• Linkdin

Interview with Walker Erwin

Walker Erwin
Walker Erwin
Marketing Manager – Fashion + Apparel
Messe Frankfurt Inc
Messe Frankfurt Inc

Our focus remains on being a leading platform for the textile and apparel industries
Messe Frankfurt is the organiser of Texworld New York City and Apparel Sourcing New York City, the east coast’s leading event for the textile sourcing industry. The co-located events in New York represent a unique opportunity for industry professionals to connect, learn, and grow. From curated trend presentations to networking opportunities, the shows offer a comprehensive experience designed to empower both attendees and exhibitors and drive success in today’s competitive marketplace. Ahead of the co-located shows Texworld and Apparel Sourcing New York City, Home Textiles Sourcing, and Printsource, scheduled for July 16- 18, 2024, at the Javits Center, New York City, Messe Frankfurt’s Marketing Manager – Fashion + Apparel Walker Erwin speaks to Fibre2Fashion about the objectives and highlights of the event.

Can you provide an overview of the strategic objectives for Texworld and Apparel Sourcing New York City this year?

Our strategic objectives this year focus on fostering innovation, sustainability, and global collaboration within the textile and apparel industry. We are dedicated to curating a dynamic event that inspires creativity, promotes responsible sourcing, and facilitates meaningful business connections.

How do the themes and focus areas of Texworld NYC evolve year-on-year?

The themes and focus areas evolve each edition to reflect the changing dynamics of the industry and address emerging trends and challenges. We collaborate closely with industry experts and trend forecasters to pinpoint themes and subjects that deeply connect with our audience.

What are the main challenges you face when marketing large-scale trade shows like Texworld NYC and Apparel Sourcing NYC?

Some of the key challenges we face in marketing large-scale shows include reaching diverse segments of the industry effectively and navigating the rapidly evolving digital landscape to maximise our impact. Despite these challenges, we remain committed to employing innovative marketing tactics, fostering strategic partnerships, and delivering compelling content to drive awareness, engagement, and participation in our events.

Could you discuss any new features or highlights attendees can expect at the upcoming Texworld NYC event?

At the Summer 2024 event, attendees can expect several exciting new features designed to enhance their experience, including innovative matchmaking services, enhanced educational offerings, expanded product categories, and much more.
In addition, we are excited to debut a new digitised trend+ marketplace in partnership with Material Exchange, providing attendees with access to the latest industry trends and innovations in a convenient and immersive digital format. Also joining the show floor, our new exhibitor pitch area will offer exhibitors the opportunity to showcase their latest products, innovations, and capabilities directly to attendees.

How has digital transformation impacted the way you market these events?

We have embraced a variety of digital tools and platforms to enhance our reach, engagement, and overall effectiveness. From leveraging social media platforms and targeted online advertising to optimise our website for search engines and user experience, digital transformation has allowed us to reach our target audience more precisely, effectively, and on a much more personal level.

What role does sustainability play in the marketing and execution of Texworld NYC?

From a marketing perspective, we emphasise our commitment to sustainability across all communication channels, highlighting initiatives, partnerships, educational opportunities, and exhibitors that prioritise eco-friendly practices.
Additionally, Messe Frankfurt’s Texpertise Network is realigning its sustainability activities at its more than 50 textile trade fairs in 12 countries. Under the new communicative umbrella Texpertise ‘Econogy', Texworld events will provide advanced orientation on sustainability for buyers. 

How do you measure the success of Texworld and Apparel Sourcing NYC? What metrics or KPIs do you focus on?

We use a combination of metrics including but not limited to exhibitor and attendee numbers, satisfaction feedback, and physical and digital engagement. With these KPIs, we can comprehensively assess the success of our events, identify areas for improvement, and continually enhance the value we provide to our participants.

How do you leverage partnerships and collaborations to enhance the value offered at Texworld and Apparel Sourcing events?

Our highly valued partnerships and collaborators enhance our events in many different ways: Leading industry expertise as well as enhanced educational programmes, innovative showcases and networking opportunities, global reach, sustainability and digital solutions, as well as continued growth and expansion of our events.

What trends are currently shaping the textile and apparel sourcing industries, and how are these reflected in the planning of Texworld NYC?

There are several key trends currently shaping the industry, some of which include sustainability and eco-friendly practices, technological innovations and digitisation, personalisation, and sourcing diversification. Each of these trends are emphasised through dedicated special feature areas and showcases, educational sessions, easily identified exhibitor segments, and diverse international pavilions. By integrating these trends into our planning, we can ensure the events remain relevant, forward-thinking, and valuable, addressing the current and future needs of the industry.

What advice would you give to new brands or startups looking to make the most out of their participation in Texworld NYC?

For new brands or startups joining us at Texworld NYC, I recommend the following: 
  • Set your intentions – plan ahead (pre-event) on your goals, whether it is finding new suppliers, networking, learning about industry trends, or all of the above. Research the exhibitors and sessions in advance to make your experience more productive. 
  • Utilise our services – all attendees have complimentary access to services including matchmaking, leading educational seminars, trend showcases, and networking opportunities. 
  • Come with an open mind – we want all of our attendees to leave our events with new valuable connections and sourcing opportunities, inspiration, and actionable knowledge. Be ready to learn from others and embrace new ideas! 

Looking towards the future, what are some long-term goals for Texworld and Apparel Sourcing NYC?

Moving forward, the Texworld and Apparel Sourcing NYC team is committed to pushing boundaries, promoting sustainability, and fostering a diverse international community. Our focus remains on being a leading platform for the textile and apparel industries and ensuring every participant leaves our events feeling empowered with renewed enthusiasm, knowledge, and business opportunities.
Published on: 01/07/2024

DISCLAIMER: All views and opinions expressed in this column are solely of the interviewee, and they do not reflect in any way the opinion of Fibre2Fashion.com.

This interview was first published in the Jul 2024 edition of the print magazine