By  on November 21, 2007

MILAN — Innovative formats and a super focused selection of merchandise are increasingly key elements for the success of a trade exhibition today.

New appointments appear on the Italian trade show calendar every season, but competition is apparently not a deterrent, as long as the vision is clear and the location is valid. In addition, the contours between women's and men's clothing collections appear increasingly blurred. Pitti Immagine is launching a women's exhibition, Pitti W Woman Precollection, which will run alongside long-established men's wear show Pitti Uomo in Florence Jan. 9 to 12; in Milan, women's ready-to-wear show White is introducing White Homme, which will comprise men's collections and accessories and women's pre-collections of clothing and accessories, Jan. 14 to 16; Fiera di Vicenza is working on a new annual high-end jewelry exhibition in Milan called About J, scheduled for March 2 to 4.

"We are convinced that fairs are even more im­portant than in the past, but not in the same format and not the same way as before," said Maurizio Castro, general director at Fiera di Vicenza, which also organizes Vicenzaoro. "They should be less about [product] exhibitions, and more about offering a commercial direction. Each show should be recounted as a story," he said, noting that About J will be business-oriented.

Fiera di Vicenza is in the midst of an overhaul, as the management structure has entirely changed with the recent privatization of the company. Vicenzaoro Winter will open Jan. 13 to 20 with a new name, which will be revealed at a press conference next month.

"We rediscussed our strategies and realized that Vicenzaoro was too commercial and homogenous," said Castro, who joined the organization in May. "We are aiming at a more specialized exhibition aiming at different market segments."

At the end of the year, organizers plan to also add another show, likely in Barcelona, Paris or Antwerp, Belgium.

Vicenzaoro Spring, running May 17 to 21, will also change name and target. "It will be more about bridging the gap between consumer and production and be more about innovation," said Castro, adding that Fiera di Vicenza is aiming at increasingly becoming more specialized in jewelry and luxury. In accordance, the exclusive exhibition Luxury and Yachts will move from Verona to Vicenza next year. "And we plan to make it even more exclusive," said Castro.

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