Business connections seem increasingly hard to make in this busy and noisy world, relying heavily on email and websites to exchange information immediately and effectively but without face to face interaction.
As retail buyers shift more budget from pre-season to in-season purchasing, brands often find it difficult to align their product development timetables with the seasonally based model of traditional trade shows. The growth of online technology is enabling retailers and brands to research new business partnerships.
The BFA understands that online marketplaces are an effective and efficient way for businesses to connect throughout the year, enabling the sharing of new collections through digital catalogues. These new technologies are important to the growth of the industry. The new website will therefore include a highly searchable Digital Showcase, celebrating whilst promoting all that is good about Great British footwear globally.
But while online marketplaces are undoubtedly very convenient, there are still some crucial benefits physical trade shows have that cannot be replaced digitally – such as face to face meetings and giving retailers the chance to physically touch and feel products.
Trade shows are therefore hugely important to both sides of wholesale. They enable buyers to discover new products that fit the look and feel of their stores and for companies to show case their collections, merchandise their products and develop vital business relationships with existing and new partners.
The BFA recognises these different but valuable means of communication and connection. We will continue to provide valuable dual track support, guidance and connections via our showcase with key international trade show organisers whilst launching a new look and user friendly website designed to better work for and promote members digitally within the industry.