As the coronavirus pandemic continues to push physical industry gatherings further into the future, trade event organizers are taking proactive steps to bring them online.
The Premium Berlin trade show and London Fashion Week are among the upcoming summer events to move their operations online with the help of Joor, the digital wholesale platform for fashion, beauty and home.
“In the face of continued business disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, we saw a great need to bring technology to revolutionize the market and to reimagine the trade show and fashion week model,” Joor CEO Kristin Savilia, said in a statement. “It is incredibly tragic that we find ourselves in these circumstances, but the fact remains that for all the hype about consumer-facing retail technology, the business-to-business side, including trade show enablement, has been largely ignored.”
The platform has introduced Joor Passport, which addresses the current market conditions in the wake of restricted travel. The trade show and fashion week experiences are centralized in a single virtual location, where event and product data are uploaded, interactions between brands and retailers can take place, and buyers can discover new styles and designers.
Brands can upload seasonal lookbooks to profile pages, showcasing styles in virtual showrooms. Retailers “attending” the show simply request access and then wait to be invited by brands to shop their collections digitally.
In March, Joor entered into a partnership with Ordre to leverage its ORB360 technology, which allows buyers to comprehensively review styles before placing online wholesale orders. The platform houses images from wholesale sample collections, allowing buyers to check out products remotely with 360-degree views of each product. Brands already using that program will be able to upload those images to the new Joor Passport platform.
When physical events finally resume, the company said it will take an omnichannel approach, using the Passport mobile app to complement the tactile elements of the in-person events. Brands and retailers can manage their appointments and form connections through the app, and place orders in real time at the events. The universal platform will be used for all shows, and data stored in the app is accessible from one event to the next, optimizing planning.
Premium Group had already introduced digital components to its show experience via an app that was integrated with Joor’s platform last year, Anita Tillman, the group’s managing partner, said in a statement.
“The next logical move for us was to consolidate all our digital tools with Joor Passport in order to achieve a seamless experience for our customers both on and offline,” she said, adding that the circumstances have contributed to the importance of this transformation before the group’s July show. “Digital is a huge opportunity for brands and buyers to remain capable and maintain international business.”
Caroline Rush CBE, chief executive of the British Fashion Council, said the organization was eager to help small and emerging brands participate in London Fashion Week on June 12-14, despite the limitations of this “unusual time.”