Virtual trade shows and events have been an enabler during these difficult times

Ms. Arti Bhagat | Director | Worldex India Exhibition & Promotion Pvt. Ltd. Mumbai
Virtual trade shows and events have been an enabler during these difficult times

How global pandemic affects physical sourcing fair?

Trade shows, which are essential for networking, showcasing products and business growth, have been among the hardest-hit in the pandemic. UFI (The Global Association of the Exhibition Industry) states that exhibition industry revenues dropped by 68% in 2020 vs. 2019. The fact is that at ground level, it’s extremely difficult to plan and implement a safe itinerary & procedure for participants, not to mention changing visa and travel regulations. Taking all these factors and the health of all concerned into consideration, it was natural to move into the virtual format.

Is online/digital fair good solution instead of live fair in coming days?

Exhibitions exist for networking, deal-making, direct marketing & showcasing new products. I am pleased to state that Bee2bee Asia – our virtual platform which hosts Intex South Asia Bangladesh – has closely replicated many of these features to great success. Bee2Bee has been created as a smart and user-friendly virtual trade fair and business matchmaking platform which has already successfully organized 26 exhibitions, arranged 4500+ B2B meetings for 1200+ exhibitors and 15000+ buyers from 30 participating countries & regions till date.

From the very beginning we had decided to make our virtual fair as close to a physical fair as possible. Drawing from our 18 years of experience in the international exhibition industry we included aspects which are the main differentiator in our virtual shows. These groundbreaking innovations (for virtual trade fairs in our region) include pre-fixed face to face B2B Meetings; real-time Text/Video Chat with buyers, request for Quote (RFQ) just like a physical exhibition; meetings request from buyers (during event days); product show[1]case with details; exchange of business cards; custom-designed virtual booth and sharing of post-event visitors database with analytics report. All of these services combine to make our fairs a success.

What should be the innovation and value adding service in future by the fair organizer for the buyer and the manufacturer?

Innovations and value added services are what take our platform to the next level. To create tangible value for our participants, Intex South Asia has partnered with global companies who can proactively help our delegates grow their business via market intelligence, access to latest technology, global compliance solutions such as Italtex, Applied DNA Sciences, QIMA, Hohenstein & many more. Our highly customized face-to-face business matching meetings ensure that only professionals & potential customers who are really interested in doing business are attracted to participate. The future is hybrid as virtual trade shows and events have been an enabler during these difficult times as it has enabled businesses to remain connected and created a new stream of revenue generation. While physical shows will be the future, hybrid/- virtual activities would not fade away but would play a supporting role to the physical shows as there would always be a section of companies who would like to test out different shows and different markets through hybrid / virtual modes before taking a decision to participate in person. In a way, hybrid / virtual has helped in expanding the marketplace. With the advent of new technologies such as 5G, VR, AR, Machine Learning, Block chain, etc. hybrid / virtual shows may just get another dimension.

Do you think, especially apparel sourcing fair should increase in volume here in Asia?

Apparel sourcing fairs play a key role when it comes to helping brands, manufacturers (& their design teams) and buying houses source the latest materials, components as well as access market intelligence & trends. Our flagship show, Intex South Asia is undoubtedly the biggest and most established international textile sourcing show of South Asia having completed 8 successful editions in Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and India. Our show has successfully connected over 1,200 global textile suppliers with 25,000+ leading buyers from 30 countries and regions. It aims to fulfill the growing demand for innovative and trendy fabrics and accessories for one of the biggest apparel manufacturing region in the world. Intex South Asia is endorsed by major Government bodies, Chambers of Commerce and Industry Associations in South Asia and is the most sought after annual industry event for the textile and apparel industry.

As you’re aware, South Asia is an export powerhouse to the global textile &apparel industry. Add to that, the vast domestic markets with the largest young population in the world and we have a double advantage of sourcing for exports and to supply regional markets. So yes, apparel sourcing fairs will definitely increase in volume in Asia.


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