Virtual Design Center offers window into world influencing innovation, design

VDC Live offers retailers, media, reps and of course, designers, a virtual window into a world of sustainable design technology. SNEWS has the details for you.
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Outdoor Retailer is launching the first of what it hopes will be a series of virtual events under the moniker "Virtual Design Center Live" – or VDC Live for short.

 The theme of the first VDC Live event, kicking off Dec. 7, is "Sustainability through Design" and while the event is targeted at suppliers, softgoods designers and developers, Outdoor Retailer show director Kenji Haroutunian tells SNEWS® that the VDC Live should have a much wider appeal. 

“Any registered attendee will have access to tons of relevant information around sustainability in the supply chain, information that is extremely valuable for retailers, media and marketers to know, especially before attending Winter Market 2011,” Haroutunian told us. “By attending the VDC Live, anyone will be able to stay on top of latest trends in product development and sustainable business models.”

Every registered attendee will be given a virtual show bag that they will be able to use to drop virtual materials into for reviewing later. 

“If I were an attending designer or a retailer or someone from a publication, I might take away a link to a keynote presentation, a few intro papers from new suppliers I didn't know about, some special programs from suppliers I did know about, and contact information for key people at various exhibiting companies,” said Haroutunian.

During the live event Dec. 7, registered participants will be able to interactively participate in seminars and panel discussions and learn how sustainability through design can positively affect the development of product lines for 2012 and beyond.

In addition to the scheduled panel discussions and keynote addresses, interactive supplier displays (virtual trade show booths if you will) are designed to provide further education and information that many designers will be using in the development of product in 2011 and beyond.

The VDC Live event will feature a virtual exhibit hall, virtual auditorium and virtual lounge. Participating exhibitors, sponsors and seminar content providers include Bluesign Technologies, Polartec, Hyperbola Textiles, Ecologic Design Group, Prana, nau, greenREACH, Cocona, Buhler Yarns, Radici, Malakye.com, American Cotton Growers, Promostyl, The Textile Exchange, OIA (Outdoor Industry Association) Eco Index, AAPN (American Apparel Producers Network) and Tompkins Inc.

For the first even Dec. 7, registered attendees will be able to log in beginning at 11 a.m. EST to familiarize themselves with the virtual seminar's interactive features and to browse exhibitor information.

For a full schedule of events during the VDC Live click here -- www.outdoorretailer.com/info/virtual-design-center.

While VDC Live is, in some ways like a trade show, there is one critical difference between the physical trade show world and the virtual one: Imagine Outdoor Retailer Winter Market, live and vibrant for four days in 2011. Then, imagine all of the booths staying up, but without the people staffing them, while still full of product to see and information to view -- all long after the show officially ends. Imagine all the seminars still in rooms for you to visit, with material to peruse and video of the seminar to watch. That doesn’t happen in the real world, for obvious reasons – security and sheer costs being two.

But in the virtual one where VDC Live operates, there’s no need to rush about during the live event worrying about not seeing everything before the doors close. For 90 days after the show ends, VDC Live booths and seminar rooms will remain open. Sure, there’s no live interaction with experts and staff, but the information is still there, available to refresh your memory or take a harder look at -- all at your leisure.

--Michael Hodgson

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