Evolving the Trade Show


WWD | August 26, 2020


Running events during a global health crisis due to a highly infectious virus is no easy feat.

Over the last five months, tech conferences, retail trade shows and fashion extravaganzas have either been canceled or morphed into virtual versions of themselves, begetting online alternatives that range from creative to downright awkward, with glitches and syncing issues aplenty.


Wednesday marked another first, as the Faire Summer Market got under way. It’s the first online trade show by Faire, a wholesale platform could show how an online version could work.


Instead of the one-to-one physical interactions, which can be exhausting, brands can create “many-to-one” interactions with a 15-minute livestream that can hit hundreds of retailers at once. Conversations happen via online chat, and the company is working on one-on-one appointment software for the future.


Virtual shows like the summer market bring some advantages. There are no travel expenses, and attendees can potentially reach more buyers. In a socially distant world, it’s also safer.

Yet according to live events research firm Explori, the absence of in-person events is hurting businesses.


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