• Footwear 'digitization' is no easy thing. What digital software and tools fit what you want to accomplish? How do you set up new digital workflows? How do you reorganize or form new teams? What new talent is needed?


    Every brand has digital transformation challenges from those just beginning to those already deep in digital. To help brands get it right and keep getting better, FDRA and The Footwearists have created a digital transformation week—Digital FLOW (Footwear industry Learning Optimal Workflow)focused on helping every footwear brand successfully execute digital (3D) transformations through in-depth case studies, best practices, and hands-on training.


    To help executives, managers, and directors strategize and understand how to set up digital programs, establish and manage successful digital workflows and talent, and prepare for what's next, including using 3D designs for online sales generators, we have created the first 2-day digital footwear transformation conference.


    To help designers, technical developers, innovators, and faculty of footwear schools—the ones doing the daily digital work—we have created a series of hands-on courses and workshops throughout the week to help train on digital software and tools to improve your efficiency and productivity. Customize your training by choosing the digital courses suited to your needs and what skills gaps you want to fill; you can also join the 2-day conference!

    Why Footwear Leads and Professionals MUST Attend:

    THE CHALLENGE: ‘Digitization’ is what every brand is reaching for because it increases speed to market, reduces costs, optimizes creativity and profit while increasing sustainability - yet lack of knowledge and real step-by-step examples and best practices on digital design, development and manufacturing is hindering our industry’s true digital transformation.


    Over the past two years, FDRA and The Footwearists have successfully collaborated on organizing international conferences for footwear design, development, and innovation. Yet these events and our conversations with nearly every major brand made it crystal clear that one subject urgently needs more in-depth education: the digital transformation of the entire footwear supply chain. Whether companies are just at the beginning of this process or already have experience, EVERYONE struggles with how to structure their digital workflow most effectively. Companies who are just starting out struggle with what part of their product cycle they want to transform—Design? Development? 3D Prototyping?—and what software will fit their needs in addition to restructuring workflows around this. With limited budgets and time, it’s important to get this right! Companies who have already started their transformation also struggle with reorganization of workflow, and find they are often lacking people with the right digital skills to make it happen. We realized that costly events where software suppliers simply show their latest developments, often not fully focused on footwear, leave the audience overwhelmed and confused as to how they actually apply what they learn to their specific situation. Footwear designers and development teams also lack critical training on 3D software platforms and other tools. Targeted training is vital to helping them use these tools effectively and creatively.


    THE SOLUTION: A step-by-step conference for leaders plus hands-on workshops for practitioners that guides beginners and helps brands that are already digitizing to find new and better methods.


    FDRA and The Footwearists have set up a real solution to our industry’s education challenge around these issues. We are presenting FLOW Digital Transformation Week (Footwear industry Learning Optimal Workflow)—a week dedicated to digital transformation in footwear that will help everyone from beginners to advanced experts. This includes a conference, roundtable, demos, and hands-on workshops May 4–8, 2020 in Portland, Oregon. Attendees can chose to participate as they wish based on time and information needed.

    • Learn more about the conference for decision makers (Execs, Directors and Manager Level).
    • Learn more about the workshops for practitioners (Designers & Product Development Team Members)
  • Who are the week's events for?

    For brands not yet started or just beginning their digitization journey—you will obtain critical information on the basics of digitization from what software exists to accomplish what you want to accomplish to how to set up successful digital workflows to what talent you need to be successful.


    For the digital trailblazers already deep in ‘digital’—you will hear new ideas and advanced concepts around big data, how digital can solve circularity issues, and a roundtable discussing new ideas, best practices, setting standards, and what software providers should do to better help the industry.


    Footwear professionals encouraged to attend these various events—upper management to operational level, product development and innovation, manufacturing, sales, distribution, retail and human resources, and suppliers of digital technologies for all these segments. Examples of job titles that should attend include: Design Directors, Directors and VPs of Product Development, Heads of Human Resources and Development, Sourcing Executives, Manufacturing Directors, IT/Software Integration Leads, Innovation Teams.