WSA Show and History

Our History | Our Growth | Show FACTS

Who we are...

World Shoe Association (WSA) is currently the largest footwear trade market in North America. Its twice-yearly show at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center and Sands Expo in Las Vegas, Nevada, pulls in more than 26,000 attendees and the cream of the footwear manufacturing industry. In short, WSA is the ultimate, must-do trade show for the multi-billion dollar footwear industry.

So, how did the WSA Show get to be "The Big Show"? Its history speaks of humble beginnings. ... read


When we came to be...
The association first surfaced more than 50 years ago in Los Angeles, California, as part of a new organization known as the West Coast Shoe Travelers Association. This group incorporated two years later in California as the Western Shoe Associates with the purpose of "promoting a higher standard of ethics" and "encouraging a spirit of cooperation" within the growing footwear industry.

WSA flourished as a regional market during the ensuing years and boasted a membership of 500. As the shoe industry grew and America's appetite for fashion increased, the need for a larger trade show came with it. By the 1980's WSA was turning into a national presence as one of the premier markets for the trade, and it was fast outgrowing its Long Beach, California, home.

The show moved to the Los Angeles Convention Center in 1987 and then hit the big time in 1989 when it moved its still expanding show to the convention capital of the world, Las Vegas. Now known simply as 'The WSA Show', this market takes over 1 million square feet of exhibit space at the Sands Expo, Mandalay Bay Convention Center and The Venetian Hotel.

The Show grew further in 1999 when the Sands Expo Convention Center expanded its facilities an additional 105,000 square feet. With a waiting list for entry into the country's top market, the timing could not have been better.

Our Growth...

Today, there are over 4500 members in WSA and the list keeps growing. Membership comes from around the world. WSA membership is comprised of industry sales representatives with a Board of Directors that is elected every two years. Members are welcome to attend meetings, which take place every other month.


WSA is without question one of the strongest industry trade organizations offering support for its members. For a nominal cost ($70 to join, and $20 annual renewal), members enjoy such benefits as: participation in two international markets, insurance, financial assistance, group legal services, and listings of job opportunities. Because WSA is a not-for-profit Models at the Footwear Showorganization, the costs for exhibit space and related services are lowest in the industry. WSA also makes significant donations to a number of designated charities.

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