Professional Development & Events

FDRA is the footwear industry’s leading educator, hosting a variety of events from webinars to major summits that focus on industry challenges, best practices, and common solutions. When you’re involved in FDRA and participate in events, you stay connected and empowered to navigate the constantly changing global footwear landscape.

MEMBERS: Register for our weekly coronavirus impact calls! Tuesdays at 2:00 pm EST


Visit the Center for Digital Professional Development Center during COVID

Whether you are currently working or furloughed, we invite you to explore the areas below for insights and training via videos, podcasts, articles, documents, memos, letters to help you skill up and/or stay current on key issues.


ONLINE  |  Digital FLOW 3D Transformation Lecture Series

Digital Series  |  May–August 2020

The first step-by-step, in-depth series of online lectures focused on helping footwear companies understand and execute successful Digital (3D) Transformations. For beginners to advanced professionals—we will cover everything you need to know and prepare you for what’s coming next. Do not miss this MUST ATTEND SERIES!

WEBINAR  |  The Future of Footwear Retail: A Roundtable Discussion

Digital Roundtable  |  Thursday, July 9, 2020 at 2:00 pm EST

Join us for a roundtable discussion webinar providing thought leadership by discussing new technologies changing business opportunities in stores and online (reducing sales friction, increasing engagement), as well as new shopping behaviors.

ONLINE  |  Global Shoe Sourcing Digital Series

Digital Series  |  Monday–Thursday, July 27–30, 2020

Join the industry’s top sourcing and compliance directors for the only digital global sourcing series focused 100% on footwear. We encourage anyone from around the world to join, especially American and European footwear retailers and brands, as well as factories, to register and attend this special 4-day series featuring exclusive new video content and data reports. Expected attendees include sourcing executives, production managers, factory owners and supervisors, product development managers, designers, agents, consultants, supply chain directors, and compliance professionals.

ONLINE  |  The Material Show

Digital Events  |  July 15–August 15, 2020 (Material Online Showcase)  |  July 21–23 (Networking and Live Webinars)

Join the biggest brands and suppliers in footwear and apparel for this exclusive online eventthe most important digital event of the year! Material Exchange + American Events have come together to take the Materials Show DIGITAL!

ONLINE  |  FDRA’s Digital Shoe Sustainability Week

Digital Series  |  Monday—Friday, August 31–September 4, 2020

FDRA’s Shoe Sustainability Week is a series featuring experts and industry leaders sharing tips and best practices to help companies understand how they can lower their environmental footprints a step at a time.

ONLINE  |  Footwear Trade and Distribution Conference (FTDC)

Digital Series  |  Fall 2020

The largest footwear conference of its kind in the US. This innovative conference draws nearly 200 of the industry’s top footwear executives, traffic and distribution specialists, customs experts, and service providers. The event is focused on learning from and connecting with industry leaders, experts and service providers.

ONLINE  |  GOTV–Holiday Preview Exec Summit

Digital Event  |  TBA

Join FDRA and 200 footwear executives for this annual summit, where we will network and hear footwear leaders discuss how they are guiding their companies in changing times with a focus on changes and insights to footwear consumers and retail, and how current politics and policy are impacting our industry’s bottom lines.

ONLINE  |  Diversity & Inclusion Workshop

Digital Workshop  |  TBA

Join FDRA and Amber Cabral at the Diversity and Inclusion Workshop to discuss topics such as unconscious bias, diversity, cultural identity, and gender diversity. Amber has worked with brands such as Walmart and VF Corporation to help ignite behavior shifts to create inclusive cultures.

Past Events


WEBINAR  |  Romans CAD Platform and the New Footwear Informational Model

Monday, May 18, 2020  |  2:00 pm EDT

Learn how you can synchronize teams and workflows across the entireshoe manufacturing process from design to development to sourcing.

WEBINAR  |  Legal Guidelines for Marketing Shoe Sustainability

Thursday, May 14, 2020  |  2:00 pm EDT

Going “Green”? Going “Sustainable”? Going “Recyclable”? Join us for this webinar covering legal guidelines for the marketing language you can, can’t, and might be able to use. Learn what “green” claims are permissible under the FTC and California laws and regulations, recommended compliance structures and processes necessary to support permissible “green” claims, and how to better communicate and collaborate internally around such products and processes.


WEBINAR  |  Accelerating duty savings for footwear companies during an economic downturn

Monday, May 4, 2020  |  2:00 pm EDT

Join us for this webinar on accelerating duty savings for footwear companies during an economic downturn.

WEBINAR  |  How Crocs Mitigates Market Conditions with PLM

Thursday, April 30, 2020  |  2:00 pm EDT

Join us for this webinar on how you can minimize the effect that external forces such as geopolitical events, tariffs, trade restrictions and ongoing threats have on your company’s productivity, efficiency and speed-to-market in the supply chain.

Product Safety Working Group Virtual Meeting (FDRA Members Only)

Thursday, April 16, 2020, 1:00 – 3:00 pm EDT

Join us from your computer for this important meeting to look at key product and chemical safety issues impacting our industry. During this virtual meeting via Zoom, we will cover CA Prop 65 lawsuits for Chrome VI in leather shoes, Updates on the EU and REACH, The product safety impact of using recycled material and vegan material in footwear, Changes to the FDRA Product Safety Guide, The patchwork of state chemicals safety laws, and much more.


FDRA Sustainability Roundtable

Boston  |  Thursday, February 6, 2020

This FDRA members-only roundtable meeting invites product development, materials, and sourcing teams to join us for critical discussions around industry standards for sustainability, best practices, and all things we can collaborate on industry-wide to save money and increase impact. This event takes place at the NE Materials Show in Boston.

FDRA’s Digital Trade Meeting

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

This half-day FDRA members-only Digital Trade Meeting will cover topics including 2020 Footwear Trade Priority Review, Major Customs Issues, and Tools for the Customs Professional to Consider, and more!

*Refund policy for FDRA events:

FDRA will issue no refunds for cancelled registrations for its summits less than 30 days prior to the event date (this includes FDRA’s executive summit in DC, Asia summit, sourcing summit, materials and innovation summit, and FTDC). There are no refunds issued for cancelled registrations less than 48 hours from workshops. FDRA members can transfer their registration to another attendee for the same event.  Any questions on this policy should be directed to Andy Polk.

View FDRA’s 2019 events archive.