Networking 4.0 New portal launched: Industrial Generation Network
In view of recent developments around the coronavirus and the related infectious disease Covid-19, a number of events have been cancelled or postponed. Digital platforms that can compensate for this development could be the future.
The coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) and the associated concern about Covid-19, a disease caused by the pathogen, are spreading. In recent weeks, almost all major events worldwide have been affected by this; trade fairs and congresses have been postponed or cancelled altogether.
The consequences for the economy as a whole are not yet foreseeable, and the same applies to the trade fair industry. The first stand builders are now demanding support from politicians, which is why the state government in North Rhine-Westphalia (Germany) has already announced immediate loans for affected companies.
The latest developments also focus on the possibilities of virtual events. According to a recent German survey by the European Institute for the Meetings Industry (EITW), 65 percent of those surveyed think it likely that they would participate virtually in an event if they were unable to attend in person.
Trade fair presence important for companies
Active participation in trade fairs is of central importance for many companies - both for their external presentation and for direct contact with customers and partners. Participation in a trade fair is an essential building block for sustainably successful business-to-business communication. Exhibitors benefit from the opportunities to maintain regular customers, acquire new customers, and increase awareness of the company, products and brands.
According to a recent representative survey of 500 German exhibiting companies commissioned by the Association of the German Trade Fair Industry (AUMA), 99 percent of all exhibitors consider personal contact and thus the opportunity for direct networking to be a significant trade fair plus. 95 percent see an advantage in the fact that their company can advise and convince - potential - customers directly at trade fairs through competent staff. If these experiences can be virtualized and supplemented with multimedia possibilities, digital events can be a valuable alternative.
Because one thing is clear: health risks such as infectious diseases are no threat in virtual environments.
Virtual events – secure and flexible
In addition to the virtually non-existent risk of contracting a contagious disease, digital conference or trade fair offers reduce the volume of business travel and thus also CO2 emissions. This saves both travel budgets and the environment. Supplemented by the potential of multimedia functions, corresponding digital platforms could be a valuable addition to current offers for networking, marketing, and knowledge exchange.
Great global potential
Trade fairs and conferences in virtual space promote global networking and exchange. Corresponding platforms have the potential to revolutionize the quality of professional communication. And they do so across company and country borders, flexibly and free of health risks. Various functionalities of such a web platform make it possible, among other things, to replace a large part of the face-to-face communication of trade fairs and large conferences. The possibilities here range from business matching to company and product presentation to thematic exchange and generation of specialist knowledge. All this is only a few clicks away from each other and can be reached from anywhere in the world within a few seconds. The more connected the world becomes, the more important such offers will become.
The platform starts on March 10th, 2020 and will be continuously developed.