Organised by Fandango Club and MICAM, an original and completely B2C format specially devoted to millennials for whom sneakers represent a status symbol and cult object. It will be held at the Milan Trade Fair centre within the ambit of the international footwear exhibition.
PLUG-Mi. The Sneakers Culture Experience, is here: the first event devoted entirely to the dynamic world of sneakers and aimed at millennials, inventors of the most revolutionary trends and promoters of new consumer habits.
Organized by MICAM and Fandango Club, PLUG-Mi will debut at the Fiera Milano (Milan Trade Fair) in 2019. Inspired by the better-known overseas sneaker conventions (such as the Complexcon festival held in Los Angeles or Atlanta’s KixFair), this new format will combine product displays, games, musical events and experiences, allowing a wide number fans from the general public to find new ways of ‘living their passion’ for sneakers, creating not only a powerful moment of aggregation but also an opportunity for understanding a vast social and commercial phenomenon.
Sneakers, in fact, are not simply a fashion or a niche market for enthusiasts: 26.9 million pairs of sneakers were purchased in Italy in 2017, for € 1,245.4 million at retail (data from the Confindustria Fashion Research Centre for Assocalzaturifici). However, estimates show that the global sneaker market could reach a value of 115.6 billion dollars in 2023. According to a study by the Npd Group, one of the most prestigious international market research companies, there are many factors driving this growth: first and foremost, the expansion of the men’s market, with men spending more and more on shoes and especially sneakers.
From limited editions created in collaboration with famous artists and available only at on-line auctions, to the traditional skate shoes which have suddenly come back into fashion and are practically unobtainable, sneakers are not just accessories but convey a sense of belonging, state our identity, an ideal, the spirit of an era.
«PLUG-Mi is the result of years of scouting and research which led us to study the most interesting cases abroad – Marco Moretti and Michele Budelli, chair and managing director of Fandango Club Spa, explain. We know from experience that the most successful events are those that manage to stimulate and interpret a particular craze on the part of the public and we are firmly convinced that this format has enormous potential».
« Between sports and footwear manufacturers there is a continuous exchange of ideas: footwear manufacturers turn the various needs, challenges and opportunities that emerge from the world of sport into practical, performance models that are fashionable at the same time”, says Annarita Pilotti, Chair of Assocalzaturifici. For this reason, we had to provide a space within Micam in which to reflect together on the role that sneakers, the sport shoe par excellence, represent today for the sector and for final customers: a sort of “living lab” to discover how fashions and trends are born and what are the features that can turn a sports shoe into a real cult object».
PLUG-Mi. The Sneakers Culture Experience is an original format developed by Fandango Club, a Milanese event management company that specialises in the creation and management of new fair-event concepts and which has found a strong convergence of intent with Fiera Milano and MICAM. The world’s leading international footwear trade fair has in fact chosen Fandango Club and Plug-Mi to make an important step towards the world of B2C, with a first “taste” of the format during its first February edition and the actual debut in the second half of 2019, during the second edition of MICAM.
Through PLUG-Mi, Fiera Milano confirms its function yet again as a real incubator for new trends, offering companies a platform of integrated services to help them develop their business more effectively and contributing to the creation of a new B2C format, facilitating interaction between different corporate cultures through the exchange of know-how and experience.
The event will represent a stimulus for the innovation needed to meet the needs of a continuously evolving market, with Fiera Milano providing a perfect venue for public and business enterprises to meet, rooted in tradition but with the ability to innovate language, methods and opportunities.
In the urban slang of the millennials “plug” is a term used to describe someone who can get hold of something unique and exclusive. The suffix “Mi” is obviously a reference to the city of Milan. The event due to debut in Milan in 2019 is therefore a “catalyst” for a number of exclusive experiences associated with sneakers but not restricted to them. Rather than an exhibition, or a trade fair, the event is a concentration of opportunities – for buying, having fun or learning.
So see you in 2019 with PLUG-Mi – save the date!