LYON MODE CITY, PRET TAKE INTERNET DIVE

Byline: Robert Murphy

PARIS — France’s trade shows are getting wired.
Two of the preeminent fairs here, the Pret-a-Porter apparel show and the Lyon Mode City innerwear showcase, recently launched informative Web sites designed to help visitors prepare for their visit, and offering pre-registration service and travel advice.
The Pret show’s bilingual site, pretparis.com, which went live in May, is part of the show’s effort to provide a value-added service to its clients.
“We wanted to make life easier for buyers planning their trip to the show,” said Gerard Roudine, director of the Pret. “By navigating the site, they can preplan which designers they are most interested in visiting. Essentially, it’s a time-saving tool.”
The site allows buyers to directly contact exhibitors and provides up-to-the-minute news on recent developments. The Pret, which runs at the Porte de Versailles exhibit space from Oct. 8 to 11, plans for the Internet to be a tool to inform buyers of the latest trends.
“The Internet is a perfect complement to our show as we move into the new millennium,” said Roudine.
Lyon Mode City, which is actually three shows — Mode Lingerie, Mode Balneaire for swimwear and Interfiliere, a fabric forum — said its new site, lyonmodecity.com, was an important step in making the show more accessible.
Launched in April, the site allows buyers to preregister and provides detailed show information for vendors, future exhibitors, buyers and journalists.
“The Internet forced itself upon us because it answers questions,” said Stephanie Corre, product manager for Interfiliere.
Currently, the site only operates in French, but plans an English language service that will go live in the next few weeks.
In addition to following trends and news, the site allows vendors and buyers to benefit from links to other sites, including currency converters, modeling agencies and hotel reservation and travel providers. There is also a link with Lyon’s tourism office and news about Delta Airlines’ new daily nonstop service between New York’s JFK airport and Lyon.
Lingerie Paris, Lyon Mode City’s sister event held in January in Paris, also has a Web site to promote its two adjoining shows, Salon de la Lingerie and Interfiliere.
Later this year, lingerie-paris.com plans to provide preregistration for visitors at the site, which was launched last November.
The French and English-language site offers statistics and information from previous sessions, tracks current trends in lingerie and textiles and offers a preview of the upcoming salon, including lists of exhibitors.
In another practical move, this year Lyon Mode City will move its dates up to Sept. 2-4, a week earlier than usual. It is an attempt to attract more visitors, said show organizers.
In the past, the show has coincided with Paris trade shows such as Pret-a-Porter and Who’s Next, and many buyers found it difficult to travel to both cities, organizers said.