While the rest of the world sticks to digital events only, China returns to 'normal' trade show business.
Beginning of July saw the return of the sports and outdoor industry gathering at Ispo Shanghai. With 17,776 visitors, Ispo Shanghai reports a 14% increase over the previous year and sees this 'as an important sign of a new start'.
Chic Shenzhen is a new regional format of Chic trade show’s main event in Shanghai addressing Chinese fashion manufacturers and the densely populated, flourishing retail landscape in the southern metropolitan area of the Chinese fashion industry. At the same time Chic Shenzhen is also meant to host exhibitors of Chic Shanghai’s canceled March edition. Organizers expect 30,000 visitors on the 40,000-sq.-meter exhibition area that can host 800 exhibitors.
Intertextile faces a similar situation: Due to the COVID-19 outbreak the summer editions of Intertextile Shanghai Apparel Fabrics and Yarn Expo needed to merge with Intertextile Shenzhen Apparel Fabrics and the debut Yarn Expo Shenzhen, with exhibitors of the Shanghai fairs given the option to participate in the Shenzhen editions instead.
Wendy Wen, senior general manager of Intertextile organizer Messe Frankfurt (HK) Ltd, says: “As the first Messe Frankfurt trade fair to be held since February due to the global pandemic, Intertextile Shenzhen is glad to once again, be able to support the industry and provide a key trading platform for textile apparel businesses in the Greater Bay Area.” She continued: “The relocation to the Shenzhen World Exhibition and Convention Center is an exciting step for the fair and offers the opportunity for future growth and additional convenience for exhibitors and visitors.”
While the Shenzhen trade shows are happening, there are a number of travel restrictions still in place across the world. To accommodate those who are unable to travel, a series of online services will be provided, allowing business interactions to take place virtually. For instance, Intertextile Shenzhen has arranged a series of online services, maximizing the opportunities for both buyers and exhibitors.
For on-site visitors extra health care and hygiene precautions will be in place. These include: real-name registration, onsite temperature checks, frequent sterilisation of public areas and distancing measures for conference/seminar audiences, amongst others.
It remains to be seen whether Shanghai and Shenzhen can send out a positive impulse to normalize trade fair activity in other countries and make physical events possible again.