After canceling its Spring 2021 in-person show due to ongoing COVID-19 concerns, The Knot Couture is launching its first-ever digital market experience. This unique-to-bridal event, scheduled for September 15-17, will be hosted on a single, trusted platform and is free to buyers with an exhibitor fee starting at $2,000. It consists of two major components:

Virtual Showrooms: An online shopping experience exclusive to buyers looking to view new collections and connect with designers safely and efficiently.

Virtual Events: Daily programming to create excitement and a sense of community with on-demandeducational opportunities, 1:1 appointments with WeddingPro Support Specialists, interactive panel discussions and live runway shows.

“We are investing in a robust promotion strategy targeting our global database of buyers - more than we have ever done for our live event in NYC,” says Brett Olsen, bridal fashion director at The Knot Worldwide. “In addition, we do not have the same restrictions that we face with a live event, making it incredibly easy for buyers to use this platform to view trends and to consume the original content from the comfort of their home or store.”

By using technology in a dynamic way, The Knot is creating an easy-to-shop experience that will be free for buyers to access year-round.

“The platform was built for retailers!” Olsen says. “The Knot is doing the heavy lifting to curate designers that are continuing to sell virtually in one location for buyers to research and make connections. The other important differentiation is the original content we are creating to help educate and support them during this unprecedented time.”

Designers, meanwhile, have the opportunity to showcase new collections and book appointments directly with potential clients. They pay a $2,000 fee to be included and promoted with the virtual showroom experience, and can customize their showroom with unlimited styles and video assets.

“This is an opportunity to broaden reach and garner new leads,” Olsen says. “Personal relationships will forever remain important and we do not want to interfere with those connections. We are aware of the individual virtual efforts many designers have already implemented and we want to make more of those connections in an efficient manner.”

Registration has launched for the event, which is projecting a sizeable spike in attendance due to robust promotional strategies. Long-term, the platform is intended to serve as an excellent resource for buyers to shop and learn. Once markets reopen, they’re encouraged to use this tool to prepare for in-person appointments and arrive more informed and better prepared for efficient buying.

“We see this as the future of Bridal Market,” Olsen says. “Entering the world of virtual shopping can be overwhelming and we want to centralize virtual efforts efficiency for the buyer.”