After a year of disruption, cancellations and virtual-only events, the fashion industry is eagerly anticipating the return of trade shows. Today, Informa Markets Fashion announced its preliminary 2021 line-up of events, which includes favorites such as MAGIC, COTERIE, footwear show MICAM Americas, and apparel sourcing event SOURCING at MAGIC.
Like many others in the events space, Informa decided to host virtual-only editions of its trade shows for much of 2020. In order to provide a comparable experience to its attendees, Informa invested in digital infrastructure and partnered with NuOrder to enable virtual appointments, relationship building and order management — all within an online platform.
Moving forward, Informa plans to integrate these innovations into its physical component in hopes of achieving the best of both worlds. Following a slate of digital-only events, beginning with mens marketplace Project Digital on January 19, the first in-person event will be the Magic Pop-Up Orlando, held on February 9-11.
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“Our aim is to offer a scaled and symbiotic approach in order to convene and help rebuild the fashion wholesale community in 2021,” said Kelly Helfman, commercial president of Informa Markets Fashion. “In addition to evolving our digital product offering, our approach will be a phased reintroduction of physical events in a slow and thoughtful manner, as this will allow us to ensure maximum safety while delivering the much-needed opportunities for the industry to come together in key markets in 2021.”
In order to help ensure the safety of attendees, Informa has committed to a number of best practices. In-person events will have a limited capacity and emphasize scheduled appointments to allow for greater oversight. The events company has also established a protocol dubbed Informa AllSecure. It has been developed in collaboration with industry associations and event organizers and incorporates advice from health care and government agencies.
Attendees can expect temperature screenings, mask requirements and distancing measures, in addition to comprehensive sanitation practices. By ensuring compliance in these areas, Informa believes that this will enable United States-based industry members to convene, explore product and build merchandising plans in a way that had been prohibited this year.
“For the fashion industry, it’s about interacting with materials and the tactile experience that is greatly missed — a sentiment that has been shared directly with us by our customers and what drives the want and need for a return to live events in 2021,” said Helfman.
While the current line-up is subject to additions or changes, there are several key dates that the industry may want to note. MICAM Americas Digital will run from January 19 – March 16, while Magic Digital will take place from February 1 – March 1; Coterie Digital will run from February 16 – March 16. These virtual-only events will conclude with Sourcing at Magic, which will launch on March 1 and end on May 1.
Following the Magic pop-up in Orlando, the next physical events will be phased in during the second half of the year. Larger-scale event Magic Las Vegas is scheduled for August 9-11 in Nevada and New York-based show Coterie will run from September 19-21. New events may be added, while further details on these physical shows and their digital counterparts will be shared nearer the time.
“The safety and wellbeing of our guests is at the forefront of our in-person event planning,” said Helfman. “All Informa Markets events around the world, regardless of format or location, follow Informa AllSecure protocol. These will be followed to keep our guests safe and give them the peace-of-mind that we are carefully and considerately presenting our events this season, as well all future physical events in 2021.”