Fashion brands and buyers will not convene in Las Vegas for the Magic trade show this August as planned.
The Magic Las Vegas marketplace—which also houses other key trade events like the Project, Sourcing and Micam Americas shows—will be postponed from the original Aug. 17-19 dates to Sept. 29-Oct. 1, organizer Informa Markets Fashion announced Thursday.
Taking place at the Las Vegas Convention center, the format of the events will be “thoughtfully reconsidered” to honor the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s health and safety guidelines for social distancing and sanitation, the group said in a statement.
While the events have historically taken place in August to respect the industry’s buying cycles, the decision to postpone the show aligns with the continued uncertainty being felt across the country with regard to retail’s reopening. The pandemic has also shifted this year’s buying season, the group said, pushing back normal timelines.
The decision may benefit wary attendees who aren’t quite ready to leave the safety of their homes for a crowded convention center just yet. A recently released report from IBM shows that three-quarters of consumers are unlikely to attend a conference or trade show this year due to the risks associated with highly attended in-person events.
While the fashion community is undoubtedly eager to connect, and brands have devoted valuable time and effort to the logistics surrounding the show, the decision to postpone is in everyone’s best interest, according to Nancy Walsh, president of Informa Fashion Markets. The group will review the situation on an ongoing basis, she said.
“At the same time, we believe it is our responsibility to the industry we serve to move forward and provide an opportunity for some form of business continuity while we reassess and work through what fashion business looks like in a post COVID-19 world,” she said. “We are hopeful for a September return to the show floor and are working tirelessly to make it happen, with a very focused effort on health and safety standards.”
Should the September show take place, attendees will encounter a new, “more considerate” layout, she said. Separate, intimate “micro-markets” will take place within the same venue to make way for social distancing guidelines, crowd-control measures and cleaning protocols. Walsh said that more information about these health and safety standards will be available on the Informa Markets Fashion website in the coming weeks.
Parallel to these efforts, the group is also investing in advanced digital solutions to support brands and retailers preparing for the spring and summer markets. These virtual events and initiatives will complement the keystone physical trade shows.
“There has been great enthusiasm around the digital content we launched earlier this spring and we see a lot of value in engaging our industry in that way,” Kelly Helfman, Magic’s president, said in a statement. “We will continue to evolve our digital offer, both in terms of relevant educational content as well as with digital solutions that further enable our community to discover, connect and collaborate, wherever they are.”