Apparel Textile Sourcing Virtual (ATS Virtual) – the industry’s premier virtual trade show – re-connected, from May 25 to 29, the apparel and textile sourcing world 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 massive 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-toorder 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.
Industry Leaders 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 Post COVID-19”.
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 Footwear”.
Marc Sidler, Chief Marketing Officer of TESTEX, spoke about the “Global Textile Testing & Certifications Duringand Post-Pandemic”.
J. Kirby Best, CEO of US-based OnPoint Manufacturing, spoke about “On-Demand Manufacturing and the Fashion Industry Post COVID-19”.
Sustainability Conferences Worldwide Responsible Accredited Production CEO, Avedis Seferian, spoke on “Responsible Sourcing in the
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 Story”.
Fashion Experts on Stage
Laurie Pressman, Vice-President of Pantone Color Institute, gave future insights via her session, “Botanica:
Cooperation and Hope for 2021/2022 from Pantone Color Institute”.
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.
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