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Intertextile Shanghai to Continue With Hybrid Event Model in March

While the pandemic forced trade shows around the world to move to digital or cancel, Intertextile Shanghai Apparel Fabrics was able to welcome in-person visitors in September.

The event showcased nearly 3,400 exhibitors from 20 countries and regions and attracted more than 73,500 visitors, organizer Messe Frankfurt said. The fair also adopted a virtual component for those who could not attend in person, with more than 240 virtual meetings taking place over the fall show’s three-day span.

Following what Messe Frankfurt described as the “successful conclusion” of this autumn event, the fair will return in March, duplicating the September show’s hybrid model. Running from March 10-12, the spring edition of Intertextile Shanghai Apparel Fabrics will take place at the National Exhibition and Convention Center in Shanghai.

“With travel restrictions still in effect in many countries and regions, digital solutions and the hybrid format of the fair are essential to facilitate suppliers and buyers in their sourcing process,” Wendy Wen, senior general manager of Messe Frankfurt, said in a statement. “We look forward to international exhibitors joining us via the onsite or online formats, allowing them to take advantage of the opportunities offered by China’s recovering textile market.”

The fall event’s Hybrid Showcase will return for those exhibitors who cannot travel to China. “Hybrid exhibitors” will again be able to display their products for onsite buyers to touch and feel, with audiovisual equipment provided to help present their company. Instant messaging and video calling functions on the Intertextile mobile app will enable connections with onsite and online buyers. Additionally, the fair’s online business matching tool, Connect Plus, will be accessible before, during and after the fair.

James Nam, president of South Korea’s NK Fabric, said his company did not travel to the fair due to Covid-19, but instead used the Hybrid Showcase to display some of its most popular products. “We gained around 40 new contacts—some of them are our target customers and we started talking with them via emails after the fair,” he said in a statement. “As this was the first time we joined a hybrid format trade fair, we didn’t expect so much and we are satisfied with the results.”

The show will feature country and region pavilions from Japan, Korea and Taiwan, as well as dedicated product zones, such as Accessories Vision, All About Sustainability, Beyond Denim, Digital Printing Zone, Functional Lab, Premium Wool Zone, SalonEurope and Verve for Design. The event will host seminars, panel discussions and product presentations about the latest industry trends and post-pandemic textile markets in China and around the world.

Messe Frankfurt’s decision to push ahead with the March event comes amid high Chinese consumer confidence. According to a survey McKinsey & Co. conducted in September, net optimism regarding post-Covid economic conditions stood at 54 percent in China. The United States posted net optimism of 22 percent, while Australia, Italy, the U.K. and Japan all reported being more pessimistic than optimistic.

The National Exhibition and Convention Center will host four other textile fairs during Intertextile Shanghai Apparel Fabrics’s three-day run: Messe Frankfurt’s spring edition of Intertextile Shanghai Home Textiles and Yarn Expo Spring; the China International Fashion Fair (CHIC); and PH Value.

Along with Messe Frankfurt, the China Textile Information Centre and the Sub-Council of Textile Industry, CCPIT are helping co-organize the spring edition of Intertextile Shanghai Apparel Fabrics.

Intertextile Shanghai Apparel Fabrics is not the only trade show to forge ahead with in-person events after seeing success this fall. A coalition of Italian trade shows enticed more than 16,000 fashion insiders to attend its four-day, co-located event in Milan in September. Satisfied with the results they saw, those same five groups are planning to hold a second “#strongertogether” event in March.

In the United States, Informa Markets Fashion—the organizer behind Magic, Coterie, Project, Micam Americas and Sourcing at Magic—will host its first Magic Pop Up Orlando in early February. The women’s and men’s apparel, accessories and footwear event will co-locate its inaugural run with two other fashion trade shows: Clarion Events’ Womenswear in Nevada and Tarsus Group’s Offprice.

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