Gianpaola Pedretti, Exhibition Manager Expo Riva Schuh & Gardabags

Celebrating means “remembering, illustrating or highlighting facts or characters.” Expo Riva Schuh & Gardabags doesn’t want to celebrate its 100th edition for the sole purpose of looking back and glorifying the present. It does so with the aim of thanking all those who have made this experience such a success (institutions, industry associations, exhibitors, buyers), but above all to learn from the path travelled thus far and continue improving the event, thus preparing itself for the challenges of TOMORROW.

According to the event’s exhibition manager, Gianpaola Pedretti “the 100th edition is the perfect opportunity to ‘take stock’ of an event that started out with 12 exhibitors and today boasts 1300 footwear brands from over 40 countries, with a real waiting list, despite a pandemic that left no international event unscathed. An event that hosts the most important mass manufacturers of footwear (and more), who demonstrate and place their expertise at the service of international brands. An exhibition that began as a mere showcase and, over time, evolved to become a genuine driver for the entire footwear and, today, even the accessories industry.”


So, the question almost begs to be asked: how is it possible to resist market changes for an astounding 100 editions?

“By looking after the buyers – Pedretti continues – first and foremost, ensuring a carefully studied, varied offering and a buying experience that caters to their needs, in addition to providing wide-ranging services. Expo Riva Schuh & Gardabags aims to retain its status as the preferred platform for matching supply and demand, but it also wants to provide advanced tools for doing business.”

Let us mention just a few of the initiatives that based on past experience, courageously and boldly look to the future:

– The Innovation Retail Village, which, at each edition, presents innovative services in which the distribution segment can invest to renew their business and lay the foundations for future success.

– The digitalisation of the Fair Catalogue, now an interactive tool that helps operators filter the offering at the fair, better organise their visits and identify the partners most compatible with their needs, not to mention move around the fair with ease thanks to the interactive map.

– Complete assistance for the practical organisation of travel and accommodation thanks to On The Go, the travel agency dedicated to fair operators.

– The Incoming Program, specially designed to support buyers who are thinking about attending the event for the first time. An initiative that leverages an extensive network of delegates present in more than 60 countries, very familiar with the markets and which thoroughly understands the needs of local distribution. 

Trend analysis. Precisely on the occasion of the 100th edition, Expo Riva Schuh & Gardabags will speak of trends for the first time. A dedicated area called Highlights, developed in collaboration with the publishing house and school, Arsutoria. Pragmatic information will be provided about the latest consumer trends. A space where insightful speeches, naturally on the latest trends and consumption, will be held.


But let’s go back to the celebrations, back to where we started. Expo Riva Schuh & Gardabags will celebrate its birthday during the two editions in 2024, aiming to engage the entire community making up the fabric of the fair, including those who won’t necessarily attend both editions for reasons of seasonality.

These are few of the scheduled events:

– Firstly, the press conference in Rome on 6 December at the Ministry of Enterprise and Made in Italy, which will be a preview of sorts, a taste of what to expect in 2024

– The official opening on 13 January 2024, which will be attended by important national and local political and industry institutions.

– The Celebration Night on 14 January 2024. A genuine party that will involve all those who have made Expo Riva Schuh & Gardabags possible and have attended many of the 100 editions.

– The showing of a short film and photo exhibition tracing the 5 decades of the event’s history.

– The compilation of a monograph that will be presented for the June edition of the show, including testimonials, key players and pivotal experiences during these past 100 editions, designed to offer an immersion into the unique history of Expo Riva Schuh & Gardabags.

– Various installations throughout the city paying tribute to the location that welcomes the footwear and accessory community twice a year.

Gianpaola Pedretti concludes: “The next two editions of of Expo Riva Schuh & Gardabags will be unmissable, starting from the 100th edition, set to take place from 13 to 16 January 2024. We look forward to welcoming more than 1300 brands from roughly 40 countries, and visitors from more than 100 countries.”

1980 edition of Expo Riva Schuh & Gardabags