Trade Show Environment Remains Virtual

Screens are the new tradeshow aisles.

Mid-July is typically a busy time for textile trade fairs, and such is the case next week, with three summer shows overlapping July 20 – 23rd. However, this time around all events will take place virtually. And that looks to be the norm for a while; Earlier this week, management of Techtextil North America & Texprocess Americas, stated that the Atlanta fair, originally slated for May, and then re-scheduled for early October, will not take place in 2020.

Kristy Meade, group show director, said in a letter to Techtextil  and Texprocess exhibitors that as coronavirus cases in the U.S continue to rise, “we are once again faced with the difficult decision of whether or not to proceed as planned.” She continued: “While we firmly believe that our health and safety plan exceeded all recommended guidelines to provide a safe trade show environment, several outside factors including travel restrictions, quarantine mandates and other governmental regulations across the globe have made moving forward with an in-person event impossible at this time.”

The next edition of Techtextil North America will take place August 15-17, 2021 in Raleigh, North Carolina.

The next edition of Texprocess America will take place May 17-19, 2022 in Atlanta, Georgia and will be co-located with the 2022 edition of Techtextil North America.

The virtual fairs slated for next week include the Functional Fabric Fair NY, OR Online and Texworld USA, which is co-located with Apparel Sourcing USA and Home Textile Expo. Each show takes a slightly different digital approach. For example, Functional Fabric Fair, powered by Performance Days, features a webinar series based on the show’s popular Expert Talks sessions while Texworld, et al, debuts a virtual platform offering a variety options from free access to sourcing, education, and live chats to dynamic online showrooms with vivid customization.

With the Denver Outdoor Retailer Summer Market scrapped this past June, the show will preview as OR Online 2020. Organizers provide a robust program keen on community engagement with a variety of ways for exhibitors and attendees to interact and connect.

That community, however, is not textile strong. Suppliers mentioned in OR Online promotions include Polartec, Unifi and Thermore.  In general, textile suppliers are not convinced that online trade shows are a good fit, preferring to commit to live events when those return later in the Fall – fingers crossed!