Following on from the resounding success of its Sydney edition earlier this year, Global Sourcing Expo Melbourne proved that events that bring the world’s greatest manufacturers together can truly redefine the sourcing experience.
Over the course of three days at the Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre, the Expo saw over 900 exhibitors from 20+ countries in the fields of apparel, textiles and homeware products.
“This event marked the first time the prestigious Vietnam Textile and Apparel Association (VITAS) has participated in one of our Global Sourcing Expos and we were thrilled to welcome them as well as our returning export associations including the Indian Handloom Export Promotion Council (HEPC), The Export Promotion Bureau of Bangladesh and the Taiwan Textile Federation,” shares Marie Kinsella, CEO, International Exhibition & Conference Group and organiser of the Global Sourcing Expo.
The Expo was co-located with the Footwear & Accessories Show Australia and China Clothing Textiles & Accessories and in total saw more than 3000 visitors attend. Many of these visitors were key decision-makers and buyers from some of Australia’s best-known companies.
“The decision to hold two Expos this year gave us the perfect opportunity to bring the industry together and ensure that sourcing in Australia retains its global competitiveness, while also catering for visitors from different regions” Marie adds.
Pavilions highlight exceptional regional craftsmanship
One of the biggest selling points of the Global Sourcing Expo Melbourne are the various Pavilions, which give attendees the opportunity to sample the best products from a specific region or sector and feel as if they are getting a true sense of what overseas markets have to offer, without the need for international travel.
This year, GSE Melbourne hosted a total of 13 Pavilions, including the Shanghai and Tamil Nadu Pavilion. The South African Pavilion, part of the Footwear & Accessories Show, were announced as the winners of Best Pavilion on Day 1 of the Expo to great fanfare.
“The pride that our exhibitors take in their exceptional craftmanship is always a highlight of these events – many of their businesses are family-owned and draw on artisanal skills and techniques that have been passed down through generations,” shares Marie. “Their enthusiasm results in an electric atmosphere that truly takes the sourcing experience up a notch.”
Melbourne Sourcing Seminars dive deep into hot issues
While visitors had plenty to explore on the exhibitor floor, many flocked to the well-attended Global Sourcing Seminar Series, which presented a total of 12 one-hour sessions over the three-day event. These were presented by internationally recognised experts in the fields of fashion, retail and sourcing, including Paul Zahra, CEO of the Australian Retailers Association and Clare Press, Author and Founder of Wardrobe Crisis. Patty Huntington, Features & Fashion News Director of Harper’s BAZAAR Australia, returned as the official MC across all three days of presentations.
Topics ranged from Mandatory Human Rights Due Diligence to AI’s Game Changing Retail Trends, ensuring a diverse range of perspectives and a well-rounded sourcing ‘curriculum’ for knowledge-hungry attendees.
“We were pleased to welcome back several excellent speakers from our Sydney event, as well as many new experts to ensure that each Global Sourcing Expo has fresh and exciting ideas and practical tips to share with our visitors,” comments Marie. “GSE Sydney Presenter Elizabeth Formosa, the well-respected Founder of consultancy Fashion Equipped also played an invaluable role by serving as Show Ambassador and creating a comprehensive Sourcing Checklist so that attendees can take the lessons learned in the seminars home with them.”
“Our Fibres of Australia Panel Discussion was another standout seminar, highlighting the outstanding work Australian cotton farmers are doing to cut back their water usage and how one innovative local company is using cutting-edge clean technology to breathe new life into clothing waste.”
Sustainability throughout the supply chain was a major talking point at GSE Melbourne, not only in the seminars but also at the various stands, with many exhibitors sharing the great lengths they’d gone to ensure that their products are sustainable, ethical and eco-conscious.
Mark your diaries for next year’s Expos
The Global Sourcing Expo will return to the Sydney International Convention Centre from 12-14 June 2024 before making its way to the Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre from 19-21 November 2024. Registrations for both 2024 shows will open soon.
“There is so much demand for the unique international sourcing platform that we provide that it makes sense to host it in two locations, with Melbourne and Sydney as the bustling fashion capitals of Australia,” says Marie. “We wouldn’t be able to do this without the support of our attendees, valued partners, exhibitors and speakers and we’d like to thank them for helping us shape the future of sourcing, together,” she concludes.
About IEC Group Pty Ltd
International Exhibition & Conference Group Pty Ltd (IEC Group Pty Ltd) is a privately owned Australian company of key personnel with combined exhibition industry experience of over 70 years.