DIGITAL GIG: Despite the number of measures put in place to contain the spread of COVID-19 in Italy and in light of the ongoing travel bans, the outlook for IRL events in the country remains uncertain in 2021.
Leading textile trade show Milano Unica, among the few fair operators to hold an IRL event last September, said Wednesday it will forgo a physical show in February and host instead a digital version only.
“We’re really sorry to miss the opportunity of an in-person meeting and of sharing what only the human relationship can provide. We’re facing a compulsory choice, taken as we acknowledge the protracted international healthcare emergency,” commented Alessandro Barberis Canonico, president of Milano Unica.
“For these reasons, we feel we need to transform this difficult choice into an opportunity to implement new services via modern technologies that can be accessed by entrepreneurs and clients from all over the world,” he said.
In 2019, Milano Unica linked up with Pitti Immagine to launch an online marketplace dubbed e-Milano Unica Connect, leveraging the Florence-based trade show operator’s digital know-how. The info-commerce platform has so far flanked the physical show but will become the only touchpoint to preview spring 2022 textile collections next February.
A new redesigned and enhanced version of the platform will debut in January, ahead of the show.
Milano Unica additionally said it plans to resume its physical fairs starting with the following edition, which usually takes place in July.
The Italian trade show calendar is rapidly evolving as the pandemic’s second wave yet to be fully controlled.
As reported, last week Salone del Mobile said it would postpone the international furniture and interior design trade show to Sept. 5 to 10, while five Italian fashion fairs including Micam, Mipel, Lineapelle, TheOne Milano and Homi Fashion&Jewels Exhibition jointly revealed that they would postpone their upcoming editions at the Milano-Rho pavilions to March 20 to 24 — a month later than usual.
Also Pitti Immagine said earlier this month that the Pitti Uomo, Pitti Filati and Pitti Bimbo trade shows will move ahead by a month. They will now run simultaneously from Feb. 21 to 23 at the Fortezza da Basso and Stazione Leopolda locations in Florence.