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Amongst the most anxiously awaited innovations is the creation of a Scientific Committee and the Digital Connection, a virtual route designed to accompany the business and networking of participants before, during and after the fair.

Riva del Garda, 26th May 2021. The key word for the forthcoming on site edition of Expo Riva Schuh & Gardabags – due to take place in Riva del Garda from 18th to 20th July – is just one, news.

After a long break imposed by the precautionary measures, the footwear sector and its leading figures once again feel the need to get together in a physical place to meet up, obtain updates and do business. And from this objective to give a strong signal that we are ready to restart, the need arose for a further enrichment of our format, with the establishment of a Scientific Committee of experts and the enhancement of the Digital Connection” - stated Alessandra Albarelli, Managing Director of Riva del Garda Fierecongressi.

With the aim of consolidating the role of Expo Riva Schuh & Gardabags as a reference point on the international scene and, at the same time, confirming its mission oriented towards all-round support for exhibiting companies and buyers, a Scientific Committee of high-profile experts has been created. This pool of industry players have opted to make their skills available to actively contribute to the implementation of those initiatives aimed at sustainability and innovation that will guide the fair in the coming years.

The committee will be chaired by Enrico Cietta (CEO of Diomedea), with Matteo Pasca (CEO of Arsutoria) as Vice President. Other members include Alberto Mattiello (Head of the Innovation Retail Hub), Ellen Schmidt-Devlin (Co-founder and Executive Director, Sports Product Management Programme at the Oregon University), and Rossella Ravagli (Strategic Advisor and Director of the Three-Year Course of Higher Education in Sustainable Fashion at ‘Accademia Unidee/Fondazione Pistoletto’), whose contribution will be fundamental in amplifying the international vocation of the event. 

An initial taster of the Scientific Committee’s activity will be the debut, on June 13th, of the Digital Connection, a virtual route that will accompany the business of the companies and buyers who head to the fair. It includes numerous virtual networking opportunities and a broad selection of on site and off site events, available until 30th September. And indeed, the first step will be the new edition of Expo Riva SHOW, which will kick off on Sunday 13th June. By registering on the event’s digital platform, users will be able to take part in three days of events aimed at the market, sustainability and sourcing, orchestrated by Sebastiano Zanolli (Manager, Advisor, Author and Speaker).

On day one, a considerable amount of time will be dedicated to the explosion of the topics that featured in the recent analysis of market trends in the footwear and leather goods segment conducted by the fair to provide an overview of the future of these sectors. The focus of the second day will be the debate on those resources (from traceability to communication) that are useful for promoting the development of truly sustainable policies within the fashion world. Day three, on the other hand, will close with an intense programme all about exploring sourcing and the post-pandemic scenario which will steer strategies in the near future, from globalisation to proximity production. 

“The Digital Connection and the entire range of tools and technological services introduced within Expo Riva Schuh & Gardabags will provide an important opportunity to enhance and extend the advantages of participation in our event,” emphasisedRoberto Pellegrini, Chairman of Riva del Garda Fierecongressi.  However, the main objective remains to ensure that buyers and exhibitors can meet in person, and above all in safety, from 18th to 20th July.”

To protect the footwear and accessory community and ensure the right amount of competitiveness necessary for the recovery of the entire system - and beyond - it is essential to adopt those best practices for the containment of the Coronavirus that have been developed by Riva del Garda Fierecongressi, the event organiser.

The result is a protocol of measures relating to access and time spent at the fair and the activation of dedicated transfer services to and from the main airports in northern Italy. Important news concerns the setting up of a swab test centre inside the exhibition itself, an initiative designed to make it possible to hold the fair in complete safety and facilitate the procedure for obtaining the European green pass, allowing easier and faster mobility between countries.

Here are the details of the forthcoming events:

95th Expo Riva Schuh: 18th, 19th & 20th July 2021, in Riva del Garda (Italy)

6th Gardabags: 18th, 19th & 20th July 2021, in Riva del Garda (Italy)

The Digital Connection: 13th June – 30th September 2021, the event’s online platform

Further information is available at:

Covid containment measures available here:

Expo Riva Schuh & Gardabags Press Office
Tel. +39 0464 570146 Mail: