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On Sunday 13th June, the Digital Connection went live – a virtual platform that will accompany and augment the on site edition of Expo Riva Schuh & Gardabags (from July 18th to 20th). On this occasion, the top management of Riva del Garda Fierecongressi presented the contents of the summer edition

The impact of the pandemic on the footwear and leather goods sectors has been enormous and has  caused a significant contraction to the global industry. Trade fairs too have been closed and diverted to online events which, despite having the benefit of maintaining contact between companies and buyers, do not, however, allow the touch & feel experience essential for the products in these  sectors. So what can be done to move on?

Roberto Pellegrini, Chairman of Riva del Garda Fierecongressi, inaugurated the summer edition of Expo Riva Schuh & Gardabags on the Digital Connection, the evolved platform of the event, explaining what will drive the international footwear and accessory trade fair of Riva del Garda in aiming to accelerate the recovery of its community. “We have focused on a phygital event - he explained - which will allow us to aggregate the exchange of information and knowledge, along with the simple exchange of products, whilst realising that this is the formula for a successful event for all participants. We are the first trade fair in Italy to restart after the pandemic and we will be doing it in complete safety: the on site event that will take place from July 18th to 20th, will prioritise the safety of companies and buyers, thanks to a series of initiatives, such as the possibility to book your visit online, reducing crowding to a minimum and ensuring social distancing. The premises will be disinfected and a medical team will be present… all of this to ensure that our community can work safely and with utmost peace of mind.” 

As far as the online aspect of the event is concerned, the Digital Connection will kick off the summer edition of the fair, before, during and after the physical event. Alessandra Albarelli – Managing Director of Riva del Garda Fierecongressi explains the content: “We have implemented the digitization process, which first started in January, and we are now ready to offer new, exciting content. Easy and intuitive to use, this new platform facilitates business and networking between companies and buyers, allowing you to view collections and add your favourite products to your wish-list. You can also find information and open direct communication channels with multiple interaction tools such as messaging and virtual meetings... But that’s not all. It will also host a rich programme of events entrusted to a Scientific Committee that will explore important issues for our sectors, with the contribution of internationally renowned speakers. At the head of this committee is the chairman, Enrico Cietta, CEO of Diomedea, the vice chairman, Matteo Pasca, CEO of AF Editions and the Arsutoria School, together with Ellen Schmidt-Devlin, head of Oregon University’s Sport Product Programme, Rossella Ravagli, from UNIDEC and the Pistoletto Foundation and Alberto Mattiello from the Innovation Retail Hub.”

Amongst the issues being discussed during the Expo Riva Show live talks is sustainability, which is an integral part of the DNA of Expo Riva Schuh & Gardabags: “Sustainability is a theme that is sometimes abused: I would like to reiterate that our fair is the first in Italy to be certified as a sustainable event - explains Roberto Pellegrini. The activity concerns recycling, the involvement of suppliers in sustainability objectives, continuous monitoring and much more.

Here are the forthcoming dates:

95th edition of Expo Riva Schuh - 18/19/20 July 2021 | Riva del Garda (Italy)

6th edition of Gardabags - 18/19/20 July 2021 | Riva del Garda (Italy)

Digital Connection - 13 June - 30 September 2021 | The online platform of the fair

Further information is available at:

Information regarding Covid-19 containment measures can be found here:

Press accreditations available here:

Tickets + and free registration for the Digital Connection platform are available here: