Expo Riva Schuh and APLF have decided to reschedule their forthcoming shows as the Covid-19 pandemic continues to impact global travel and is even expanding again in some regions such as Europe.

Expo Riva Schuh, the leading international shoe fair for the low and medium segments of the footwear market, has pushed back its winter edition to Jan.16, a Saturday, to Jan.19, a Tuesday. Previously, the exhibition, which is held jointly with the handbag trade fair Gardabags, had to cancel its mid-June edition because of the pandemic. It had also announced that it would bring forward the winter edition to Dec. 11-14, from the traditional mid-January slot, and start the event on a Friday, rather than on a Saturday as usual.

The two shows are held in the quaint Italian town of Riva del Garda. For the forthcoming 94th edition of Expo Riva Schuh and the fifth edition of Gardabags, the organizers plan to offer “phygital” solutions to manage the events. Phygital is a portmanteau word, combining the physical and digital words, that describes blending digital and physical experiences.

The day Expo Riva Schuh announced the rescheduling of the show, the Italian government decided to extend the state of emergency introduced to combat the virus to Jan. 31, 2021 from a previous deadline of Oct. 15, 2020. It is also tightening rules regarding the use of face masks that will become mandatory in all closed spaces, as well as outdoors when in the company of others, unless they are people with whom one lives.

Separately, the organizers of APLF announced that the 2021 edition of APLF-Leather, Materials+ and Fashion Access will be rescheduled from March 30 to April 1 to July 5 -7 at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC).

APLF receives buyers and exhibitors from more than 90 countries and believes that moving the exhibition to July will allow them to benefit from eased travel restrictions to Hong Kong. The organizers claims that the decision was made after extensive consultation with industry partners, associations, exhibitors and buyers

In the meanwhile, APLF will keep the business community connected through digital events. Over the last few months, it organized more than 20 online activities and arranged one-on-one business matching between suppliers and buyers. It added that it is working closely with regional associations to organize exhibitions for the tanning sector. “These events are part of a much larger and exciting project which will be announced in the near future,” APLF pointed out.