Liberty fairs to focus on virtual marketplace, cancels 2020 physical shows

by Stephen Garner

Liberty Fairs will not go forward with its originally-planned August New York and September Las Vegas physical trade shows, according to an email from show organizers to its customers on Wednesday night. Instead, the trade show organizer will focus its resources on developing and supporting its new Virtual Marketplace in partnership with Joor.

“We believe it is our ethical responsibility to revisit physical trade shows at a safer time and with best practices in place, and so are looking towards 2021 with high hopes,” show organizers wrote. “This decision was made with our community’s health and safety in mind. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the future of group gatherings through the end of this year remains unclear even as we closely monitor reopening timelines and border restrictions.”

The marketplace will be built on Joor Passport, which centralizes the trade show experience by creating a one-stop shop for users. It will launch August 3rd in lieu of Liberty’s New York-based trade show.

In Liberty’s virtual marketplace, brands and retailers will interact via virtual showrooms featuring 360-degree imagery and be able to place and manage orders, schedule virtual appointments, and optimize performance and growth through data insights. Brands will also have the ability to highlight their brand stories for retail buyers to discover.

Edwina Kulego
Edwina Kulego

In other Liberty news, the company has tapped former international sales director at Informa Markets, Edwina Kulego, as its new vice president of Liberty Fairs. In her new role, Kulego is tasked with overseeing the Liberty Fairs brand and all its facets.

“I’m so excited to be joining Liberty Fairs,” Kulego tells MR. “The team here is so creative and innovative and they’re actively looking at ways to better serve their customers during this changing time. Physical shows are not going away, if anything, the recent quarantines have made us appreciate in-person interaction. Now we are tasked with embracing a digital approach with physical experience in a new way as we move forward into 2021. We will be reimaging what the physical shows look like, partnering with forward-thinking brands, and developing ways to combine the physical and digital worlds.”

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