - be it Halloween, a theme party, a play or an enthusiast convention. While they might not be buying complete costumes, there is always a market for the bits and pieces needed to create their ideal look.

To get new ideas, thousands of people will be gathering in Houston at the end of this month for the Halloween & Party Expo. If you've attended the show in the past, you know that you can find everything from everyday tableware and balloons to gruesome masks and ballerina tutus. You can also find a great opportunity to meet with those in the industry, learn from the experts and take home some inspiration.

If you're not going to Houston, be sure to look for our post-show coverage in upcoming issues and on our website. If you are planning to attend and run into me, please introduce yourself and chat me up a bit.

It's 2011 and it's show time, in more ways than one.

 

Originally posted Tuesday, Dec. 28, 2010