Apparel Textile Sourcing successfully
debuts first Virtual Trade Show
The show successfully connects 1,500
brands and retailers with 100
Apparel Textile Sourcing Virtual (ATS
Virtual) – the industry’s premier virtual trade show –
re-connected, was held from May 25 to 29 for the first time
since the COVID-19 pandemic shut down business and travel. More
than 100 international manufacturers from across four continents
worldwide and over 1,500 attendees from more than 35 countries
took part in this debut in the industry.
“Retail is slowly beginning to re-open in
North America, but international travel bans and face-to-face
meeting restrictions are still bottle-necking traditional
methods of trade. The apparel industry is built on long-distance
connections, international travel, and sourcing. The virtual
format and timing were ideal for companies who need to connect
and source directly. Brands, retailers, entrepreneurs, and
designers were eager to try something new, interact together and
get back to business,” said Jason Prescott, CEO of JP
Communications, producers of ATS Trade Shows.
Major brands and retailers signed up for
this unique virtual event, including Nike, Kohl’s, Nordstrom,
REI, Giant Tiger, Grafton Apparel, Bealls, Burton, Canada
Sportswear, brrr!, Li & Fung and many more.
Over 100 apparel and textile
manufacturers’ interactive booths were featured virtually,
stocked full of ready-to-order apparel, textiles, home textiles,
and fashion accessories. In addition to the virtual exhibition
booths and thousands of available readymade apparel and textile
fabrics, attendees received direct access to fully interactive
live broadcasting with manufacturers, expert-led seminars and
free professional matchmaking.
Matchmaking is a game changer at ATS
events. With hundreds of exhibitors from all corners of the
world and thousands of attendees, many require connecting.
Partner B2B trade platforms TopTenWholesale.com, and
Manufacturer.com, with over 2 million members, handled all
matchmaking for all exhibitors and attendees, free-of-charge, in
advance or during all ATS events. The matchmaking team live
broadcasted every minute during the five-day long event.
“The purpose of a trade show is to connect
and facilitate trade. We chose to live broadcast our
matchmaking, our content, and our education activities. This
live approach opened the curtain and proved to be the asset that
vaulted our first virtual event to the next level. Live
streaming was a rousing success,” adds Prescott.
All 20 ATS virtual seminars were made
available on Zoom, Facebook Live, and via the ATS Virtual Live
Broadcast Room. The ATS Virtual event promoted education through
three tracts of expert-led sessions and panels, covering
industry, sustainability, and fashion.
in the spotlight
Apparel industry leaders Julia K. Hughes,
President of USFIA and Bob Kirke, Executive Director of Canadian
Apparel Federation discussed “The North American Apparel Market
Mercedes Gonzalez, Founder and Director of
Global Sourcing Companies, spoke about “What Retailer Buyers are
Thinking Post COVID-19”.
Rich Harper, Outdoor Industry Association
Manager of International Trade, talked about “How An Uncertain
Trade Environment is Impacting the Industry of Apparel and
Marc Sidler, Chief Marketing Officer of
TESTEX, spoke about the “Global Textile Testing & Certifications
During- and Post-Pandemic”.
J. Kirby Best, CEO of US-based OnPoint
Manufacturing, spoke about “On-Demand Manufacturing and the
Fashion Industry Post COVID-19”.
Worldwide Responsible Accredited
Production CEO, Avedis Seferian, spoke on “Responsible Sourcing
in the Post-Pandemic World”.
Global Senior Sustainability Manager of
major US Outdoor brand Burton, Jenn Swain, spoke on the topic
“Is Climate Action My Business? 2020 and Beyond”.
Upcycle Founder, Gabriella Smith,
discussed “Sustainable Fashion During COVID-19: The Upcycle
Laurie Pressman, Vice-President of Pantone
Color Institute, gave future insights via her session,
“Botanica: Cooperation and Hope for 2021/2022 from Pantone Color
Pantone also presented “How Digital
Solutions for Color Capture, Design, and Communication Can
Streamline your End-to-End Color Workflow”, featuring Pantone
executives Adrienne Collins and Nick Bazarian.
Rising designers launching fashion brands
and apparel start-ups benefited from fashion and design leaders,
namely, Anna Livermore, Founder of Vmora; Christine Daal,
Founder of Fashion Angel Warrior; and Frances Harder, Founder of
Fashion for Profit, as they all passed on their knowledge and
passion by contributing 10 sessions focused on fashion, design,
and sourcing for start-ups.
ATS Virtual was built in one month as an
answer to the COVID-19 pandemic and served as a replacement for
the third edition of ATS-Miami trade show, which was moved from
May 27-29, 2020 to November 11-13, 2020. “Virtual is an
immersive experience all to itself, which cannot be compared to
a physical trade show. For international trade and
sourcing-related industries historically tied to travel and
trade events to transact, virtual is a remarkable solution. It’s
not tied to any geographic location… so, let’s embrace it now!,
” said Prescott.
The ATS brand of events features annual
shows in Toronto, Montreal, and Miami. It partners with the
China Chamber of Commerce for Import & Export of textiles and
apparel, and many other international governments,
organizations, and agencies. The 2020 ATS Virtual event saw its
largest contingent of manufacturers in attendance from China’s
Zhejiang Province, with over 50 exhibitors.