ITA 2020 virtual show ends on a positive note

ITA 2020 virtual show ends on a positive note

The textile and apparel industry’s pioneering virtual trade show: Innovate Textile & Apparel (ITA), the event—which ran from 15-30 October 2020—has shaped up to be the virtual show of the year.


The textile and apparel industry’s pioneering virtual trade show: Innovate Textile & Apparel (ITA), the event—which ran from 15-30 October 2020—has shaped up to be the virtual show of the year.

The Innovate Textile & Apparel virtual trade show provided an opportunity for companies from across the globe to showcase innovation in manufacturing technology and materials, network and forge new partnerships, while respecting travel bans and safety measures brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Based around technology and materials, the event had over 160 exhibitors from 26 countries. It featured manufacturers of textile technology as diverse as man-made fibre production through to garment assembly and finishing, alongside material producers for apparel, sportswear, personal protective equipment (PPE) through to smart fabrics.

With over 10,500 visitors from 50+ countries, the Innovate Textile & Apparel virtual trade show allowed attendees to explore two virtual halls with separate but with interlinking themes: technology and materials. The Technology Hall showcased technological innovations, textile machinery and software, whereas the Materials Hall will display innovations in fibres, yarns, fabrics and apparel.

Exhibitor’s virtual booths contained everything from videos of machines operating to fabric technical specifications, and booth visitors made appointments or used a chat option to communicate with exhibitors. The platform allowed for lead generation and visitor insight.

Mark Jarvis, Managing Director, WTiN, comments: “The cancellation of live exhibitions this year presented an opportunity to test the effectiveness of a virtual trade show. Visitors engaged with the exhibitors, and exhibitors generated new sales opportunities.”v

As well as a conference and a multitude of seminars, the event also hosted daily roundtable discussions with key industry figures across wide ranging topics from biodegradable materials, PPE, and sustainable finishing to reshoring, localised manufacturing and the digitalisation of the textile and apparel value chain.

The event is sponsored by global technology company RICOH. Tetsuya Morita, corporate vice president, general manager, IP Business Group RICOH, explains why the company chose to sponsor Innovate Textile & Apparel: “COVID-19 has severely impacted the textile industry events calendar. We all did miss Drupa in June, but now we are an active supporter of WTiN’s Innovate Textile & Apparel virtual trade show. This means Covid-19 also presented us with new opportunities. While at Ricoh we have adapted well to remote working and communicating digitally with our clients, this is our first time at an entirely virtual trade show. I hope we can fulfil the expectations of our international audience.”

Platform & Engagement Points
The Innovate Textile & Apparel platform itself was designed and built by WTiN so that a customised, flexible experience can be provided to exhibitors and visitors, along with the best and most reliable technology.

The platform was live 24/7 for the duration of the show and key aspects of the event were available in multiple languages including Chinese, English, Japanese, Spanish and Turkish.

Event organisers, World Textile Information Network (WTiN), built their own virtual platform with exhibitors and visitors in mind, and the show gathered support from more than 100 leading industry organisations and associations such as the Association of the Nonwoven Fabrics Industry (INDA), the International Apparel Federation (IAF), American Apparel Producers’ Network (AAPN), the UK Fashion & Textile Association (UKFT), the American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists (AATCC), International Federation of Association of Textile Chemists and Colourists (IAFTCC) and the Brazilian Technical Textiles and Nonwovens Associations (ABNIT).

Chinky Tyagi, head of Business Development at WTiN, says: “Maximising the visitor experience is crucial to us and we believe that with all the features we have built into the show, such as the conference, roundtables, functional booths, networking opportunities and Engagement Points among much more, we have created a holistic, exciting and profitable experience for both the exhibitor and visitor. We look forward to showing the industry what we have been working on!”

Exhibitor booths, which are functional, had several inbuilt design elements, with room for individual customisation. These design elements include several functionalities such as videos, brochures and other exhibitor content and seminar platforms. These features ensure visitors can find out everything they need to know about the exhibitor, through a variety of mediums, including finding out about the exhibitors latest technological or material innovations.