I was lucky enough to gain a ticket to the Berlin Trade Shows at the time of Berlin Fashion Week 2019. While I was there, I attended four trade fairs: Seek, Neonyt Fashion Sustain, Premium and Show & Order.
I was surprised that more exhibitions weren’t approaching people to talk to them; a lot were simply sitting within or behind their sections. However, this showed me that their products spoke for themselves to the extent that they didn’t feel they needed to interject or push them forward. They were obviously waiting for people to approach them.
I honestly did feel very out of place in the shows, possibly because I was going round by myself. This feeling wasn’t helped by the fact that the stand holders looked very unapproachable and unfriendly. I was trying to subtly take photos but felt I was being watched the whole time.
I believe that there was a greater focus on sales, rather than experience. I understand the importance of revenue, however in my opinion, a great experience that interacts positively with potential consumers is a more effect way to gain attention and increase brand awareness. For example, in the Premium show, there was a photo booth in one of the brand areas and others were offering free food and beverage tasters. This for me would have created a more intimate experience with the brand and shows they are looking at the bigger picture, not just the units sold.
Having said this, I did enjoy experiencing the trade shows. At times I found them overwhelming, especially the Premium display as a result of the enormous size and space they occupied; it was like a maze in there trying to navigate my way around. However, I loved how each stand cleanly and clearly presented their garments and accessories, making it easy to spot the brand’s style at a quick glance. The shows gave me a great opportunity to gain a body of images that will be very useful in the trend forecasting project.
I possibly enjoyed the Neonyt event the most because I loved seeing all of the innovative ways brands are going sustainable. For example Nuuwni are a brand that use 50% fruit to make their fully vegan bags.
When walking around, I noticed serval recurring themes: everyday streetwear, combining casual with formal, beanies and bum bags styled in a certain way and leopard print were all featured in some capacity in a large majority of the brands’ displays. This will be something I will bring forward in my group when we start to analyse our trend research findings.