Trade shows are going digital and Joor is advancing the trend by hosting 11 upcoming events this year, after conducting four since June alone.
“Joor Passport is changing the fashion event space for good,” said Kristin Savilia, chief executive officer of Joor, a digital business-to-business wholesale marketplace. “We still believe in physical events but we also believe the digital manifestation will extend the reach, duration and value of these events.”
The Joor Passport extension of the Joor platform is powering Splash Paris starting Sept. 7; Capsule, launching Sept. 15; London Fashion Week starting Sept. 17; Cabana on Sept. 22; Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Istanbul, launching Sept. 28; Bogota Fashion Week, Oct. 1; Ontimeshow in Shanghai launching Oct. 9; Rakuten Fashion Week in Tokyo, Oct. 12, and Arab Fashion Week, Oct. 21.
In addition to those nine, Joor Showcase, an online market for over 300 “elevated” men’s and women’s contemporary apparel, accessory and shoe brands launches Tuesday. Unlike the other trade events powered by Joor’s software, Joor Showcase is Joor-sponsored and curated, and will highlight diversity. “Twenty-two percent of the participating brands are minority-owned, 24 percent are female-owned, 15 percent are family-owned, and nine percent are made in the U.S.A.,” said Savilia.
Joor Passport is also powering a group of showrooms for CFDA’s Runway 360 online marketing, including Carolina Herrera, Veronica Beard and Rag & Bone.
Of the Joor Passport-powered trade events, only OnTime in Shanghai can be attended in person and visited online; the other events are virtual-only.
According to Savilia, the five digital trade show events powered by Joor Passport since June — Cabana Miami, London Fashion Week, Premium Berlin, Tokyo Fashion Awards and Liberty New York — drew a total of 65,000 visitors, including 15,100 unique mobile buyers from such retailers as Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, Shopbop and Zalando, as well as thousands of boutiques. “These buyers have so far purchased 126,000 items from all over the world,” said Savilia.
Because the trade events are digital, they extend well beyond the three or four days that trade shows typically last in their physical forms. Joor Showcase, for example, will extend through December. Presenting trade events online is crucial considering many buyers don’t want to travel for fear of contracting COVID-19 or don’t have the budget for traveling.
There are other advantages. For vendors, it costs less to show online than at a live trade show where they set up physical booths, and it eliminates their travel costs, too.
“The extent of activity goes way beyond the traditional trade show format,” said Savilia. “Joor Passport allows the events to be longer, giving more time for connections to be made between brands and retailers,” said Savilia. “There’s more time for really planning out orders and for follow-ups, rather than being rushed.”
Joor’s technology provides a “dashboard,” which Savilia described as “a real-time running scorecard” of how many buyers shop an event and how many brands each buyer visits. Brands also learn who visits their booths and who ‘favorited’ them and rates retailers by gross merchandise volume achieved during the event. “The data and transparency being generated is important,” Savilia said.
A single log-in provides access to all the trade shows in progress being powered by Joor Passport. “With Joor Passport,” said Savilia, “brands and buyers have one centralized place to meet,” virtually, that is. To enter the events online, a visitor enters through Joor Passport or through the event’s web site.
Retailers are required to get permission from brands before accessing their virtual showrooms/trade booths. Joor creates the sites and all the technology, while brands provide the visuals that Joor applies to the platform.
Conducting business online does mean there’s none of the in-person mixing and mingling between vendors, retailers and their competitors. Online, it’s not as easy to establish business relationships and get to know people. Virtually, the buzz or the energy of being live at a trade show can’t be captured. And obviously, buyers can’t touch the merchandise.
However, “We have several tools on our core platform that allows for a lot of communication, like livestream meetings and video chats,” said Savilia. Joor’s online experience can be upgraded to spin fashion 360 degrees around for various views, or zoom in, or watch fashion videos. There is also a tool called “The Edit,” which is a digital style board to make editing collections easier.
“Joor believes there is still a need for the physical event, but when you complement it with digital, you have a home-run situation.” She added that trade shows will maintain digital presentations even when they return to the physical formats, and that it’s likely that physical trade shows won’t resume until 2021 at the earliest. “They’re probably a year away.”
The trade show teams develop the content and marketing for the events and select which labels they would like to participate in the shows from Joor’s pool of 8,600 brands. Brands don’t have to already be on the Joor business-to-business virtual marketplace to access these shows. The shows offer them a package that gets them onto the platform for a trial basis during the show. Each show handles this directly with brands. For Joor Showcase, however, brands must be on Joor.
Joor also has 200,000 retailers utilizing its technology, which is free for them. The New York City-based Joor has a team of 130 in 10 offices in the U.S., Europe and Asia. Joor software is designed to make the job of a buyer less laborious, more efficient, accurate and collaborative, and has been steadily gaining acceptance among brands and retailers around the world. Joor Passport widens Joor’s global reach.
Since Joor Passport launched June 11 with London Fashion Week, which lasted six weeks and had 889 buyers online, the platform has seen over 65,000 visitors.
Last year Joor acquired B2B wholesale technology platform Veee, and entered into a strategic partnership with Premium Group, the fashion trade show organizer in Europe that runs Premium Berlin. Joor operates in the fashion, beauty and home sectors.
Fashion and retail technologies, particularly emerging ones, are attractive properties. Asked if Joor would be up for sale, Savilia responded, “Some day, I’m sure, but right now we are well invested. Joor is doing really well. We continue to be innovative.”