Messe Düsseldorf from A-Z – today: H as in hybrid trade fairs

Taking part in trade fairs without being personally on site: our virtual formats make it possible. In our “Messe Düsseldorf A-Z” series we are featuring the letter ‘H’ – as in hybrid trade fairs. This term refers to physical trade fairs with digital enhancements, which have tremendously increased in importance during the pandemic. After a long time without any physical events we kicked off a hybrid trade fair autumn last year.

This means visitors can also participate in a lecture, look at products in virtual showrooms or network with exhibitors independent of the location. The beauty of this is that the content is still available even when the trade fair has ended. Our Director of Digital Strategy and Communication, Dr. Christian Plenge, also refers to this as the “digital twin” of the “real” trade fair.

Hybrid Networking with our Matchmaking Tool

Our trade fairs have not been “analogue-only” for a long time now. Even before Covid-19, people’s altered usage habits in everyday and business life also made themselves felt in their expectations of our events. We responded to this with our trade fair portals, trade fair apps, our online order system, interactive hall plans and digital information steles with wayfinding (digital signage). Our digital headers include amongst others the e-magazine of interpack, TIGHTLY PACKED, the MEDICA Magazin, the drupa Blog or EuroShop 365 for Euroshop.

The digital content offered by the hybrid trade fairs goes far beyond this: they include presentation opportunities for companies via exhibitor profiles and web sessions, virtual participation in the live programme (conferences, workshops, etc.) via streaming and on-demand videos, as well as networking via the matchmaking tools and the social media activities of the trade fairs.

With the help of our Matchmaking-Tool trade fair participants can meet and exchange ideas with their business partners online. Thanks to its smart algorithm, it helps participants to make interesting new contacts. In addition, Matchmaking can be used to arrange appointments – whether virtually or live on site.

For more information on our Matchmaking Tool watch the following video:

Our Matchmaking Tool was used for the first time at MEDICA 2019 and was also indispensable at our first completely virtual events in 2020/21, which allowed us to offer our customers additional information and communication platforms during the pandemic.

Held as the first purely virtual event of Messe Düsseldorf was glasstec VIRTUAL in October 2020 with 10,000 participants from more than 110 countries and around 800 exhibitors from 44 countries. In November, around 45,000 trade visitors from 169 nations took advantage of virtual.MEDICA and virtual.COMPAMED; in addition, there were 1,500 exhibitors from 63 countries. In April 2021, virtual.drupa followed with 212 exhibitors from 35 countries and around 45,000 visitors from 155 countries.

“From the world into the hall, from the hall into the world”

This year’s CARAVAN SALON Düsseldorf, which – just like in 2020 – ran as our first physical trade fair, shows how the digital services developed in the process benefit physical trade fairs. Alongside matchmaking, online-product-presentations and video-showrooms, we also offered a hybrid forum “Travel & Nature CONNECTED” in the tourism segment this year. Streamed live and still available on demand, the stage programme whisked the audience away with interactive lectures on natural landscapes, hiking and trekking destinations as well as campsites and RV pitches.

Even when trade fairs are held live again – digital services are here to stay

This year saw MEDICA and COMPAMED offer seven hybrid forums such as the Medical Health Forum, the Medical Labmed Forum or the Compamed High-Tech Forum. The events streamed live from A+A included, amongst others, all sessions of the Trendforum. Some of the speakers there attended live while others joined digitally. This trend will also continue at our trade fairs in future.

Have you ever participated in a hybrid trade fair and used our digital services? Feel free to write and tell us about your experiences!

Header: Messe Düsseldorf / ctillmann

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Marcel Berndt
Senior Manager Corporate Communications bei der Messe Düsseldorf GmbH. Zukunftsoptimist, Weltenbummler, Düsseldorf-Fan .