After the pandemic-related break last year, 60% of the classic attendance fairs have already been cancelled for 2021. However, these sad circumstances for the trade show industry have led to creative rethinking in every area of life. The trade fair industry, and SYMA in particular, have also taken advantage of the newly acquired technical capabilities to implement virtual trade fairs. But by 2022 at the latest, the world will open up again and the trade fair organisers will be active once more. What remains of the virtual trade fairs?
The hybrid trade fair and its endless possibilities
We’re all familiar with meetings via video chat, online training or private meetings via virtual platforms, but hybrid trade shows offer many more opportunities for reaching and engaging customers. It adds virtual possibilities to reality.
Staging and analysis at the digital trade fair stand
At SYMA’s digital booth, it’s all about the maximum real-world experience and the best convenience for visitors in attendance. Technologies integrated into the stand can bring to life holograms, 3D models, AR, VR, custom soundscapes, social network integration, and more, taking the live experience of visitors in attendance to new levels. Many different digital interfaces make it possible to receive individual solutions for one’s own problems effortlessly on one’s mobile phone or email, or to hold direct discussions with experts who are not present at the time. The story and its staging are, along with the personnel, the key to trade fair success.
The possibilities of the digital trade fair range from a simple technically interactive to a smart trade fair stand, where information about visitor behaviour is collected and processed via a variety of IoT sensors. In this way, the exhibitor learns a lot about the visitors and can incorporate this information into product development and future communication.
Virtual and local combined
At SYMA’s hybrid exhibition stand, online visitors and real visitors meet at the same time or even at different times. Extension of reality. Digital content can be used by both, and even with each other, as people meet and exchange ideas on specialist topics without having to be in the same place to do so. For online visitors, the virtual trade fair stand can be a digital twin of the trade fair stand or a newly created world that can be expanded to include many functionalities that are not available to the real visitor.
The exhibiting company can also be brought closer to the customer by means of virtual plant tours, for example. To liven things up, visitors can play themed games or learn more via interactive elements – deepening the customer relationship. Finally, you can submit reviews, as well as check current availabilities and make appointments via an embedded calendar.
Hybrid trade fair as a solution: using the advantages of both worlds
Presence trade fairs are still important
With these limitless possibilities, the question might arise as to why interested parties should make the costly journey to trade fairs in the future? The costs of a virtual trade fair are also significantly lower for exhibitors, yet only 21% of companies consider purely virtual trade fairs to be a serious option. As practical as virtual alternatives have been for all of us over the past year, these experiences in particular have underscored how valuable real-world experiences are for customer contact as well. This is exactly where the advantages of attendance fairs come into play.
Integrated exhibition stand construction as a synthesis
The art is therefore to combine the two worlds particularly seamlessly and to accompany the customer from the real trade fair into the virtual extension through simple interfaces. SYMA has been working intensively on this topic during the pandemic and is already working on various exciting solutions for hybrid trade fairs. The first prototypes are being built and will be presented soon.
Temporal and spatial expansion of the trade fair stand
A hybrid trade show can start earlier in digital form and build anticipation for the real event a few days in advance. When all the exhibition stands have already been torn down and the customers go home with many new impressions, the digital extension can remain and provide interested parties with information afterwards or give them the opportunity to review the experience at home in peace. From the comfort of their own homes, visitors from all over the world can also take part in the real trade fair without having to travel far.
Informative expansion through new exhibition technology
Digital elements are also incorporated directly at the trade fair stand itself to support the sales pitch at the touch of a button with animations, videos or interactive elements. Some information can be better explained or highlighted this way. This also introduces many new elements to classic stand construction.
As will become clear, a hybrid trade fair offers many new opportunities. At the same time, there are also many new challenges that will face trade fair construction, organisers and exhibiting companies in the future. Classic trade fairs still have to offer more so that customers and exhibitors do not take the easier route of digital access. Storytelling and staging are the most important elements for this, in order to combine virtual offers as a hybrid trade fair with the real event and to optimally integrate all participants.
We would be happy to advise you in detail on SYMA’s comprehensive range of digital, smart, virtual or hybrid exhibition stand options.