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The next generation of Trade Fairs - how digitalization is influencing exhibitions in the analog world

Wednesday, 23. May 2018 | by: Katja Brößling | Exhibit Marketing

Despite the rise of digitalization, the market for trade fairs and events is more buoyant than ever in Germany. According to Markus Vogt, Head of Communications for Messe Stuttgart, the city's exhibition centre, this is also due to the fact that event venues respond to changes in the market at an early stage. Trade fairs also offer one key advantage: they make it possible to have personal, face-to-face communications with a plethora of relevant contacts. There is currently no way to implement this concept in the digital space with the same level of effectiveness. However, digitalization is changing both the ways that exhibitors present themselves and the services offered by organizers.

From fliers to virtual reality experiences

Business cards, fliers, thousands of freebies, and a booth in a highly visible position where you can clearly demonstrate your products – not too long ago, this was pretty much all it took for an exhibitor to enjoy a successful event. These days, a little more is needed. As digitalization has made inroads, the way to win over potential customers in the B2B space has changed. Looping product films on big screens, online product configurators running in the event booth, and product applications depicted in virtual reality are the kind of thing that you will need to make a good impression these days. The aim is to reach out to visitors directly with an approach built on experience and emotions to build connections. This results in further benefits for the exhibitors. Booths no longer need to be as big as they once were. It is no longer strictly necessary to install entire rows of machinery or set out rows of products all over the stand, thereby saving time and cost.

How event organizers ensure their products are appealing

This development also forces event organizers to take action. Events need to become an experience that both exhibitors and visitors alike will remember for years to come. As such, building connections between both target groups during the actual period of the event becomes an important task. However, a purely online presence falls short of what is needed. Event companies need to show creativity so events can remain an attractive platform in the digital age, both in the interests of communication and generating revenue. Alongside special interest offers and optimized online options, organizers now offer their own media centres, digital catalogues, and custom apps. The Frankfurt Exhibition Center even offers a B2B supplier portal,, which allows exhibitors to present their products and company portfolios on a year-round basis. Customers have the ability to quickly find suitable suppliers for their needs, with suppliers being organized by sector and product. Digitalization has thus fostered a multi-faceted effect on traditional exhibitions. This is not only due to the competition provided by virtual exhibitions, but also the fact that trade fairs are always in competition with other marketing techniques. Indeed, the process of digitialization has significantly increased the number of available alternatives. This development also impacts upon the allocation of potential exhibitors' marketing budgets. Yet ultimately, it can be said that the use of digital offerings in the future will benefit both exhibitors and event organizers.  

 provided by BERATERNEWS.NET

Digitalization Exhibition appearance Marketing Visitor acquisition Promotions
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About Katja Brößling

Katja Brößling is a specialist in business administration with a focus on operating expenses, human resources management and marketing. After many years of experience in online marketing, she has been a co-founder and managing director of SHEworks since 2014. A news portal that deals with content on business, career and self-employment for women. As an editor, she writes and informs about the topics of entrepreneurial knowledge, reconciliation, gender and family policy. Since 2015, she has also been a managing director of the # 140 agency, a consulting firm specializing in online marketing and social media.

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