It's All In The Show

Lifestyle blogger Marcus Troy gives California Apparel News the scoop on connecting fashion bloggers to brands.

“Personally, I’ve always had this dream of putting together a trade show for bloggers…. my blogger friends were always wanting to know ’How do we reach brands?,’ and brands were always wanting to know ’How do we meet bloggers?,’ so I wanted to connect both of them.”

Instead of creating a trade show for bloggers, Troy brought his idea to the trade show PROJECT, which launched The Blogger PROJECT at their New York and Las Vegas shows this year.

“I decided to start curating this project and do it on the trade show floor for blogger friends, and peers, and people I respect in the blogging and fashion world,” he said. “They liveblog from the show and document what they’re seeing, and it gives brands the opportunity to meet their favorite bloggers."

The onsite blogging also helps the consumer take part in the show.

“For everyone who doesn’t attend, it gives them a view on what we’re seeing,” he said. “Consumers don’t have access to touch, and see, and feel products like we do, but since they’re able to become voyeurs, they can give feedback on what’s happening currently because the internet has given them that power.”

Troy handpicked the bloggers for the project, which included William Yan, Por Homme and The Madbury Club, among others. He also worked with PROJECT’s visual director on the décor, and look, and feel of the lounge, which was furnished by the furniture company Strawser Smith with sleek metal chairs and repurposed leather couches.

In addition to providing content for brands and insight into the show, Troy says the onsite blogging creates a partnership between the bloggers and designers.

“What I’ve noticed, being a blogger myself, is that if you’re face is not well-known, brands might not know who you are, so being at this dedicated space, it just made for a better platform, like, ’You’re so-and-so from Selectism or Denim Therapy,’” he said. “It was a lot more personal approach.”

Next year, Troy plans on doing The Blogger PROJECT again, this time adding some new bloggers in the mix.

“I want to introduce the world to some new bloggers, which is important,” he said. “It’s a tradeshow about the trade, so why not incorporate all these elements that are part of our trade.”

PROJECT runs Jan. 16, 17, 18 and Feb. 13, 14, 15 in 2012.

For more info on how trade shows are incorporating digital media, see this week’s story: New Media Technologies Put Trade Shows on Path to Innovation.