A few weeks ago The Metro ran a story about a survey conducted into the top 20 bare essentials of life.
Above such crucial things like central heating, coffee and a cuddle, and straight in the number one slot, was an internet connection. I was reminded of this list during this week’s trip to Pitti Uomo, where, despite the first look at some of spring 14’s finest menswear collections, it felt at times like we could have been back sometime around the end of the last decade. You see, for some inexplicable reason, there is no free wifi at Pitti Uomo.
Now I can appreciate some of you out there will be playing the world’s smallest violins for my first world problems, but this is important, as my moan about the then London Collections: Men venue about six months ago proves. It cannot be underestimated how important to someone’s work the internet is - if you can’t log on (doesn’t that sound old-fashioned now?) you’re hamstrung. Social media spread and promotion are also severely affected as uploading images to Instagram and replying to tweets all uses precious megabytes.
So why wouldn’t a trade fair supply this? The money it would cost to provide free wifi to attendees would be significantly less than what it would to reach the amount of people all the additional tweets, vines and posts would if they were targeted via more traditional media like advertising. What’s more, doing deals, checking competitor info and generally staying in touch via the internet would mean more orders would be taken, which is kind of the point after all, despite what the street style snappers say. Growth in shows such as Pitti Uomo will come from international visitors, but only as long as they feel like they’re not being done on their data.