In February, the trade show organizer who operates the MAGIC, COTERIE and PROJECT shows under its fashion portfolio, confirmed an agreement with MICAM, the Milan-based showcase put on by Italian footwear organization Assocalzaturifici. The newly christened MICAM Americas will be introduced for the first time as part of the new Informa Fashion Digital Trade Event launching Sept. 1, 2020.
“Benefitting from global trend direction, an increased international retailer audience, and the introduction of global brands to the U.S. market, attendees and exhibitors of MICAM Americas will gain access to a 360-degree fashion and footwear experience in the worldwide footwear community both at our live and digital events,” said Kelly Helfman, President of MICAM Americas, WWDMAGIC, PROJECT WOMENS & SOURCING at MAGIC.
While officially a licensing deal, the association between the American and European editions of MICAM is a strategic partnership. Informa continues to own and oversee operations for MICAM Americas, but the U.S. and Italian teams are coordinating on areas including communications, marketing, customer outreach, long-term strategies and experience.
MICAM Milano, now in its 90th year, has a long heritage and positioning in the footwear business. The biannual show draws about 1,200 exhibitors and 45,000 attendees for each edition. “MICAM Americas is now the sister show to MICAM Milano, which is the most influential footwear trade event in the world,” said Belinda Pina, head of sales for footwear at Informa. Co-location of MICAM Americas with the apparel events MAGIC and PROJECT ensures MICAM Americas customers maximize their crossover retailer opportunities and offers brands a full scope of what is happening in fashion.
The event now known as MICAM Americas is the largest footwear trade event in the U.S., but Informa expects the alliance and association with MICAM to boost participation from international exhibitors. MICAM Milano typically attracts an array of brands that is 40 percent international, with exhibitors from more than 30 different countries. Comparatively, between 20 percent to 25 percent of brands showcasing at Informa footwear shows have been from outside the U.S. The partnership enables Informa to be a “national show with a global reach,” the company said.
Informa recently announced the cancellation of the physical MAGIC, PROJECT and MICAM Americas events that were scheduled to take place in Las Vegas from Sept. 30-Oct. 2, 2020. The decision was made following continued uncertainty around travel and health and safety concerns. Now, the focus is on the new Informa digital trade event—one of the largest digital marketplaces for fashion wholesale. The new digital marketplace, representing MAGIC, PROJECT, COTERIE, CHILDREN’S CLUB, MICAM Americas and MICAM Milano, is the initial step forward within a much larger, future-facing plan of collaborative physical and digital events for the fashion wholesale industry.
The original version of MICAM Milano will continue its schedule at the Milano Rho exhibition center in Italy from Sept. 20-23, 2020. The event will feature shoe collections for the Spring/Summer season, as well as a variety of educational components, networking opportunities and immersive experiences. Alongside its commitment to a live event, MICAM Milano will also be focused on the launch of the new collaborative digital trade event.
As a complement to the physical trade shows Informa Markets produces, the new digital trade event will take place Sept. 1-Nov. 1, 2020, extending the experience to an eight-week online event. This digital trade event will serve as a marketing vehicle for exhibitors, enabling them to create a virtual showroom and intake orders from retailers. The commercial elements of the digital show will be powered by B2B e-commerce platform NuORDER, which entered into a long-term partnership with Informa in May.
The custom, digital platform crafted by NuORDER was designed to be user-friendly and easy to navigate for participating brands and retailers to increase productivity. Participating brands also can continue their services with NuORDER after the digital trade event concludes on Nov. 1.
The opportunity to organize a digital event helps MICAM Americas push beyond the limitations of live events, creating opportunities for vast and robust brand, educational and editorial content over eight weeks, including immersive media such as videos, interviews, trend resources and more. The digital event has no travel limitations, offers brands and retailers a platform to get more comfortable in the digital space, helps brands become better marketers, and helps pave the way for a hybrid of face-to-face and digital sales strategies for Informa’s customers. Retailers will be able to search for product based on attributes, not just brand names, opening the door for more retailers to work with new and emerging brands.
“We’re listening to our customers and making a lot of investments in terms of how we create this digital event as a complement to what happens at a physical trade event,” Pina said.