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101st edition of Expo Riva Schuh & Gardabags: satisfaction and further internationalisation

Over 9,000 visitors, growth from Latin America and Europe, especially Germany and Italy for the Riva del Garda trade fair

Fairs news

June 2024

101st edition of Expo Riva Schuh & Gardabags: satisfaction and further internationalisation

More than 9,000 people attended the fair, marking significant growth compared to both January 2024 and last year’s June edition.

The return of several countries to Riva del Garda following the pandemic was also notable: Uzbekistan, Rwanda, Falkland Island, Eritrea, Suriname, completing an ever-widening global representation (100 countries).


“Over the fair days, we have seen a widespread and overall sense of satisfaction,” says Roberto Pellegrini, President of Riva del Garda Fierecongressi. “In particular, I think it is important to highlight the increase in visitors from Latin America and Europe, and especially the significant return of buyers from Germany and Italy, up from June 2023.”


Buyers whose voices met those of 1,300 exhibitors, brands and companies representing 40 countries, including the world’s major producers (80% international, 20% Italian) spread across a total exhibition area of 50,000 square metres, 11 fully occupied halls and 4 participating hotels. The Gardabags area dedicated to bags, luggage and accessories was hosted by 47 companies from Bangladesh, China, Germany, India, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Taiwan and Turkey.


The voices spoke not only of the new collections for the upcoming Spring Summer 2025 season, but also echoed throughout the 19 events that animated the 4-day fair. All aimed at offering a complete overview of the footwear, bags and fashion accessories market: from the analysis of consumer trends to the showcasing of several exhibitors’ models, carefully selected for the Highlights Area; from the in-depth analysis of markets in different countries through the Market Focuses to the celebration of the event’s 50th anniversary with the highly successful Summer Celebration Nights .


“The enthusiastic participation in all the events we offered at this edition has validated our vision: to innovate the trade fair format and provide an event that enhances business opportunities well beyond the traditional stand space. We recognised the importance of going beyond the ‘mere’ organisation of a trade fair and the value of encouraging strong relationships among industry players. We are already seeing the results of these efforts with the emergence of a genuine community that conducts business at Riva del Garda in a totally unique atmosphere and style,” says the General Manager of Riva del Garda Fierecongressi, Alessandra Albarelli.


At the 101st edition too, there was a high focus on innovation dedicated to distribution, thanks to the presence of 10 startups from 7 countries: The renewed interest in Innovation Village Retail further underscores the invaluable role of innovation in the fashion industry, of which the industry itself has proven to be keenly aware.


In particular, the presentation by Tymely, which integrates process mining, automation tools, AI and LLM to model customer service processes in the retail sector, caught the attention of the 18 jurors tasked with selecting the winner of the Startup Competition. A solution enabling up to 80% automation of customer service tasks and the handling of even the most complex tickets. While existing “chatbot” solutions mainly address frequently asked questions, Tymely also deals with requests requiring deep system access, with ticket coverage reaching an unprecedented 80%, including partial order exchanges, changed shipping addresses, returns and more.


Tymely and the other two finalist startups (Fibble and YouAddict), will accompany the fair organisers to Copenhagen during the next stage of Expo Riva Schuh & Gardabags Around the World, where innovation dedicated to distribution will be promoted in collaboration with the Danish Retailers Association.


And if a voice often tells more than words, the tone of this edition undoubtedly resounds with optimism: “This year of record growth, in which we also celebrated 50 years of business and 100 editions, motivates us to further pursue internationalisation, ensuring the best possible matching of supply and demand. So, we will continue to visit industry players all around the world with the Expo Riva Schuh & Gardabags Around the World project. We will head to China, India and Turkey in the coming months seeking to further expand the diversity of collections available at the next edition from 11 to 14 January 2025,” concludes GianPaola Pedretti, Exhibition Manager.

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