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Exclusive Interview with Siegrid Hampsink, Director of the European Bridal Week

1st-3rd of April, 2023 - Essen

In an exclusive interview, Siegrid Hampsink tells Bridal Times more about the momentous decision of the Interbride and European Bridal Week coming together, and reveals the very first exciting highlights about the upcoming show in April 2023.

Siegrid, how did the European Bridal Week and the Interbride decide to come together and consolidate the two shows?

The individuals responsible for both fairs saw it as their duty to jointly meet the demands of the numerous visitors to both bridal fashion fairs and to create an order platform in Germany that could offer a forum to all areas of the industry. By merging the two trade fairs, we want to strengthen the bridal fashion industry in Germany and position it in the best possible way for future market developments. Because there is one aspect here that brings us together and unites us, and that is passion for the industry. And that’s why the motto for the upcoming trade fair is: “Creating Magic Together”.

What has been the overall response from the European bridal industry on this monumental decision?

We have had numerous reactions after the board members, partners of Interbride and we at the European Bridal Week organizing team, jointly announced that these two market leading shows are merging into one event. The feedback was consistently positive, both from the exhibitors and especially from the visitors and thus from the retail trade. We got the impression that retailers have been hoping for, if not waiting for such a merger for a long time.

Can we expect to see an official name change and will the show continue to remain in Essen or another location?

The future of the trade fair will take place as European Bridal Week in Messe Essen. This means that Essen will remain the international meeting place for the entire bridal fashion industry when the ultimate ordering and networking event for the industry takes place here from the 1st-3rd of April next year.

How does this decision affect exhibitors for both the European Bridal Week and Interbride?

From now on, it is important to bundle the diverse skills of everyone in order to position ourselves even more broadly. We offer visitors a joint trade fair with a multi-faceted portfolio of international and high-quality exhibitors that stand out from each other through their individuality. While new target groups open up for the exhibitors, buyers can order in a focused manner as they can find everything under one roof. It is the common goal of everyone to set prosperous impulses for the industry during the coming trade fairs. By merging the two trade fairs, we particularly want to support retail and offer visitors optimal added value.

Can visitors also expect to see an expanded floor space for 2023?

Visitors to the European Bridal Week can look forward to a larger range of collections and new designs than previously in Essen this year. We can already say that the exhibitor portfolio will include more than 500 brands. In two large halls of Messe Essen, visitors will find not only the manufacturers who have already been represented at Interbride and the European Bridal Week in previous years, but also other new and innovative brands that offer visitors inspiration for the coming season.

With an excellent mix and great variety in the areas of bridal fashion, evening wear, men’s fashion, children’s fashion and accessories as well as haute couture, retailers will find a wide range of not only established international labels, but also new, up-and-coming talent and this also suitable for every corresponding budget.

What are some show highlights visitors can anticipate for the European Bridal Week?

The Catwalk Shows of the European Bridal Week which are well worth seeing, will certainly become the highlight of an order day with the corresponding designer shows and multi-brand fashion shows. The collections presented here include both big international names and new labels that put the trends of tomorrow in the spotlight.

The heart of the fair was and remains our exclusive “Champagne Bar”. We invite our visitors to relax here with a glass of champagne and delicious appetizers or to network with colleagues.

The “Instagram Candy Bar” will be brand new for next year. This will not only be the sweetest place in the industry, but visitors can also treat themselves to a little time-out and as well as feed their own social media channels with fresh fashion flair.

We are also planning interesting “Meet & Greet” Sessions for this area, during which visitors have the opportunity to exchange ideas with social media specialists from the bridal fashion sector.

There is no question that the WiFi at the European Bridal Week is free of charge, as it has been in previous years.

Now that the shows are consolidated, where does it put the European Bridal Week in the lineup of northern Europe’s key bridalwear trade fairs?

Germany has been a strong location for the bridal fashion industry in recent years. This was evident for manufacturers with a view to the order volumes in comparison to other regions. At the same time, the retail trade was able to maintain a high level of motivation and remained upbeat.

With the merger of the two trade fairs, trade now has an even more stable platform in Germany, and this is a positive sign in challenging times.

When it comes to the world of international bridal and evening wear, Essen has always been and always will be a focal point. Several hundred exciting labels from the world’s most renowned bridal industry innovators have further cemented European Bridal Week’s position as the industry’s largest buying event in Northern Europe, and will continue to do so in the coming year.

What is the common goal shared for the European Bridal Week and where does it go from here?

As organizers of a trade fair, we have to be aware that it’s not always “higher, faster, further”, it doesn’t have to be. The right mix of well-established designers and manufacturers in combination with new and truly ‘attractive’ brands is our recipe for success, and we want to stay true to that for the European Bridal Week. As a trade fair, we therefore offer exactly what is in demand in the bridal fashion industry: quality, selection and style.

Even if we know the needs in trade and retail, we listen, we act and implement. It is and remains an elementary aspect for us to always be approachable with great transparency as a reliable partner for all sides. Our goal is to offer all those involved in the industry a platform for fair cooperation, so that retail can recognize its own strengths and grow from them again and again. We would like to realize this now and in the coming years together with all members within the bridal fashion industry: Creating Magic Toegther!

We would like to thank Siegrid Hampsink for this interview.

For further information on the trade fair visit European Bridal Week