Like the former GDS, the new Gallery Shoes fair, launched in Düsseldorf in August 2017, wants to attract a higher proportion of foreign exhibitors and buyers. Among other initiatives, a multilingual team will assist visitors at new digital registration columns that will replace the traditional counters at the entrance of the trade show next March 10 to 12.

Around 65 percent of the 500-plus brands exhibiting at the fair will come from outside Germany. The organizers are expecting a total of around 9,800 visitors, with 25 percent of them coming from other countries.

New software is making it possible to save online admission tickets for Gallery Shoes on an app. Other technical updates will be introduced at the shuttle points and inside the shuttles taking the visitors to the fair. The visitors will be able to register digitally inside the shuttle, using a code.

At the same time, Gallery Shoes is becoming more complementary with the Gallery Düsseldorf fashion trade show because of its earlier dates. In fact, 45 percent of the 6,000-odd European professional buyers who attended the last Gallery show in July went specifically to view and order shoes, handbags, leathergoods, jewelry and other accessories.

An increasing number of shoe and accessory firms are taking advantage of a so-called “showroom concept” to participate at both the fashion and footwear shows organized by Igedo. Brands like Café Noir and Lottusse and agencies like One Eleven, Stornello and Xplusplus will show for the first time in the Kaltstahlhalle, home of the showroom concept, at the Gallery show between Jan. 25 and 29.

The actual fashion fair will take place at Düsseldorf's Areal Böhler from Jan. 26 to 28. Many of the new technical registration features will be launched there before being used for Gallery Shoes at the same location.