The Micam.

MILAN — As the coronavirus pandemic is walloping fashion events worldwide pushing organizers to find alternative dates and formats, Milan’s footwear trade show is standing by its plans to host its physical event on Sept. 20 to 23.

“Micam plays an essential role in supporting a crucial sector for Made in Italy and our economy,” noted Siro Badon, president of the fair and of Assocalzaturifici, the country’s association that gathers footwear manufacturers. “Although these months have provided alternative opportunities to do business, the fair remains the most important means to develop the market and the privileged way to place orders,” he added.

Assocalzaturifici has conducted its annual survey across its associated companies to understand how to better organize the upcoming fair. According to the research, 80 percent of responders noted they have been directly impacted by the pandemic, which impacted orders for 90 percent of the companies and reduced the production capability in 60 percent of the cases. In order to cope with the emergency, 60 percent of the interviewed companies said they provided buyers with images of the collections via e-mail; 31 percent leveraged social networks, or launched new digital platforms specifically designed for the activity, in 15 percent of the cases. Overall, 39 percent of responders said they already boasted digital tools to do so ahead of the pandemic.

The survey also highlights that 75 percent of the interviewed companies are certain or willing to attend the trade show. Micam, meanwhile, is developing a business-to-business digital platform to enhance its exhibitors’ digital capabilities by partnering with a still unnamed international player.

“In a moment of such uncertainty for our sector given the current global health emergency, we listened to the needs of companies and buyers to better stand by their sides,” commented Tommaso Cancellara, Micam’s chief executive officer. “The operating engine is already working [so that] the September edition will represent a crucial occasion to reconnect with the market and create new opportunities, while respecting safety measures.”

In collaboration with Fiera Milano, the entity managing the Milano-Rho fairgrounds where the event is held, Micam is developing a safety protocol to safeguard exhibitors and buyers. “Our companies quickly adapted to the health-care protocols and the same methodology can be applied to the trade show,” noted Badon. “We must provide certainties to our enterprises that are already suffering for the economic repercussion of the emergency. Without an horizon we risk entering a tunnel with no exit and the confirmation of Micam represents the best answers to the market’s uncertainties.”