Trade shows have in the past been considered essential events in the development of a fashion brand.
However, having seen out another season of shows after 20 years’ experience, it is becoming clear to us that trade shows are increasingly ineffective.
Most of the brands we work with report that the cost of taking part in these exhibitions are not justified by the resulting business.
Even in a market like the US, brands are expressing dissatisfaction and there is a pervasive feeling that trade shows are experiencing a steady decline.
Brands either attract less interest than they deserve to, or are overwhelmed and struggle to gather an idea of each customer’s specific needs. There have even been stories of brands having to turn buyers away due to the chaotic nature of these events and how swamped the stands become.
Often, the organisers of trade shows seem more interested in making big profits for themselves, rather than in helping to prop up the fashion industry.
The market is saturated and buyers simply don’t have time to give every brand at every show a proper look in. This situation is especially tough on fledgling brands.
Brands are now telling us that deals are more likely to be struck in their agent’s showroom. Putting the leg work into finding the right agent and distributors may in the end be the best way of ensuring the success of your brand.
Please feel free to share your views on fashion fairs. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet @Anton_Dell