Sam Ben-Avraham


Swim Week is an annual event packed with fashion shows and trade shows in Miami Beach, Fla.

Until now, the events have been geared toward retailers and manufacturers, but trade-show producer Sam Ben-Avraham wants to open the week up to consumers.

With that in mind, he recently announced a festival called Paraiso, which will be produced in conjunction with Cabana, a swim-and-beach lifestyle trade show he started with entrepreneur Jan­et Wong.

In recent interviews, Ben-Avraham talked about the need to experiment with the trade-show model. “We need to create more layers to every event,” he said. “We need to analyze every activation to figure out how to maximize our potential and create more usable content.”

Ben-Avraham said that Swim Week has lacked direction ever since IMG stopped producing runway shows there in 2015. “Small players have come in and done one-offs,” he said. “Nothing has really been organized with one organization building a bigger picture and putting everything under one umbrella. We’re looking to include everyone under the same umbrella under Paraiso.”

Ben-Avraham is launching Paraiso with Aleksandar Salé-Stojanovic, the founder of Funkshion, which has produced runway shows and events at previous Swim Weeks. However, Funkshion will not be producing separate Swim Week events this July, Ben-Avraham said.

Ben-Avraham is the founder of the Liberty Fairs trade show, which runs biannual events in Las Vegas and New York City. During its Las Vegas run in February, Liberty Fairs worked with the Agenda and Capsule trade shows to produce Assembly. It was a conference featuring panels and speakers such as Doug Palladini, global president of Vans. Last month, Liberty announced it had acquired Capsule for an undisclosed amount.

Paraiso will take place July 12–16 in Collins Park, a green space next to the Atlantic Ocean where Cabana is held. Other Paraiso events will take place at the W Hotel, adjacent to Collins Park, and the green space around The Bass, a contemporary art museum across the street.

The new event, which is forecast to have 5,000 attendees, will feature musical performances, runway shows, brand exhibitions and food stations. It will also have a forum for wellness companies to exhibit their beauty treatments and other wares.

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Posted by Up Close With Sam