At the head of WSN Développement for the last few months, Etienne Cochet reveals his strategy to FashionNetwork. He has two main objectives: bringing everything together, and make an even bigger impact in terms of communications and marketing.
FashionNetwork: This is your first Who’sNext-Première Classe trade show as General Manager of WSN Développement. Your first impressions?
Etienne Cochet: Of course you could say that it's subjective, but I get the impression that there is a good atmosphere, a positive atmosphere… no? Of course there is a lot to do, but I am optimistic.
FNW: This Monday at the beginning of the afternoon you will be giving the details of how the second session of the WSN trade shows will be organised, during the next Paris Fashion week. Can you give us some details?
EC: I don't intend to sabotage my press conference by telling you everything (ed. laughs) But you already know that my objective is to bring everything together. During Paris Fashion Week, there are numerous runway shows, a lot of trade shows, and fifty showrooms. How do you cope when you are a buyer? For me, buyers must be at the centre of everything. We must make things simpler for them. That is why we have organised for the Capsule show to be part of Paris sur Mode, at the Tuileries, next to our other event Première Classe. Paris sur Mode, which brings together the clothing part, will then have a 4,000m² exhibition tent. I am not going to tell you what will be inside, but it will be interesting and lively.
FNW: Anything else?
EC: Nothing really concrete. But everybody knows my passion for "l’art de vivre", the art of living. Fashion is at the heart of the system, but in today's world, nothing should be put into separate boxes. We should be talking about lifestyle and creativity. No surprises there. That is what I managed to get to work during the many years of organising the Maison & Objet [House and Object] trade show.
FNW: Boris Provost, who was marketing and communications manager at WSN, is going to be MD at EquipHotel? How are you going to organise for his replacement?
EC: I can't tell you today who is going to replace him, even if it is in the process. One thing is sure, we have to develop services and marketing, look after buyers, and make progress in terms of the digital market. We also need to have year round communications. Before, during and after the event. We intend to put a communications and marketing structure in place, including Jon Lipfield for all that's digital, and Géraldine Florin who manages media events and WSN's partnerships. They will report to the new marketing and communications manager. That will help us use our database more and better, and develop international operations. Next year we will be looking at the digital market with the object of answering the question of how to keep up a conversation during the whole year. We need to look at how to interact with the general public, without the general public being at the event. We have a lot of work to do.
FNW: Last question… Many exhibitors and visitors are asking about the dates. July or September? What do you think?
EC: Everybody knows it's split 50-50 if you do a survey on the subject. Looking at it today, if I analyse the situation, I know the difficulties we would have had if it had been in July, and in September, we are at the same time as the "Maison & Objet" trade show. Even if next year this event should start on 8 September. Let's say we are going to think about it and discuss it.