Last year, so many trade shows were canceled due to the pandemic; however, the desire among retailers and suppliers to connect remains strong. COVID-19 continues to impact various industries, and the fashion industry is no different.
Businesses are slowly opening in some parts of the world but by following safety measures. The apparel industry is back to business as well, but not like usual. Now, producers have launched virtual shows, and leverage video communication and social media to connect with their audience.
Trade shows have always been the most effective marketing technique. The face to face networking opportunity with the customer and brand is beyond compare. If it’s done right, you may call it the goldmine for lead generation. The pandemic has breathed fresh life into trade shows by making them go digital. In other words, a customer doesn’t have to leave their house to interact and engage with your brand. The digital tour takes them everywhere!
The Pandemic is Driving Change
Fashion creatives are well aware of what they are missing, the emotional and storytelling impact of fashion shows. But they had to open their eyes to new alternatives. It is pretty much how football teams adjusted to the reality of empty stadiums. The fashion industry has to adjust to the displaced realities.
The pandemic is still an awful stage. However, it has forced people to step away from the treadmill and address how they want to express themselves. A lot more needs to be done to display a collection rather than a catwalk. The concept of catwalk shows was invented in the 1940s. Today, the fashion industry is a whole different beast.
It was amazing how Knight created a CGI avatar of the beauty Kendal Jenner, for Riccardo Tisci. The advert starts with Jenner photographer herself and Knight creating a digital body with a model in a motion capture suit. There was a minimalist background.
Brands tapped into AR, animation, VFX, and CGI to give the audience a new digital experience when it comes to fashion. The digital reinvention of fashion shows is now considered a viable alternative to physical shows and shoots. It’s also friendlier to the planet. It is believed that COVID-19 has accelerated the dawn of the 4th industrial revolution in many industries, and fashion is one of them.
Top Virtual Event Platforms Bringing Brands and Buyers Together
Thanks to virtual fairs, customers have been exposed to retailers from all over the world. These are some top digital trade shows bringing all the best brands are now at your fingertips:
It’s a community-oriented platform that organizes digital trade events and connects fashion brands and buyers via a centralized event. The participants will have the option to explore a range of designers and labels featuring contemporary women’s apparel accessories and footwear. You will also come across some merchandized communities and international pavilions in one centralized place.
Swimshow is another popular commerce platform connecting brands, retailers, designers, and buyers. This platform enjoys a great reputation for building relationships by connecting buyers and manufacturers locally, nationally, and internationally.
Swimshow normally features more than 25k lines and 75k buyers, featuring beachwear, swimwear, lifestyle, and other accessories.
Magic’s Digital trade events have been offering brands exposure to the global retail audience via a centralized yet digital marketplace. It has allowed retailers to build an engaging brand story using this customizable B2B eCommerce platform to reach the right buyers at the right time for lead generation.
MICAM Americas Digital
It’s another destination to bring global footwear brands and designers in one place. Along with a wide selection of products from different brands, the participants can discover shoppable editorials, educational sessions, and several other business resources.
Videos Matter More Than Ever
Personalized videos for sales and marketing were a critical component of the digital marketing strategy of businesses even before the pandemic. Now that most people are quarantining and businesses are respecting social distancing boundaries to contain the spread of the virus, the virtual experience is more crucial.
According to Verizon, when COVID hit, streaming increased by 21 percent. Now, videos are considered a highly imperative aspect of online sales. Video conferencing platforms like Microsoft Teams and Zoom have made it easier to connect with others, communicate, collaborate, and even host events.
For brands that were used to meeting their customers in person (such as the fashion industry itself), investing in videos is the way forward. Organizing digital tradeshows is one way of doing that. The digital event allows the buyer to connect with their favorite brand and examine their collection with a 360-degree view to feel the texture, design, stitching, and more and make a purchase. All this is happening without leaving homes. Who would have thought that you could check the latest collection of big brands via a virtual event!
What’s The Future of Virtual Events?
Virtual events are definitely economical when it comes to connecting with the audience. To some extent, these events provide brands with a log of attendee interests and trends, which could help them steer their marketing efforts in the long run. Some experts say that logins are equal to marketing leads. Others say the value of staying on top of a customer’s mind cannot be replaced. Both are facts!
Now that the geographical constraints have been removed, there is less friction. Notable speakers from brands are also committed to a video call instead of traveling to attend a conference. The attendees don’t just remain seated, they are engaged as well.
Virtual events do have some limitations. For instance, it’s hard to replicate the energy that comes from in-person experiences. Customers have a limited attention span, the programs need to be snap and to the point. With greater audience and brands as participants come greater responsibility.
Most events are delivered live, but participants would also like video-on-demand archives. Virtual events may not completely replace physical events, but they will certainly complement them. Digital trade shows like these will continue even after the COVID-19 pandemic is long gone.
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