Puma at Project in February, 2013.

Advanstar, owners of fashion trade shows such as Magic and Project, launched their ecommerce trade show version, Shop the Floor back in February, 2013. This allowed vendors and buyers to basically shop the trade show online 30 days before and after the actual event in Las Vegas.

Similar to other companies moving to online trade show platforms, this was Magic’s attempt at moving into the digital realm. This is because the fashion industry has had to catch-up to today’s digital age and the growing number of online trade shows such as LeNewBlack that are changing the course of the industry. It is a strong indication that even though the fashion industry tends to be slow when it comes to digital and mobile commerce and technology, there are some brands, fans, and industry leaders who get how a new generation of consumers shop and why.

Last week, Advanstar announced another enhancement to their Shop the Floor concept by partnering with Ballun Inc. a provider of B2B ecommerce software that will extend their trade shows (including ENK international) to a year-round online platform.

So do you need to even go to the shows or exhibit? Many would still argue yes, given that seeing things on-site can provide a better opportunity for selecting the right merchandise, but online opens the range of the trade shows to a far wider, and more global audience.

Stay tuned for more when we cover the upcoming Magic, Project, and Modern Assembly shows in Las Vegas, August 19-21, 2013.