MILAN — Italy’s trade show calendar is in flux as the country grapples with spiking COVID-19 cases spurred by the highly infectious Omicron variant.
On Friday, eyewear trade show Mido said it is postponing its 2022 edition — originally slated to take place Feb. 12 to 14 — to April 30 to May 2 at the Milano-Rho fairgrounds. This marks a return to the same slot the fair had when it launched.
“Today it seems fairly clear to us that an international fair held in February would risk a reduced numbers of participants, both exhibitors and visitors,” said Giovanni Vitaloni, chairman of Mido. “We wish to reflect the companies’ needs…and return to fulfill our mission: Creating and maximizing international business opportunities while conferring prestige and vitality to a strategic sector.”
Since the inception of the pandemic in 2020, Mido has had bad luck with scheduling and was forced twice, in 2020 and 2021, to move online, with the most recent edition held exceptionally in June.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, Vitaloni has said his hope was to return to physical fairs and the postponement reflects that. He sees the April-May timeframe as a good business opportunity within a safer environment.
Similarly, trade show operator Italian Exhibition Group said it is postponing the upcoming edition of jewelry fair VicenzaOro, which is being moved to March 17 to 21 after the industry association agreed to hold the IRL show when the health emergency improves and more visitors can be expected. The show had been slated to take place Jan. 21 to 26.
Other trade shows planned for the upcoming months are currently sticking to their original dates, with textile fair Milano Unica, for instance, scheduled for Feb. 1 and 2; three-day yarn fair Pitti Filati slated to kick off Feb. 2, as well as footwear trade show Micam, leather goods fair Mipel and Lineapelle, dedicated to tanneries, all scheduled in tandem with February’s Milan Fashion Week.
The COVID-19 pandemic’s latest wave is scuppering plans for fashion operators.
As reported, Brunello Cucinelli and Ann Demeulemeester have bowed out of Pitti Uomo, which has also seen a range of side events and cocktail parties being canceled, while Giorgio Armani has decided to sit out Milan Fashion Week, running Jan. 14 to 18, with its Giorgio Armani and Emporio Armani shows due to the emergency.