Similar to last year, when we asked this question to our representative sample of 13-25-year-olds across 49 different locations, we left this as an opened-ended question to allow respondents the opportunity to name top things a sponsor can do to grab their attention. The results were put into buckets of top responses.

Overall, the most important thing a sponsor can do to attract attention is to Give out free stuff at 40%, which has increased from 33.8% last year. This drops to Support a good cause at 10.4% which has increased since last year from 3.5% and indicates the growing importance of humanitarian, environmental, and the philanthropic nature of today’s youth culture in North American overall. This aspect should be noted (see also our Humanitarian Youth (Green Marketing) Culture Profile Report 2008).

3rd overall at 8.1% is Approach and talk to me at events, which has increased from 4.6% last year and indicates another significant change for the sponsorship and advertising industries (especially for those trying to attract females). This is followed by 7.4% that say Endorse Musicians/Bands I like in your marketing; 6.4% say Have a friendly staff that care about what they are promoting; 5.8% say Create creative, eye-catching marketing; 5.5% say Give out product samples; 2.5% say Use good music I like in ads and at events, which is tied with Make your booth interactive; 2.2% say Use humor in ads and at events; 2.1% say Use a celebrity to endorse your product; and 1.8% say Be honest in ads and messages, which is tied with Be involved in my lifestyle (see charts and graphs for additional top aspects).

Based on years covering and producing events and sponsorship programs around the world, we often see poorly executed sponsorship programs based on a disconnect between the brand sponsoring an event, and the actuation on site–usually performed by the agency. This is often indicated with using music that doesn’t reflect the audience, unoriginal ads and booth features, bad product samples that have nothing to do with the audience, too complicated on-site sponsorship ideas, and a lack of truly creative and original marketing. In addition, many young people are interested in charities or the brand’s relationship to non-profits, and honesty in ads and marketing. The overall results to this question quantify what tends to work in sponsorship programs to grab attention vs. what doesn’t.

By gender, there are some interesting differences to note. First and foremost, while both genders rank Give out free stuff as #1, 46.8% of males rank this as the #1 aspect compared with 38% of females. Support a good cause is 2nd for both genders indicating the importance of non-profits and association with non-profits, especially among females at 10.9% compared with 8.5%–even though this is very high for males as well. Other distinct differences by gender are that 8.6% of females say Approach and talk to me at events compared with 6.1% of males. Generally, this tactic is not as well received among young males as we’ve also noted in last year’s Report. Other distinct differences by gender are that 7.9% of females say Endorse Musicians/Bands I like in your marketing compared with 5.6% of males, and 7.1% of females said Have friendly staff that care about what they are promoting compared with 3.7% of males. For this latter concern, we still find it quite interesting that often on-site personal come across to attendees as not really caring about the brand they’re representing. However in many cases, it’s not that the person managing on site that starts off as being negative, but rather, they feel disconnected or that the brand they are working with doesn’t value their input and feedback, resulting in a lackadaisical attitude on site.

Other differences to note are that 7% of males say Create creative eye-catching marketing compared with 5.4% of females. Humor and being involved in my lifestyle are also two other aspects that are higher among males that females.

Overall, by gender (and age groups), there are distinct differences in preferences in the very ONE thing that can capture their attention and should be noted. This can make all of the difference in making or breaking a campaign and such traits unfortunately are often not measured or simply overlooked, resulting in poor execution of sponsorship or advertising strategies -which ironically is often blamed on the event itself instead of the sponsorship program.

In its 7th year, Bread & Butter Barcelona from July 2-4th provided an excellent reprieve for weary American fashion players starting right off with an opening party that had everyone dancing despite the hot temps of the prime Mediterranean season, a great performance from The Hives, and of course, the special Catalonian location of Fira de Barcelona.

From the roller skaters in front of the Wrangler booth, to the rhino graphics in the area known as Denim Base, not to mention the breakdancers in the crowded Sport & Style area, Bread & Butter embodied more than simply a fashion trade show, but as in seasons past, becomes an inspirational little “city” unto it’s own, which this summer, attracted 89,168 fashion industry professionals.

While most attendees still come from Spain, Italy, and Portugal, those coming from the USA did mark a modest .4% increase. Other increases could be accounted for from Eastern Europe and South America. Overall, according to Bread & Butter, it was a 2.5% decrease from last year, which isn’t that significant of a drop considering the current state of the global economy. One reason for the draw this year was also because of the introduction of The Source area -for fashion textiles, particularly denim. This area, which was like a show within a show including its own registration, had another 4,983 registrations with 57 exhibitors.

Interestingly, the Source area ended up being one of the highlights of Bread & Butter, which is quite rare for a sourcing area to accomplish. This was mainly because of the high-end exhibitors and the 2nd day denim conference held with the world’s most renowned denim designers, Elio Fiorucci, Fran%uFFFDois Girbaud and Adriano Goldschmied, who all shared their experiences in denim and their opinion on the fashion fabrics industry’s current situation. According to the show director and co-founder, Karl-Heinz Muller about the Source, “We will definitely stick to the consequent selection of our exhibitors. We are only interested in creative developers and high-quality producers. They mainly come from Europe, Maghreb and Japan.”

The theme for Bread & Butter Barcelona this summer, called The New Order, used a graph-paper-like, sleek design like a pattern in red, off-white, and black, which was carried throughout the show. B&B T-shirts for sale in the Bread & Butter Fetish area from which proceeds go to non-profits benefiting children in Eastern Europe, to the T-shirts and badges worn by the plethora of workers, added to the continuity of the show floor. The concept with The New Order was that brands “profile” themselves based on the various areas they were located, including Sport & Street, Denim Base, Sportswear, Fashion Now, and Urban Superior, among other smaller enclaves for individual presentations and exhibitions. Interestingly, while many people in the U.S. consider “profiling” of their brand not a good idea (no one wants to be pigeon-holed even though classification can make it easier to sell), when it came to Bread & Butter, the U.S. brands were totally OK with the concept. That’s because as the U.S. dollar sinks compared to the Euro, Bread & Butter Barcelona has become the new key location for many American street fashion labels, including Lemar & Dauley, JB Classics, Undrcrwn, Famous Stars & Straps, Crooks & Castles, Creative Recreation, Akademiks, Atticus, Osiris, WeSC, Volcom, among many others.

According to Dre Hayes from The Foundation in New York, which represents U.S. brands such as Creative Recreation, WeSC, Hellz Bellz, Alife, and others, “Bread and Butter was great for our brands. We only had two of our brands participate. One was Creative Recreation and the other was WESC.  The Creative Recreation booth was packed the entire show. Creative Recreation has exploded in Europe, much like the U.S. WESC has always been strong in Europe, especially since they are based there.”

For Runar Omarsson, GM and Co-Founder of Nikita Clothing and Nikita Selekzion based out of Reykjavik, Iceland, “We saw a decrease in orders this year as many others experienced, but Bread & Butter is still the most important global fashion trade show out there.”

Rocksmith from New York also showcased at Bread & Butter and had a fantastic booth with a massive boombox design that was packed throughout the show, indicating the desire for such street fashion labels within the European marketplace. Other top brands included Mustang, Levi’s Europe, LRG, Kuyichi, Nudie Jeans, Nixon, Freesoul, Fred Perry, Fox, Antik Denim, Draven Shoes, Fenchurch, Rock & Republic, Oakley, Puma, Scifen, True Religion, Upper Playground, True Religion, True Love & False Idols, Tokidoki, and Zoo York.

Highlights in terms of fashion runway shows had to be the G-star collection, which required getting in line early to attend. Using denim as a canvas for creativity not only in jeans, but spats, armbands, headpieces, shirts, and jackets provided an inspirational note to their Spring/Summer %u201809 collection. Spanish brand Desigual also had great runway shows through the event with their colorful collection, very tactile based, and quite representative of styles and directions popular in southern Europe. Unfortunately, we missed the Ed Hardy runway show, but given that they’re based here and we’ve seen them several times previously, it wasn’t as much of a big deal to us, but reports indicate that they attracted decent-sized audiences interested in their colorful graphics, crystals, and tattoo-artistry inspired collection.

In terms of sections, while the Urban Superior section is probably the most hyped since everyone seems to want to be considered upper urbanwear in Europe (or at least hang out with the Nudie people), the Denim Base and Sport & Style areas carried the show, not only in terms of the variety of brands represented, but also the Spring/Summer ’09 collections on hand. Reebok, for example, took over the base area of Sport & Style as they continue their trek of redefining their brand, while Denim Base captured massive traffic from denim connoisseurs around the world. This is not to say that sections such as Fashion Now are not cool -they did have excellent contemporary brands, and Sportswear, but for example, Fashion Now looks similar to the North Hall of MAGIC and Sportswear brings back familiar hints of what ISPO Summer shows used to be like.

Which brings us back to The Source area, which Karl-Heinz Muller summed up, “In my opinion, it is imperative for the textile retail to get to know more about fabrics, manufacturing, finishing and qualities. The challenge for the more significant retail is to provide the informed end consumer, who is interested in sustainability, with a better, more innovative product. Logically, this has its price. Everyone can do cheap.” This is ironic for a fashion trade show director to note, but also shows his commitment to the truth of the matter and making transparent what’s going on in what’s become an all-too disposable industry: Today’s consumer is far more savvy and experienced when it comes to fashion and are looking for ways to have quality without the high costs that were OK just 6 months ago. They are also looking for sustainable solutions, and this is at the crux of change for fashion.

So, perhaps the most important thing to note from this summer’s Bread & Butter Barcelona, was just how the trade show overall incorporated textiles with manufacturers and retailers together by providing a unique platform for all aspects of the industry.