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Design Expo Evolution Amsterdam Hits Stride Despite Travel Restrictions Due to Pandemic

September 30, 2020

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There was plenty of space at the Verbeekdesigns booth during Evolution Amsterdam. Courtesy Evolution Amsterdam.
There was plenty of space at the Verbeekdesigns booth during Evolution Amsterdam. Courtesy Evolution Amsterdam.

AMSTERDAM – Evolution Amsterdam, the expo where 110 textile designers showed to converters, wholesalers, and mills, was held Sept. 2-4 despite travel restrictions due to the pandemic.

Even though attendance was sparse, down about 80% from last year, organizers say people had an upbeat mood at the fair.

We had “substantial less customers, as expected, nevertheless those who did attend the show, bought designs,” says Chris Verbeek, owner of Verbeekdesigns and CEO of Evolution Fair. “We got plenty of compliments from the studios and visitors, which was nice after all the setbacks that we had.”

Heimtextil recently announced the largest textile fair would be postponed until May 4-7, 2021.

Evolution Amsterdam started last year to fill the void left with the sudden closing of MoOD+Indigo.

Amsterdam provided an ideal venue, Verbeek says, because most of the city’s restaurants have reopened and some hotel rates have dropped by as much as 70%.

Throughout the summer, European Union leaders have restricted foreign travelers entering Europe to limit the spread of COVID-19.

The list is being updated regularly, but U.S. travelers have been banned so far, including with the most recent list on Aug. 7. EU leaders have barred U.S. travelers and other countries because they have not been able to control the coronavirus.

This year, most Evolution Amsterdam customers came from Europe as well as Russia, Scandinavia, China, Korea, and South Africa, Verbeek says.

“Some studios did surprisingly better than the year before, which proves that a ‘good’ or a ‘bad’ show sometimes depends on one or two customers,” Verbeek says. “Others were satisfied as it brought them more than they expected. It could be in terms of sales, commissions or just in new contacts.”

PARTICPANTS REACTIONS

“All felt comfortable with the COVID-19 protocols that we followed,” Verbeek says. “As it was not too busy, customers had plenty of space to feel safe.”

He adds the venue, called The Gashouder, provided amble space for personal interactions with social distancing in mind.

“The new hall was breathtaking, and as the shape of the hall is round, no exhibitor was somewhere in a hard-to-reach corner,” Verbeek says.

Verbeek says,We will absolutely continue organizing this event, as even in this difficult time, the overall outcome of the show was positive.”

The next Evolution Amsterdam fair would have been in May, but since Heimtextil changed its dates to May 4-7, the next Evolution Amsterdam is scheduled for Sept. 7-9, 2021.
 


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