Organised by the Vietnam Handicraft Exporters Association (VIETCRAFT), the event is not only an exhibition space with commercial elements but also a new tool to help disadvantaged groups integrate into the "new normal" life.
After four waves of the COVID-19 epidemic, more than 90% of domestic enterprises have faced difficulties, especially small and medium enterprises. Among which, handicraft production units are considered to be vulnerable groups because they are mainly ethnic minorities, producing households, or craft villages. These small production units have almost all been in precarious positions during the pandemic because their consumption partners are mostly foreign enterprises and belong to industry groups that are heavily affected by the pandemic, such as fashion or tourism.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic broke out, nearly 32,000 trade fairs were held around the world every year. However, since the pandemic appeared, trade fairs have been almost impossible to organise. Therefore, the process of promoting and selling handicrafts is almost "frozen", the raw materials needed to produce these items are also mainly natural and perishable materials, making the lives of people – especially ethnic minorities – even more difficult.
However, according to Le Ba Ngoc, Vice Chairman of the VIETCRAFT, to adapt to the outbreak of the disease, most of the world's fair organisers turn to online fairs. To date, nearly 1,000 online fairs have been held.
Ngoc also said that Lifestyle Vietnam is the first fair to apply the achievements of the 4.0 technology revolution to create a virtual fair space, making a big difference for both businesses and visitors.
The products are also groundbreaking. Instead of just promoting products, the fair also utilises an online platform to promote the cultural story of each product. Thereby, the fair will attract customers through access to local culture.
For visitors, online fairs also bring many benefits. The stalls are arranged scientifically and conveniently for visitors. Customers can also easily communicate with businesses online. If customers want to buy goods, they can quickly choose products, receive advice, and proceed with payment procedures. The instructions on the online platform are also clear, beautiful, and full of Vietnamese colours.