In November 2018 the second meeting of the Digital Advisory Board at Messe Frankfurt took place. This committee with digital experts from exhibitors and Messe Frankfurt evaluated once more new technologies for the digital transformation of marketing in the trade fair environment.
New technologies for networking and addressing visitors
After the follow-up and presentation of the topics dealt with in the first Digital Advisory Board meeting, the focus of the second meeting was on the presentation and evaluation of new digital facilities for the continuing development of trade fair marketing, for addressing visitors and for an improved visitor service.
Martina Bergmann, Head of the Digital Products and Web Solutions Division at Messe Frankfurt, presented, among other things, the new, very positively received services of Messe Frankfurt for audience marketing. Since the participants at the first Digital Advisory Board meeting had expressed a lot of interest in this topic, Messe Frankfurt converted this service into a bookable product. This form of the specific approach to visitor target groups using data-based advertising and programmatic advertising opens up completely new options for the implementation of lead generation processes based on this.
In addition a prototypical application was presented which provides individual-related information in real time on the basis of video data and pattern recognition. This can be used, for example in the form of advertising and can display individually tailored content to passers-by as they walk past advertising spaces. The Experience Management Tool from Advertima AG and its possible uses in trade fair marketing were discussed in detail by the Digital Advisory Board. This means that the analysis of visitor flows on the fair stand, deployment of targeted visitor advertising on the trade fair site or interactive applications on stands, and even – assuming the availability of adequate data – linking to audience marketing campaigns would be conceivable.
Digital transformation and changed visitor interests
Not least the Digital Advisory Board discussed the central challenges to be tackled in the age of digital transformation of trade fairs in order to underscore further their relevance for visitors and exhibitors. In addition to the expansion of digital services for personalized information supply, new forms of presentation, such as augmented reality content, or digital networking platforms, the digital experts on the Board regard the mobilisation of visitors and business match-making as a central success factor for future trade fairs. The members of the Advisory Board were agreed that, in view of the interests and behaviour in particular of the new visitor target groups in generation Y and Z, there is a need in future for events with additional digital content, high use value and varied analogue as well as digital networking options.
On the advice of the Digital Advisory Board, Messe Frankfurt conducted a joint study with students of the EBS University of Economics and Law in the spring of 2018 in which they investigated what millennials expect of trade fairs. The results revealed that trade fairs are for millennials still a part of the ideal marketing mix. But in addition to changed expectations with respect to trade fairs, the main task is to address changing information and networking behaviour with a targeted approach.
Regular meeting of experts for more and improved innovations
The Digital Advisory Board is made up of exhibitors from various sectors and representatives of the Digital Business Division of Messe Frankfurt. The aim of the regular workshop is to evaluate the exhibitors’ needs in terms of digital trade fair marketing and the work on concrete new ideas and innovations which optimize the visitor experience further.
“The rapid development of the digital transformation makes it absolutely essential to cultivate an intensive dialogue with our customers and to jointly assess further developments. After the constructive start in the spring our Digital Advisory Board has occupied itself very intensively with concrete innovations and has given us valuable ideas which we use to shape our digital services,” says Klaus Reinke of the Executive Management of Messe Frankfurt.
“We were once again positively surprised by the commitment and ideas of the members of our Digital Advisory Board. In constructive group discussions and brainstorming sessions on specific applications a large number of ideas were developed which provided not only Messe Frankfurt, but also the participants with interesting suggestions for their own work. We are looking forward to the next workshop with our Board members,” Martina Bergmann added.