Successful re-start for Koelnmesse in China
interzum guangzhou with international participation - digital expansion ensures worldwide business contacts beyond the trade fair itself.
Suspense and great anticipation accompanied the launch of the first Koelnmesse event since the coronavirus crisis began: interzum guangzhou in China (27 to 30 July 2020) demonstrated that trade fairs with strict hygiene rules in place and a limited number of admissions - in the food-service areas, for example - are possible in spite of the pandemic and can result in a good commercial outcome. 'The international participation was good and in keeping with the circumstances; thanks to digital business matchmaking, exhibitors were also able to reach visitors who were unable to travel to the event', according to Gerald Böse, President and Chief Executive Officer of Koelnmesse. 'This corroborates our efforts to begin hosting trade fairs again in our halls in Cologne as soon as possible. The success of interzum guangzhou encourages us to set the course for this outcome, together with our customers.'
interzum guangzhou marked the first major platform for the international furniture manufacturing and supply sector in the second half of the year. More than 800 exhibitors from 16 countries and almost 100,000 visitors took the opportunity to meet vendors, customers and business partners again in person, building and strengthening relationships and reconnecting as an industry. 'In the current situation, the most important thing is for our customers to feel comfortable and safe at our events', Keith Tsui, Managing Director of the Chinese Koelnmesse subsidiary, explained. 'As event professionals, we see ourselves in a position to create conditions that are conducive to trade fairs, even in times such as these.'
As expected, there were fewer exhibitors than seen in the statistical results of the previous interzum guangzhou, but there were international exhibitors who made use of the event as well. Among other things, there was an official German group entry comprised of a total of eight German exhibitors; their appearance was successfully supervised by local employees or sales partners on location. Among visitors, the trade fair was focused primarily on the Chinese market. From the first day of the trade fair, it recorded excellent and only slightly lower numbers of national visitors when compared to the previous event. On the third day of the event, a record number of visitors was even achieved compared to previous events: "This shows that our visitors feel safe and enjoy spending several days and more time at our show," says Tsui.
This makes the event a role model for returning to normalcy following months of uncertainty - and a successful digital extension of the event's reach: For international customers who were unable to travel to the venue due to travel restrictions, interzum guangzhou offered 'Offline2Online Live Business Matching'. International visitors joined in the proceedings digitally from home, virtually meeting with the exhibitors on hand to cultivate business relationships and present new products. Exhibitors' feedback on these virtual meetings and on the event as a whole was consistently very positive:
Dr. Rajat Agarwal, Henkel (China) Investment Co., Ltd., Corporate Vice President
"So, I am quite impressed with the quantity of exhibitors and people. We also see that the exhibition overall is extremely well organized and very clean. So, I'm very happy to see a well-organized exhibition."
Mr. Simon Jenkinson, LINAK (Shenzhen) Actuator Systems Ltd., President
"My personal opinion is that the show is busier than I was actually expecting it to be. There are more people here than I thought there would be, and we are meeting many of our old friends as well from within the industry, that we haven't seen for a long time. This has been the first opportunity to catch up with existing customers and contacts."
The kick-off in China will be followed by further outbound Koelnmesse events in the food sector: THAIFEX - Anuga Asia in Bangkok in September, and yummex Middle East in Dubai in November. The trade fair team in Cologne is looking forward to a re-start there, with ART COLOGNE and COLOGNE FINE ART & DESIGN (18 to 22 November 2020).
'For all of our events - whether in Cologne, with our B-SAFE4business concept, or abroad in coordination with our subsidiaries - we have developed detailed hygiene concepts that enable our customers to conduct business with one another directly', Böse assured. 'Trade fairs have an absolute systemic relevance for the global economic fabric, and for many participants they are actually of existential importance. 90 percent of the exhibitors in the Koelnmesse programme are small or medium-sized enterprises for which international trade fairs represent the main gateway to the global market. Our mission, as an international trade fair organiser, is to give the industries involved the propulsive power they need for their business. And we take this mission very seriously.'
Koelnmesse generated more than 400 million euro in revenue worldwide in 2019 and has a workforce of more than 1,000 people. As a city trade fair location in the heart of Europe, it is home to the third-largest trade fair grounds in Germany and ranks among the top ten in the world, with approximately 400,000 m² of hall space and outdoor area. 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.
Photo material for interzum guangzhou 2020: http://koelnmesse.onlinemedianet.de/download?guid=6043F33E-1A5F-4A1B-A8D5-B3F750846896
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