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Comment: an opportunity for trade shows to up their game

Graeme Moran

The news that ITE – the trade show organiser behind Scoop, Jacket Required and Birmingham’s Moda – had acquired Pure London was the talk of the aisles at the recent London trade shows.

As the acquisition was only confirmed weeks ago, little is known about ITE’s plans for Pure London and how it might fit into its portfolio going forward. However, now that all of the UK’s key trade shows are owned and operated by the same company, what does this mean for Pure London, the new, bigger stepsister to Scoop and Jacket?

The overriding response from buyers and exhibitors at July’s trade shows was a positive one, but almost all implored that Moda, Pure London and Scoop – once viewed as competitors – must keep their individual identities.

In fact, I think ITE’s biggest focus should be to strengthen and sharpen Pure London and Scoop’s unique elements in order to give both shows a real and definable point of difference, but one that also works alongside the other. They need to create clarity for buyers to understand exactly what each show has to offer, and why they should attend.

For instance, it would be great to see Scoop double down on sourcing the new and interesting international premium brands that it initially focused on, and allow other shows to focus their energy elsewhere, rather than overlapping.

Looking more broadly, the same goes for ITE’s other UK shows Moda and Jacket Required. What will differentiate Pure London from former competitor Moda other than their geographical locations? Or is that enough of a differentiator? And how will menswear-focused show Jacket Required sit beside both Pure London and Moda’s menswear offering?

Pure

New family member: Pure London is acquired by ITE

While differentiation is key, this also offers an opportunity for better alignment. Almost everyone Drapers spoke to at the recent edition of Pure London and Scoop praised the fact that both shows were on at the same time, and that a taxi service was provided for buyers to get between the two.

Over in Berlin, the Premium Group now runs most of the city’s biggest trade shows, including Seek, Bright, Show & Order and Premium, which run concurrently. As these shows linked up over recent years, the group worked hard to keep each show’s personality at its core, but tweaked logistics to enable them to complement one another – with shuttle buses, all-inclusive ticketing, combined guides and brochures, and easily accessible locations – rather than compete with each other.

London should follow suit. Some have suggested that Pure and Scoop being under the same roof, or at least in much closer locations, could create more of a one-stop hub in London for womenswear buyers – and one that will save buyers time and money.

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Location, location, location: could the recent acquisition mean a new site for Scoop?

The elegant Saatchi Gallery location creates a different atmosphere at Scoop compared with the traditional trade exhibition format, but is the space really productive as a buying show? Attendees still seem happy to be among the artwork of the gallery, but I think they’d also welcome a refresh in terms of layout and location. When Scoop temporarily relocated to Old Billingsgate Market for its spring 17 season (as the Rolling Stones had taken over Saatchi Gallery), brands and buyers alike praised the larger venue. 

Similarly, if plans go ahead for Olympia’s £700m redevelopment, might Pure London be looking for a new home while building work takes place? And, once finished, might the extended Olympia be a perfect new setting to house both Scoop and Pure?

Furthermore, if Jacket Required’s dates were shifted in line with both Scoop and Pure’s, could London’s proposition as a key international trade show hub for both menswear and womenswear be strengthened? I could see that really working.

Whatever the outcome, I hope that ITE puts buyers and brands at the forefront of all decisions to make the UK’s trade shows the best they can be. As the UK’s big four exhibitions now sit within the same family, ITE should be making it as smooth and simple as possible for buyers.

Readers' comments (2)

  • The problem that all the U.K shows have is that they are basically dull. This is not helped by a dwindling Independent account base, as many see the shows as something to dip in and out of on an ad-hoc basis, rather than essential visits every season.

    MODA has been on life support for a while and if it were a dog, it would have probably been put down. It's overly expensive and not ideal location has put plenty off, there are the shows nearby that do a better job. It's move to London is long over due before the plugs are pulled.

    Trade shows should be looked at as an event, with lots going on and not shows to just write orders. The best shows were the ones that business was never done! Shows have got too political and I've heard that they are still knocking back brands who don't meet 'profile' and that has to stop.

    Monopoly's are never useful, therefore ITE have their work cut out to get buyers and exhibitors to continue to support events where they don't actually need to be.

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  • Great Article !!! .
    Wish to Just add Checkout : https://displaysolution.ca/ : We Create Trade Show Displays and All Products for Trade Exhibitions. Design your own Display for 2019 Trade Show Here with exclusive offers and budget packages

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