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VegasMeansBusiness - An Interview with Kristen Pagacz

Kirsten PagaczRetro-a-go-go! sells most of its vintage-inspired accessories and products online, so owner Kirsten Pagacz welcomes the chance to establish a physical presence at tradeshows. The biggest events are held in Las Vegas, and for Pagacz, those are the ones that generate the largest return on investment.

“The Las Vegas shows are a great place to premiere new items, land new business and meet people who have only been customers online and on the phone,” Pagacz says. She’s attended events throughout the U.S., including more than 20 in Las Vegas, and has observed that location influences who comes and how much they spend. “The nice thing about Las Vegas is that it is, in itself, a destination,” she says.

She especially looks forward to MAGIC, a weeklong fashion and accessories event held there every February and August. On average, more than $200 million in orders is written every day of the show. “There is so much to do that store owners literally come in with gym shoes on,” she says. “They have so many appointments, they are sprinting down the aisles!”

Pagacz founded Retro-a-go-go! 10 years ago with her husband, Doug, a designer and illustrator. Together, they turned their passion for vintage art into a global business that now sells to over 2,000 stores around the world. At a typical Las Vegas tradeshow, about two-thirds of their business comes from new clients. At their most successful event, the Pool Tradeshow, part of Magic, they sold $70,000 worth of product and met people who turned into loyal customers down the road.

To make the most of her attendance, Pagacz always offers promotions. “I try to reward people for shopping in person rather than just buying online. Everybody there is bringing their A game, so if you want to stand out, you have to bring your A+ game,” she notes. “Las Vegas is a great place to put your best foot forward because it pays off.”

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