Trade fair for bridal fashion, grooms and evening wear in the heart of Europe

Interview with Ulrich Wendel – CEO of the INTERBRIDE


How was it for you and your team to open the gates again after the postponement of Interbride 2020?

That is of course a great feeling. In 2020 Interbride made it clear that a trade fair from the industry can also have consequences that no one could foresee. Interbride 2020 was well booked and it was a difficult decision not to go through with it, the easiest part of the decision was that all exhibitors would get their money back and this was done directly without a delay.

Because we kept the safety of our customers and exhibitors in mind, Interbride made the choice in March 2021 to organize the trade fair in Düsseldorf in mid-July. Now you can say that this was the right decision.

And we are of course very happy that Hall 8B in Düsseldorf is fully booked. To this day exhibitors have been able to change their stands, Interbride shows maximum flexibility in the market. The most important partners of the bridal fashion shops present their collections at the Interbride, the manufacturers guarantee their reliability so the dealers can concentrate on the bridal couples. Postponed and new weddings together form a fantastic reservoir of weddings that our customers can expect in the second half of 2021 and in 2022.

Can you tell us something about the trade fair concept for Interbride 2021 and what are some of the highlights that visitors can expect?

The 2021 Interbride will take place in Hall 8B of Messe Düsseldorf. The service level for visitors is kept as high as possible. Because of this, Interbride has become less of a social event and more of a shopping fair than in years before. All exhibitors will endeavor to present their 2022 collections as pleasantly as possible and to optimize their hospitality in the stand.

It is also important that Interbride takes place on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, all in the interests of the bridal fashion retailers, who can without hesitation fulfill their Saturdays in the shop.

Registration has become much easier for visitors this year. No manufacturer codes are necessary, several teams can register in one go, tickets are valid for every 3 days so maximum flexibility. And of course the tickerts are free for trade visitors and parking lot P2 can be used free of charge. In Hall 8B, several small Inzell lounges are planned for visitors.

And not to forget the most important manufacturers of accessories present at Interbride, these are events in themselves.

A clear marketing strategy for Interbride has also been underway since June 1st. The website is updated, social media posts on Facebook, Instagram and Linkedin #interbride every day, B2B newsletters twice a week, adverts in Sposa Facts magazine as a bridal fashion magazine. Interbride is 'the place to be' this summer.

What precautions have been taken to ensure the safety of visitors and exhibitors?

The starting point is the “Hygiene and infection protection degree of the trade fair and city of Düsseldorf”.

Interbride goes one step further to optimize the safety of your visitors and exhibitors.

Face mask in the corridors; Hands sanitizer columns in several places in the hall; with complete vaccination proof or medical certificate that the visitor has survived covid-19, you do not need a test certificate; Without these, visitors need a test certificate that can not be older than 72 hours; If you have a cold, if you have fever or any covid-19 symptoms, please do not come to the fair.

Unfortunately, this also means that there is no central meeting point for a meeting or snacks, this will probably be in the indoor restaurant and outside Hall 8B, including a nice sun terrace.

Postponing and changing trade fair dates due to the pandemic was difficult for exhibitors and visitors alike. How do you see this and what effects does it have on the number of visitors to Interbride?

That's right, everyone in the market is affected. At the same time, the professional dealers and manufacturers have proven to be able to contribute optimally to the newlyweds.

Probably because we are all used to responding to the individual wishes of each bride and groom. Making appointments is a habit in our industry. Shifting wedding dates has always been an issue. In covid times, almost all bridal couples didn’t canceled their weddings, only postponed them.

We all made this possible. Of course we wanted all of this to be different. Of course, it is not nice that the seamstresses have to make changes again because corona kilos have been added or the bride is pregnant. But we have all proved that we can do this. In many other areas online sales grew during coronavirus. In the bridal fashion, online sales has never been an important topic and in the coronavirus time it even decreased. Personal advice and excellent service are key for our industry.

To answer the second part of your question, we expect buyers to come to the trade fair more specifically to meet the manufacturers they have not yet met and to meet the manufacturers to round off their 2022 orders.

That will certainly result in fewer visitor days than in other years, and yet it is different for each visitor. Have you already attended small events? Or seen agents in business?

One thing is clear, in 2020 and 2021 more will be sold off the shelf. So the bridal fashion stores also want to buy new collections again to be able offer the new bridal couple the newest designs and trends. We are optimistic.

Do you think that despite the pandemic, trade shows will continue to be the preferred way for bridal manufacturers and retailers to do business?

Yes, of course, there are new digital ways that make post-order business easier. Buying a collection from a photo has been around for a long time, regardless of whether it is in a brochure or online. Nevertheless, most dealers would like to feel and experience your new collection. How does the dress or suit look on your bridal couple? Talk to the manufacturer, find out how you would like to develop the partnership further. Discuss new plans that will evolve with them. Our market is constantly evolving. A trade fair like Interbride offers that more than any other option.

What is your outlook for the bridal industry in 2022?

I'm hopeful that a reservoir for postponed weddings and newlyweds is just around the corner. Young people plan their lives, want to get married, start a family, have little to protect and so move on without too much concern. And the families have become more aware of it again, which is clearly important for newlyweds.

What does the future look like for Interbride? Can we expect another summer fair next year?

In any case, you can count on Interbride in 2022, the most important bridal fashion trade fair. Whether the fair for manufacturers and dealers should take place in the summer or in another month can still be judged. Interbride listens to the dealers who visit Interbride, Interbride listens to the manufacturers who use Interbride as an important platform to present their new collections.

Interbride is THE bridal trade fair from the bridal sector for the bridal sector.

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