Another week, another fair ! We are super happy we had the opportunity to ask 6 questions to Chantal Danguillaume, Events Director at PLAYTIME PARIS. A very inspiring talk !
1. After this year and a half confined, it seems everything is coming slowly to its place.. stores are reopening, travel bans are being lifted, summer is here… but still we have to be cautious. We see Playtime Shanghai and New York are maintained but Playtime Paris had to be cancelled.
Yes, everything is slowly coming back to its place, but at different rhythms depending on the continent. Our dear old Europe is not ready for physical events yet indeed and that is the reason why Paris could not take place.
Unlike New York and Shanghai, it is also the most international of all shows and we know that buyers from Asia or America would not have come. So instead of doing it and have a lot of people disappointed, we chose to cancel and wait until January for a great celebration!
Playtime Shanghai and Playtime NY benefit from an entirely different situation and we expect 2 great shows, even though we’ll miss a lot of international brands that won’t be able to travel.
2. How did you, as a team, felt at the beginning of the season that everything could come up as before pandemic times ? What were you feelings to be coming back to a new offline event ?
I don’t think any of us thought we would go back to things as they were before the pandemic, furthermore none of us really want to!
However the preparation of any of our events usually starts 6 months in advance so, even though everything was so uncertain, it was our responsibility to be ready if needed. Things didn’t turn out this way in Europe even though a lot of brands had already signed up and we were all so super excited about the Playtime Paris event! The entire team has been amazingly busy for the past year and a half with the marketplace, but surely seeing our exhibitors face to face is essential and we can’t wait to see them again in Shanghai and New York.
3. How are you dealing with your online platform ? Have you found the balance yet between irl shows and the platform?
The Marketplace has completely taken off and is now the world’s largest B2B platform for kid’s fashion and lifestyle. It has been an amazing challenge because practically from a day to the other it went from 50 brands to 300, with new needs, new ideas, new developments that we worked on day and night! Additionally several other great shows (White Milan, VIEW Paris, Spring and Autumn Fair) started using it too and we built together one of Europe’s largest online B2B community.
4. Press and stylists are an important part of the shows as well, what are you doing for them to not feel left aside in this situation?
We worked closely with all our partners and even met new ones. Inspiration, creativity, savoir-faire, communication, all over the world, are at the source of our activity and we wanted to keep this rich and friendly atmosphere on the digital scene. So it was unthinkable for us not to involve the press and our partners who played along by joining us during our Digital Days.
5. What do you think brands need for this ‘new chapter’ ? Innovation is now part of daily life at brands and business, how do you see yourself with this ?
Brands have different needs depending on their history, but beyond innovation there’s something absolutely essential, and that’s being able to adapt. That’s where we come in.
Our team knows the market well and is trained to help brands who definitely need support. We have years of experience in bringing innovation almost every season, and remember that Playtime was the first B2B trade show ever, much before the pandemic, to have its own online ordering platform.
6. How do you see the relation between brands and press now that almost everything is digital ? Do you believe brands are lacking something ? What do you think they can improve ?
The digital allows brands to reach out to people they could never have met before, but there is a limit to that the moment you want to expand your business. You don’t create a success story on your own, and relying on the press (written, online, influencers, etc.) still proves to be a powerful way to get more exposure. The advantage of the digital is that everything can be measured, so taking the time to analyse that data is the only way to make the best choices for one’s communication strategy on the web.
Find all the informations and enjoy the PLAYTIME WILD DIGITAL DAYS on www.iloveplaytime.com