The future of the trade fair is hybrid
11 Nov 2020
#INTERNATIONALEEISENWARENMESSE goes hybrid: As a prelude to the 2021 fair, the European Press Conference, too, was held as Koelnmesse's first hybrid press conference. Packed with informative keynotes, an exciting preview of next spring's trade fair and a lively panel discussion between industry experts, it was very well received by all participants.
"All businesses are ready for trade fairs and are looking forward to getting started again" - with this statement, Catja Caspary, Vice President of Koelnmesse, put the participants of the European Press Conference in the right mood and at the same time set the direction for the future.
After all, despite the current difficult situation, the goal is to re-start the engine of the entire industry by hosting the INTERNATIONAL HARDWARE FAIR COLOGNE next year - and Koelnmesse is well prepared for the "new normality": In addition to the comprehensive hygiene concept #BSAFE4Business, the digital platform already successfully used for dmexco will also be rolled out for the INTERNATIONAL HARDWARE FAIR. The addition of EISENWARENMESSE@home transforms the fair into a hybrid event, offering even more opportunities for networking, product presentation and exchange.
The EISENWARENMESSE@home platform, however, is by no means just a result of the current situation - digitalisation has been playing an important role at the fair for years and will become even more prominent in 2021 with the new eCommerce area, as Oliver Frese, COO Koelnmesse, emphasised in his keynote. Exhibitors and visitors can expect an inspiring, future-oriented event program: from the DIY Boulevard and BME Buyers' Day to eCommerce, 3D printing and 5G technology, everything is geared towards optimising ordering, logistics and sales processes.
In addition to this preview of the near future, J. Wolfgang Kirchhoff, Chairman of the Advisory Board, outlined the current situation of the industries represented at the trade show. All of them, above all the retail sector, were naturally affected by the shutdown and temporary closures, but so far managed to get through the Corona pandemic better than expected. While the tool industry has suffered particularly in the export sector, the DIY trade has been able to benefit from the desire for change and the rediscovery of the home as a sanctuary.
These two keynote speeches were followed by a lively panel discussion with industry experts Oliver Frese (COO Koelnmesse), Stefan Amann (Managing Director KölnTourismus GmbH), Wolfgang Kirchhoff (COO Kirchhoff Automotive) and Michael Atug (Digital Rockstar), cheerfully moderated by Dieter Könnes, a well-known presenter from Germany's WDR Servicezeit.
The dominant topic in this discussion, was, besides Corona, the global trend digitisation, both in the retail trade and in production. This stimulating program was enjoyed not only by the journalists present in the Konrad Adenauer Hall but also by foreign journalists in our virtual room, where all content was streamed live in English and simultaneously translated - making it an authentic preview of the hybrid trade fair of the future!
If you were not able to experience the EPK live or would like to have a look at it again, you can watch the whole stream here: