So we conclude another “different” Market, again marked by COVID precautions, hesitations and restrictions.. but this one with promising signs for what to expect in August.

And as last season, the only option for manufacturers/brands to showcase their collections face to face was at the Atlanta Market, and through pop up markets in four major cities.

(Virtual options included The Knot/Wedding Wire’s virtual New York Market, and the Bridal Council’s NY Luxury Bridal Fashion Week.)

In general, reports from buyers and exhibitors indicated that buying activity was brisk across all events, and though attendance was not overwhelming, it did reflect an emerging optimism, a collective relief to be back to business… and signals a solid possibility of strong August markets.

The pop ups this season, initially and loosely organized by Allure and held in the midst of the pandemic last July, were a coordinated effort by a handful of companies who participated in some or all of the events in Dallas, Salt Lake City, Schaumburg (a suburb of Chicago) and New Jersey.

Those participating, including Allure, Casablanca, House of Wu, Justin Alexander, Morilee, and Mon Cheri, reported each event a success, based on each company’s ability to host a full appointment calendar in a relaxing hotel ballroom environment, and to do so very cost effectively.

For fall Markets in August, expect a similar road tour with two distinct differences:
The National Bridal Market Chicago will be open and accommodating buyers and exhibitors August 22-25; and the Schaumburg pop up Market will take place over the same period with some companies choosing to show there exclusively and pass on Chicago National Bridal Market this season…essentially creating a split market in Chicago.

The Spring 21 fall market schedule: August 2-6 at Atlanta’s World of Prom and Social Occasion, and VOW | New World of Bridal; then Dallas August 10-12, then Salt Lake City August 16-18, then National Bridal Market Chicago August 22-25 and the Schaumburg pop up March 22-25, ending in New Jersey August 29-31.

I understand that each company, store or manufacturer, needs to make decisions based on what’s best for their company and clients. Yet I can’t help but worry about the potential loss of the synergy, enthusiasm and camaraderie that is often the life blood of our industry when a major regional market becomes fractured.