Sportswear

physical trade shows are still crucial

By the end of June Pitti Immagine is launching Pitti Connect, a digital platform for networking and a marketplace for generating new business opportunities. It will be integrated with the physical fairs happening in Florence’s Fortezza da Basso in September. Agostino Poletto, general manager, Pitti Immagine, explained to SI how this platform will work and how it aims to help the fashion system’s relaunch.

 

What are the characteristics and aims of Pitti Connect?
Pitti Connect is an advanced digital tool for networking and a marketplace that will offer exhibitors of Pitti Uomo, Pitti Bimbo, Pitti Filati, Fragranze and Super trade shows the opportunity to increase their visibility, activate business contacts, be supported through the process of receiving orders, organize events and live presentations. It is being launched with the aim to answer the extraordinary necessities of present times, and it is conceived to meet the specific characteristics of each single show it is aimed for and the particular products each of them focuses on.

Pitti Connect

Pitti Connect

Who will be able to access its services?
Companies participating in our shows will have pages dedicated to their brands. Through them their collections and products will be visible to certified buyers, professionals and registered journalists. We have foreseen an equal presence for all brands that will be able to differentiate themselves broadcasting digital interactive events and presentations. Access is free for a series of basic information of brands. At a second level more specific content like, for instance, moodboards, videos and lookbooks, among others, are reserved to registered buyers. For visiting the virtual showroom and access marketplace functions, instead, the exhibitor’s authorization is necessary.

According to which timing will digital shows be available?
Pitti Connect will be active and visitable by the end of June or the beginning of July to help companies in respecting the traditional order timing for summer sales campaigns. This deadline is a staple both in case the platform works as an anticipation for the physical edition of the show right now we are working at with great determination, both in case–for objective reasons–the digital dimension in the end becomes the option we will concentrate all of our energies.

What will users be able to do in this platform exactly?
We are creating a boundless show able to increase exhibitors’ and buyers’ activities like generating safe contents, new business and, at the same time, offering highly involving experiences. Thanks to advanced function listing, exhibitors will be able to increase their visibility crossing brands’ characteristics with buyers’ requests. Buyers, in their turn, will also be profiled according to styles and products they will search for. Buyers, press and insiders, even if not physically visiting the show, will be able to visit virtual showrooms, do networking activities and fix a series of appointments. At last, as marketplace, Pitti Connect will be a true support tool for orders. In fact it will help creating a pre-order that will be subsequently perfected and agreed upon via videochat.

What functions will it offer in terms of digital events or shows?
The platform will be much more than a virtual showroom. We will offer live streaming experiences suggested by brands, along with digital events produced by Pitti Immagine. We want to offer a rich selection of contents and formats in order to generate a vast, immersive highly involving and highly emotional experience.

Will participating to Pitti Connect require extra costs for the exhibitor?
Pitti Connect is a service included in the package for participants to September physical shows, therefore it will require no extra cost. At the moment it is strictly tied to the participation at the show. We are considering the possibility to also extend it to companies that will decide not to participate the September physical edition. We will decide this in the next weeks.

In which languages will it be available?
We will run the platform in Italian and English, but we are also developing a additional services for some specific markets, like, for instance, for the Chinese one we will provide contents for WeChat.

Could Pitti Connect become the new Pitti Uomo? Could the physical show stop entirely and leave space for the digital platform only?
Over the last ten years we have believed and invested in technological innovation and in new solution opportunities for the Web. The present situation has only accelerated a process that had already begun. In this moment, for the fashion industry and the commercial and the related promotional activities, the digital dimension offers indispensable tools for remaining competitive, operating safely and facing major complexities. We think that today, and increasingly more in the future also when the emergency will be over, digital can be the natural integration of the physical environment, though  for international appointments as ours the physical show will continue to play a crucial role. In these days, along with the organization of a summer 2020 trade show that will be truly extraordinary under all aspects, we are already setting up strategies and programs for our January 2021 edition. When buyers participate our shows not only write orders but also exchange ideas, get a clear vision of the present and a forecast of the future, they also come for knowing how and through which strategies companies will proceed. In these days this is more necessary than ever.

Are you planning any collaboration with Camera della Moda (Italian Fashion Chamber) within July’s Milan Digital Fashion Week?
The digital dimension will ease collaborations between us and the Camera under the shape of reciprocal collaborations, content sharing and crossed collaborations, among others and, given the common intention to strengthen the Italian system we will find the right occasions and the right way.

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