Agenda adds digital marketplace to connect with changing retail and wholesale landscape

Agenda has partnered with an LA-based e-commerce platform to offer a new digital component to its trade show experience that will be available 365 days a year. It will preview at the Long Beach and Las Vegas shows.

The new platform will preview at Agenda's Long Beach and Las Vegas shows - Agenda

The Agenda digital marketplace will start with 50 brand sponsors and 500 VIP retailers. The retailers can upload line sheets and catalogs as well as links to their social channels to further develop their brand presence. All vendors showing at a physical Agenda show are able to show on the digital marketplace.

The digital marketplace is designed to give exhibitors a chance to continue to connect with buyers outside the time pressures of a trade show. Heath Wells, co-founder and CEO of NuOrder, the company providing the platform, said the digital marketplace allows buyers to plan their show better.

He explained "Retailers going to trade shows only have two to three days to conduct business. They can run out of time and not see 20 other brands." He added, the online trade show model "allows brands and retailers to continue collaborating, even after the physical show ends."

Outside of Agenda, NuOrder hosts a marketplace with 800 brands, visited by 300,000 buyers. The Agenda marketplace, however, will remain a separate entity.

Aaron Levant, Agenda’s founder, explained the reasoning behind the digital extension, stating, "if we don’t do it we’ll be irrelevant."

Levant also noted that Agenda has been built as an experiential trade show. To that end, the digital marketplace will be fully integrated with the physical brand experience. He said, “It is as important to be digitally focused as well as experientially focused."

The Agenda digital marketplace began in a test phase last month. According to NuOrder's data, one retailer exhibiting online has already generated 15 leads.

The virtual trade show concept is growing across the industry. Magic has run a digital show through its Shop the Floor site since 2013, and 3,000 brands have used the platform to make sales connections. In light of the success of the virtual trade show model, Magic will be rolling out a premium edition of Shop the Floor for 2018.

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