BIG DEBATE: The importance of lingerie trade shows

How important are trade shows to lingerie brands and retailers in today’s rapidly changing business environment?

Chris Eve
Director, Patricia Eve

“For me, trade shows should be a vital tool for exhibitors and buyers, perhaps even more so now than they have ever been. It is the one place where buyers, agents, exhibitors and suppliers can meet up, see products as they are meant to be displayed and gather information to make an informed buying decision. More and more brands struggle to get the full sets of samples that every agent or rep needs to showcase when on the road. The costs of producing all these garments is very high and often the return for the investment is not fully appreciated. Attending the shows means that you will see the whole collection rather than the odd piece here and there. A sales person may only receive part of a range and might not even be able to fit everything into their vehicle or shop. As trading becomes more of a challenge, I would ask; who cannot justify attending their market sectors’ showcase events, to shut their shop door for a few hours and gather the full facts in one place? It should be an absolute given.”

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Rick van Rijthoven
CEO, Makers Of Virtual Events

"I strongly believe in the importance of business events, but my urgent advice is for organisers is: innovate to survive. The key to success is embracing the internet i.e. developing online activities to generate new revenue streams and attract more visitors. With a virtual platform, organisers extend their live event, enabling them to stay in contact with their community 365 days a year, 24 hours a day. I would also advise them to provide exhibitors with new leads and a higher return on investment and prepare visitors by enabling them to discover brands before, during and after the show. I predict within a few years, all business events will have an additional virtual platform. Build a platform, start a revolution. Organisers must move…now!”

Catherine Clavering
Founder, Kiss Me Deadly

"I love the internet, but I want to be see products in detail for an understanding of sewing, fabrics and fit that’s hard to grasp elsewhere, so I’ll be visiting Paris in 2015 to meet fellow indies. It’s also a valuable opportunity to swap tips, offload and generally gossip, which can be productive in itself. Sadly, not all retailers agree, and with dwindling numbers of visitors (don’t believe the press releases), we’re giving up on exhibiting – I wouldn’t recommend that anyone starting a label now bother with trade shows at all. There has been a massive change in a decade.”

Igor Pacemski Jones
Designer and creative director, Yes Master

"We have witnessed the buying calendar change rapidly over the last decade with sales campaigns starting ever earlier. Tradeshow organisers are key to making the exhibitions work as much as the exhibitors. I have noticed increasing complacency and repetitiveness in Paris. There is the question of value, especially for brands that are growing rapidly. Our strategic goal is to do Miami in July to increase our rapidly developing US business. The mantra is not to overspend, to work hard before the show, to book your appointments and expect nothing to avoid disappointment. You may be pleasantly surprised. Keep the faith!”

Caprice Bourret

CEO and founder, By Caprice

"Trade shows are an integral strategy to By Caprice’s buying season, not just domestically, but internationally. Exhibiting at major trade shows is not only key from an orders perspective but for the industry reaction to our forthcoming offering. This helps By Caprice grow and develop with the changing retail environment."




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