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Trade shows are still vital to the industry

This week’s issue contains our Show Calendar for the autumn 14 buying season and beyond, listing all the noteworthy trade events over the next six months.

Come 2014 there will be even more buyer-focused exhibitions taking place across the world, but for the time-poor, cash-strapped buyer, which are worth visiting, if any?

Once upon a time it was relatively easy to answer that question because the big-name events pulled in the best brands under one roof. But now a new show crops up each year, brands move around and the quality of certain shows has somewhat waned.

Some believe the trade show model no longer works as well as it once did, but I believe they are important.

There’s no better way to seek out new brands, foreign labels and fresh offerings, giving your store a point of difference compared with your competitors. You might skip a showroom appointment with a name you’ve never heard of or ignore emails from a brand you think is not right for you, but trade shows always bring surprises. Besides the product, the relationship building and networking opportunities at such events are invaluable, and nowhere else are you surrounded by such numbers of like-minded individuals.

Although following the trade show circus across the world from Florence to Berlin and beyond might not be viable, our domestic offering is as good a place as any to start. Big names Pure London and Moda are joined by Scoop and Jacket Required, with new accessories show Detail joining the roster for autumn 14. Hopefully we’ll see you there.

Readers' comments (1)

  • Whether trade shows need to exist is one thing, but thing is incontrovertible - there are far too many of them.

    Back in the old days before ego's got in the way and brands were run by their marketing departments, you would have one or two big shows. You would go for two or three days, have plenty of free beer, place orders you then forgot you placed and maybe got lucky when you went back to your hotel room. Not that you would remember much about that either. And the obligatory call to the wife in the morning to say what a nice time you were having :)

    Now we have endless shows, partly because many of the brands think there better than everybody else and won't sit near their rivals. This short sighted attitude doesn't benefit anyone.

    Free beer aside, if your savvy and know your market, you don't have to do trade shows very often, if at all. The trade pushes trade shows for trades sake. Nobody buys the misleading reports that come out in the trade press after a usually quiet show.

    We need to go back to basics when it comes to shows, we need big events that are for everyone. Totally inclusive. Instead, we have this extremely fragmented and somewhat pretentious affair that seem to be aimed at Shoreditch and Dalston types.

    Who knows, in a couple of years time, if you don't look like Joe 90 or the roadie from Mumford & Sons, you won't be allowed in!

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