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Are Trade Shows Back and Ballroom Dancing?

February 15, 2022
Author: Jasmine Waters

The age-old question hasn’t left the mouths of fashion professionals for the last two years—will traditional trade shows finally be killed off? Arguably suffering from issues before COVID-19 hit, health & safety restrictions and cancellations all but brought existing fairs to their knees. With life back on track, how have this season’s shows fared under scrutiny?

Thankfully for the live events industry, national restrictions have largely been scaled back, with foreign travel now more widely accessible. Pitti Uomo kicked off the AW22 season back in January to largely rave reviews. For trade show heavyweights CIFF and Revolver, the last-minute lifting of outstanding restrictions worked in their favour. Each of the mentioned shows put a positive spin back on trade shows in Europe, with excitement back in the exhibitors’ favour.

On the UK side, trade shows are expected to return to their former glory by the summertime. Harrogate Fashion Week, Moda and new kid on the block Just Around The Corner have already competed for this season’s visitors. The verdict? Like always, it’s still a mixed bag. While some brands revelled in the occasionwear on show in Harrogate, others felt as though the mix of brands wasn’t quite right for them.

In a notable shift back to normal, UK giants Scoop and Pure are set to exist separate once again from next season onwards. Once again, opinions are split. While there’s a new convenience to the shows running together, their identity can be set uniquely as their own once again.

Reporting 1,250 visitors, Just Around the Corner not only marks a successful show season—but a new way forward for how fairs can best operate. Read our full interview with founder Juls Dawson HERE.

Regardless of how successfully European and UK trade shows mark their return, there will always be resistance and split opinions. Long-lasting success is rooted in foundational change, and the ability to fully capture the needs of exhibitors and visitors alike.

Photo source: https://www.archilovers.com/projects/268264/cruna.html

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