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FN’s Virtual Summit Will Examine ‘The Way Ahead’ at a Crucial Time for the Industry

As the industry navigates a dramatically altered landscape, FN’s first-ever virtual summit — “The Way Ahead” — will bring together footwear’s top leaders to discuss urgent challenges and new opportunities.

The two-day event, set for Aug. 4 and 5, will be held in partnership with FFANY, FDRA and Two Ten — and will unite shoe players during the traditional August market week period. The virtual series will feature exclusive conversations that will arm attendees with valuable insight to help them forge ahead during this unprecedented time.

Several of the most innovative executives in the business will appear in a special executive smart talk segment to talk about how they’re transforming their companies during the coronavirus crisis — from implementing remote working policies to reallocating resources to driving the online business.

As retail undergoes seismic change, digital know-how has never been more important — and leaders will open up their online playbooks to reveal winning strategies.

Diversity and inclusion will also be a crucial part of the summit conversation as companies from all corners of the industry address the sizable work that must be done right now.

Another highlight will be a virtual showroom tour that will showcase top brands, key styles and must-have trends for spring ’21. Since brands and retailers won’t be able to meet in person in New York, this segment will provide attendees with important insight about how to approach buying and selling in a new environment.

In addition, a digital boot camp will give attendees an inside look at what’s working now and what they must do to stand out from the crowd.

“There has never been a more disruptive time in our industry with so much change to process and react to. At FN, we’ve come together with FFANY, FDRA and Two Ten to lead a series of powerful conversations that address the serious challenges and new opportunities we all face,” said Michael Atmore, editorial director of FN.

“Now more than ever, our industry must come together to navigate the waters of uncertainty with a renewed purpose and mission to design, develop, and sell the most fashionable, innovative, and desirable shoes imaginable,” added Matt Priest, president and CEO of the Footwear Distributors and Retailers of America. “This gathering of shoe people will be a defining moment of this unique time we are living in, building on the resiliency and strong community that is the foundation of the global footwear industry.”

John Heron, executive director of FFANY, said that while the group is disappointed that it can’t move forward with a physical show in New York, it is looking forward to bringing its member showrooms to life virtually. “New York City is recovering well and many showrooms are in the process of reopening and will used as the backdrop for digital presentations of their spring ’21 product lines in August,” Heron noted. “[The summit] is a great way to bring focus to the resiliency of footwear companies in New York, and is a much needed vehicle for coming together as an industry.”

Shawn Osborne, president and CEO of Two Ten, noted that bolstering industry connection and relationships are important during this time of uncertainty. “After such a long stretch of separation, the FN Virtual Summit gives us all an opportunity to come together, talk about important issues and challenges and share our collective thoughts on what the future looks like for our community,” he said.

Check back next week to register for this must-attend event.

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