Cancel or postpone, in front of these options, the fair organisers were in the world during the Corona pandemic. In Germany, approximately 170, up to date, not been planned for 2020, a total of 345 measure. And also, if the events are allowed since September in this country again, wobbling in the face of rising Corona-case numbers, the autumn dates. However, the concept of virtual industry meeting, which does not require the presence of exhibitors and visitors, has established itself in the industry, an Alternative that has been ignored for a long time:.
From Hamburg to Munich: in the Middle of the crisis, deutsche Messe investing courses in digital concepts and develop new formats. “A concept for a digital event is completely different than a trade fair”, says Klaus Dittrich, managing Director of Messe München. The selection of themes should be flexible, but relevant. In addition to exciting speakers, there is a need for interaction. With a concept that only talks strings to each other, it was not done. “Because no human being is two days from early morning until late in front of the screen and just listen,” says Dittrich.
The Munich have increased the staff for Digital and development, service providers and Start-ups as a Partner involved and a total of a six-digit amount in digital formats invested. Online formats, the Re already at the ISPO.Start Days the sports and Outdoor industry in July, as well as the environmental trade fair IFAT in September, was tested. A key Exhibitor portal with presentations of listed companies, lectures, panel discussions and Workshops, as well as one-to-One Meetings in video calls or Chats were one of the key elements of virtual events.
But not for all sectors to measure Online are equally suitable: “In the case of IT companies and all the industries of the future race organizers with digital positioning an open door, this is also true for the visitors. In the case of the classical industry, the jump to pure Digital on the other hand, look too big,” says Martin Fritze, a Junior Professor at the Institute of exhibition economy and Marketing at the University of Cologne. Definitely ready for a digital Format, the player Community, which meets every year in Cologne for Gamescom was. Around two million people watched the opening show via PC, Tablet or Smartphone in the network, and with 70 per cent foreign guests there were the highest ever level of internationalization. Unlike at trade fairs the focus of the audience of the event was on Streams and Shows. Participants had the possibility of new games through the Cloud to try to Online tournaments, as well as on the traditional Cosplay-costume competition.
“In addition to the health aspect, the higher the reach, internationality, lower costs and sustainability are the biggest advantages of virtual events,” says Udo Traeger, fair expert of Exhibition Doctors. But especially there are great hopes on the subject of Big Data. “Now it comes to the value of the visitors for the exhibitors and these I can capture through data extraction in a virtual or hybrid measure precisely,” says Traeger.
A virtual Shop costs 25 000 to 150 000 euros, depending on the versatility, Design and complexity of the deals. Here, honoraria for prominent speakers are not included. Thanks to technologies such as Virtual and Augmented Reality and 3-D representations of maximum creativity is possible. A digital platform is once, it can be with relatively little effort, adapted. In comparison to physical industry events in great cost items such as security, Catering and cleaning path for the operator also. But, as yet, be measured with Online little earn: “It is clear to see that the sales of digital Events are significantly lower than the traditional measure. Therefore, we go in the future direction of the hybrid measure, so a combination of a presence in the fair with digital, even under years of offer,” says Dittrich.
To a return to full concentration on the personal industry gathering experts believe. Digital formats offer operators the opportunity to further develop the product portfolio and thereby the chances of making more revenue. Because there is per se no limitation on products and services can be presented in the virtual world, 365 days of the year.
“Digital services will give the organizers the possibility of the high capacity of individual days of the fair to compensate for and control of sales throughout the year,” says Fritze. High rates in the network to create in addition to attention. Particularly, the domestic world of new exhibitors trade fairs and visitors to future physical events attract.
At the time of pricing, the industry was initially hesitant, there was much for free. For example, the Gamescom attendance this year was completely free for visitors. The wrong Signal, according to the experts, because rates a quality indicator, are quite. “We collect experiences and have tried different variations, of free digital content about 99 Euro Tickets for the ISPO ReStart.Days or up to a two-day digital pass for 699 Euro for the next Expo Real Hybrid Summit,” said Dittrich.
Quite common two-tier Freemium models, that is, for specific content, participants have to pay, others are available for free in digital events in the meantime. A digital package for a virtual exhibition stand with a conference session and a private virtual meeting room to the next Expo will cost Real Exhibitor is 14 900 Euro. “Currently, the classical organizer to go in the implementation of virtual fairs due to the lack of comparative data yet to be very careful with the monetization of services,” says Traeger. The focus is not maximum profit in next time to keep the relation, but to the customer or to win and to test new formats.
Positive signals come from research studies, so the relevance of the topic of virtual trade fair is increasing, according to scientists Fritze with the experience of the participants. “People will get used to the increasingly digital worlds. It is, therefore, to observe with a watchful eye, what is the role of the digital experience need to the desire for real interaction in the future,” says Fritze.