Held on June 10-13, 2017 in Riva del Garda, Italy, the 88th edition welcomed 1,464 exhibitors from over 40 countries, who presented their Spring/Summer 2018 collections. New national pavilions included South Africa, Bulgaria and Russia. During his visit to the fair, the Consul General of South Africa in Milan spoke about the importance of the footwear sector for the South African economy, and the growing need for its manufacturers to participate in international events in order to boost exports. An important delegation of French buyers is also reported to have attended the show.

“At Expo Riva Schuh, we have reached an optimal ratio between the number of exhibitors and buyers who visit the fair”, said Giovanni Laezza, General Manager, Riva del Garda Fierecongressi.At the moment, the ratio is 1 to 10: it is ideal to guarantee high-quality business, a key factor in this event. In addition, we have noticed the increasing presence of new professionals among the visitors, very often related to the development of e-commerce”, he added. Primarily focussed on high volume footwear, some high-end producers looking for business partners to develop samples and collections also attended the event, say the organisers.

The trend towards omni-channelling, the integrated management of the various sales channels, which is leading to a rethinking of the season-based system and to a different perception of the concept of brand, was highlighted during a conference on the opening day.

‘The Expo Riva Schuh Around the World’ project seeks to give visibility to “the most interesting emerging markets”. A fair was launched in South Africa in April, and the organisers say they will soon enter Russia and Bulgaria. “Our goal is to increase the international dimension of our fair. This means not only giving more professional opportunities to businesses and visitors, but also knowing how to identify and – whenever possible – anticipate new market trends”, said Roberto Pellegrini, Chairman, Riva del Garda Fierecongressi.

Next edition of Expo Riva Schuh will be held January 13-16, 2018.