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Back to the experience of trade fairs - with innovative technology

Koelnmesse relies on innovation by Ubirch and Corussoft

The trade fair business is back - in Germany, and all over the world. Exhibitors and visitors seek a return to the halls, and business people want to do business - under the most normal conditions possible. For large organisers such as Koelnmesse, this means: Safe concepts, smooth processes and functioning technology will all help make trade fairs straightforward again. One such development is the new process that Koelnmesse has developed together with software companies Ubirch and Corussoft: People who arrive from a country of the EU and have access to the EU DCC (Digital Covid Certificate), can combine immediately their Covid certificate to the trade fair ticket; this accelerates access control at the trade fair entrance.

The process has already proven itself at Anuga, the leading international trade fair for the food industry and the world's largest trade fair since the pandemic: There, more than 4,600 exhibitors and 70,000 visitors had high expectations of the hygiene and safety concept in place at Koelnmesse, together with smooth access to the trade fair grounds. "Together with Koelnmesse's technology partners - Cologne-based cybersecurity company Ubirch and Corussoft, a software provider from Berlin - we have come up with an innovative solution that simplifies access for our customers", Koelnmesse President and Chief Executive Officer Gerald Böse explains. "The result is a pragmatic and up-to-date digital process to accelerate activities at the trade fair entrance."

With this in mind, access to trade fair guests at Anuga was tested based on the 'Universal Verification Service' by Ubirch. This service enabled quick and automated checking of EU-compliant digital Covid certificates (EU-DCC standard). What this means for Koelnmesse is that there is no further need to present trade fair ticket and Covid certificate (vaccinated, recovered, tested) separately at the entrance to the trade fair, but the customer can use the respective trade fair app to link the two ahead of time. "This stores tickets to the trade fair in the ticket wallet of the app", as Oliver Frese, Chief Operating Officer at Koelnmesse, explains. "If a customer calls up his or her ticket there, the 'Get Quick Access' button automatically appears. The visitor can use this either to scan the QR code for the Covid certificate, or to upload a file with a QR code. Then, all the visitor needs to do is present the trade fair ticket at the admission control." Thanks to this process, which is voluntary for all customers, checks are accelerated, and waiting times at the trade fair entrance are kept as short as possible. Anyone who does not have their Covid certificate in the EU-DCC standard, such as customers from countries outside the EU, will certainly also have access to the trade fair grounds, too, and will present their certificate separately at the trade fair entrance.

The process was successfully tested at Anuga and was available to all customers for the first time at FSB and aquanale (26 to 29 October 2021). Böse: "For us as an organiser, a stable, uncomplicated and self-explanatory solution that provides relief for our customers and quickly leads them into the actual events of the trade fair was an important objective. The only way our events can regain their usual appeal, and the only way our customers can return their focus to the trade fair experience in Cologne, is for us to offer trade fairs without an excessive operating burden."

Karim Attia, CEO of Ubirch: "The Ubirch solution interface offers organisers an opportunity to quickly and economically check 3G (to determine whether a person has been vaccinated, has recovered or has been tested) certificates for authenticity and validity before they enter stadiums, exhibition halls or concert halls. This creates transparency and great reliability and accelerates the necessary checks immensely."

Kristian Skobic, Managing Director of Corussoft: "Integrating Covid certificates into the ticket wallet of the trade fair apps shows that mobile applications can be used not only for visitor services or marketing, but that they can also help the organiser manage trade fair processes."

About Koelnmesse:
Koelnmesse employs around 1000 people. As a city trade fair in the heart of Europe, it occupies the third largest trade fair grounds in Germany and, with almost 400,000 m² of hall and outdoor space, is among the top ten largest trade fair grounds in the world. Each year, Koelnmesse organises and manages around 80 trade fairs, guest events and special events in Cologne and in the most important markets all over the world. Its portfolio reaches over 54,000 exhibiting companies from 122 countries and around three million visitors from more than 200 nations. Until 2034, Koelnmesse is investing more than 700 million euro in the development of the trade fair grounds into the most extensive investment programme in its history, to allow it to cover all event formats in the future.

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