Italian trade show White is ready to evolve and make its events more digitally-driven. One of the reasons for this step is that–due to Corona–White’s organizers recently had to postpone their sustainable fashion event WSM to September 2020, when it will run parallel to White Donna, its show focused on contemporary womenswear (also read here).
Now Federico Poletti, White’s newly named communication and marketing director who previously worked at Yoox.com, Pitti Immagine and Sportmax, has started developing a communication project with White’s founder, Massimiliano Bizzi.
Bizzi believes that it is important to support the more than 3,500 small/medium size Italian companies facing the Covid-19 emergency and push the Italian government to finance brands in need of help.
We talked to project manager Poletti about White’s new communication plans…
How will White evolve? What new digital services will it offer in the future?
We want to develop a series of new services that can ease networking activities and better connect brands with buyers who could not be in Milan. However, we are still in a work in progress phase. On the one side we are betting strongly on promoting brands’ content and storytelling as many of our Italian small/medium size companies are not well known and need to increase their digital presence. On the other side we would like to build an intuitive B2B experience that buyers can easily use remotely for watching collections and linesheets to finalize their orders during and after the show. And, vice versa, through our buyers’ database the exhibitors can search and present themselves to new stores in specific countries.
Federico Poletti, communication and marketing director, White
Through which kind of platform will White offer these new services?
We have an ambitious project that will require time and will evolve through different phases. We plan to implement a digital platform like a “made-to-measure” dress specifically made for White and its brands–who are mostly small- and medium-size Italian ones. We appreciate big platforms like Joor that many buyers, brands (especially big and consolidated ones), showrooms and trade shows are already using, but we are trying to find a way to create our own platform which could be a combination between Joor and another reality. We are evaluating different platforms–and start-ups too–to find the right synthesis for us. Today the market is offering various solutions though they must be adapted and rethought for our reality.
Will the show happen only as a physical event or will it also be accessed digitally?
We wish our next edition expected for September 2020 can happen as a physical event and we are working to make it happen while waiting for laws and rules we will have to follow to organize it. But if for some reason (like, for instance a return of the pandemic) the physical event could not take place, we would be ready with an online event that can offer companies the possibility to present themselves to press and buyers through videoconferences, streaming and live social events, and by also being able to involve their partners we can support them through their online sales.
In particular with WSM, the show entirely dedicated to sustainability that will take place together with White Donna next September, we expect that workshops and panels will be followed online, too. In this lockdown period we saw that Instagram live conferences have registered a true boom and we are surely considering such an opportunity considering that always more interactive solutions are becoming available.
Candiani denim installation at last year’s WSM (White Street Market) in Milan
Would it be possible to see collections and make orders through a digital version of the show?
This is our exact aim. We don’t only want to offer a shop window for seeing collections and get to know what a brand can do best, but we also want to create a simple and easy-to-understand way for placing orders by using research filters that can help buyers find what they are looking for.
When will these services be available? Before or after the September edition of White?
We are working intensely to start this project though I still can’t tell when it will be operating. It would be ideal to have at least a part of it working before the September edition starts–especially the part related to companies’ communication–and then operating from the beginning of the show until the end of sales campaign. We have understood that many companies have no software for writing and managing orders. Therefore the platform we have in mind should support them in this phase already during the show.