Newsmakers 2021: Trade Shows Open for a Welcome Return to Apparel-Focused Expositions
By the end of 2020, the virtual-trade-show model had been tested, applied and experienced, but event producers, exhibitors and attendees were craving the personal interactions with products and people that had been on hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In December of last year, in the spirit of collaboration that would uphold the industry, show producers Informa Markets Fashion, Clarion Events and Tarsus Group banded together for a presentation of their respective shows—MAGIC Pop-Up Orlando, WWIN Orlando Showcase and Offprice—in Orlando, Fla., which took place Feb. 9–11.
“Connecting face to face and tactile experiences are key components to how the fashion industry does business—it’s more important than ever for key events players to unite and work together to deliver on the needs of our brands and buyers in the safest, most thoughtful and effective manner,” said Kelly Helfman, commercial president of Informa Markets Fashion, at the time of the announcement.
This return to on-site shows set the stage for others to also revisit their in-person expositions, and the 2021 calendar began to fill up. While the return was celebrated, some event producers, including the International Market Centers’ Atlanta Apparel and the Dallas Apparel & Accessories Market, barely felt a pause in their shows from the beginning of the pandemic.
“We set the standard for market safety when we reopened for business in June ,” said Caron Stover, senior vice president of leasing, apparel for International Market Centers, in December 2020. “The brands and the buyers are ready to come together again, and we look forward to continuing to exceed their expectations this February.”