The show, which ran from September 19-21, also threw a spotlight onto how brands’ approach to trade shows is evolving. Particularly noticeable were the smaller and more directly operational teams and shorter visits caused by the impact of an uncertain economy – slowing consumption in Europe, uncertainties related to Brexit, the monetary crisis in Turkey, and global growth weakened by U.S. economic policy.
We chose to place our booth in the so-called ‘Smart Square’ – a 1,000 m² space that drew praise for the scope of materials, finished products, services and conferences on offer within in it. The Smart Square was dedicated to eco-friendly production and creation to address the industry’s future challenges, served as the meeting point for a creative and reasoned fashion sector.
The reason we opted for a presence in the Smart Square was that we felt many people were looking for alternatives to leather because they have been told it is an unsustainable material. By showing our latest technologies, we could open minds to the big possibilities our products offer, while another appealing aspect was that it would enable us to challenge common misinformation during the show. With teaching and information as our angle, we could also promote the Stahl Campus concept, something that drew interest from a lot of people representing brands, associations and tanners, among others.
Our sustainability report proved to be the most important document on display. It helped us to communicate the right information about the innovative solutions within our distinctive portfolio and ensured visitors to our booth got the point straight away. Along with the report, we also showed leather samples and collection books to grab the attention of passing creatives and the generally curious, and showed the application of the innovative solutions we talked about, such as Stahl EasyWhite TanTM, an alternative to both chrome and vegetable tanning, for example.
Along with the booth, we also took part in meetings during the event. Michel Costello, our sustainability director, introduced a life cycle assessment (LCA) method for leather. Rather than talking about Stahl, he chose to talk about LCA and the leather industry overall. His aim was to open people’s minds to the need for a transparent supply chain in which all aspects are taken care into consideration. The approach worked, drawing visitors to our booth in search of more information about LCA and Stahl.
Account Manager European Marques Marketing & Client Relationship – Apparel & Luxury Goods segments