“Although a digital version is no replacement for a physical tradeshow, it is an important, supplementary tool that guarantees accessibility, continuity and service – and not only in the current unprecedented situation. We value this experience and the lasting added value for future hybrid formats. However, the physical event, as an anchor point for us and our partners from the fashion, shoes and accessories sectors, still remains absolutely indispensable.”
Managing Director of Igedo Company
From 28 January until 15 February 2021, more than 80 exhibitors used the digital version of Düsseldorf tradeshow Gallery FASHION & Shoes. The extended duration provided scope for development and growth, with additional exhibitors joining throughout the course of the event. The high visitor tracking numbers were also impressive: effectively, around 2,000 professional visitors took advantage of the offer of an alternative digital information and order platform.
“In November/December 2020, we had to react quickly and, within a very short time, develop an online format that isn’t only highly functional but also emotionally appealing. During the run-up to the event, it was also important to dispel any reservations that the exhibitors may have still had about showcasing their brands online. Making people aware that digital booths need to be designed just as professionally and appealingly as real-life ones was also part of the development process. And the fact that digital availability during regular business hours is also a must for exhibitors to ensure that they are there for the digital visitors was also part of the learning process,” sums up Ulrike Kähler.
She went on to say that in the long term, the digital format is a lasting add-on that offers an additional service but is not a replacement for the physical event. “Both our target group and industry – with the interlinking focal points of fashion, shoes and accessories – thrive on real-life encounters. People are haptic beings who want to experience and feel things up close and in person. And this applies particularly to an ordering event for trend and lifestyle products. A virtual presentation can complement and enhance the experience of seeing a product and its quality in real life, but not fully replace it in the long term.”
Basically, the current situation is showing us the importance of rethinking seasonality. Increased flexibility and adjusted new order rhythms are also gaining in significance. The two Gallery formats with their four dates per year are therefore important events for the market. In the future, Igedo Company will be rounding off its offer by merging analogue and digital formats to form a hybrid event. “Hybrid formats give us more flexibility and boost our reach, especially with regard to European visitors. But also to the digital transmission of the line-up and the wider selection of special guest speakers, who now no longer necessarily have to be at the event in person on a certain date and at a certain time,” continues Ulrike Kähler.
Initially planned for March 2021, Gallery SHOES & Fashion will take place physically as a hybrid format at the Areal Böhler from 18-20 April 2021. Preparations are already well underway for the physical event and the industry can look forward to a comprehensive offer. Ulrike Kähler is expecting interest in the upcoming date to be high.
Gallery SHOES & Fashion NEW: 18 – 20 April 2021
Showroom Concept NEW: 16 – 20 April 2021
Gallery FASHION & SHOES 24 – 26 July 2021
Showroom Concept 22 – 26 July 2021
Gallery SHOES & FASHION 29 – 31 August 2021
Showroom Concept 27 – 31 August 2021
Düsseldorf, 16 February 2021