The coronavirus crisis will make digitalisation in the mobility and logistics sectors even more important and will probably speed up the process. It is exciting to see which changes will catch on. Hypermotion offers many opportunities to discuss the effects of the coronavirus mobility crisis on the economy and society, but also to help shape solutions. Whistleblower Edward Snowden and bestselling author Marc Elsberg are among this year’s keynote speakers at Hypermotion 2020, which will take place digitally on 10 and 11 November. Martina Bergmann, Head of Digital Products & Web Solutions, and Michael Johannes, Head of Mobility & Logistics, talk about the opportunities offered by a digital event in an interview.

 

Ms. Bergmann, Mr. Johannes, Messe Frankfurt is offering the mobility and logistics industry a digital meeting place with Hypermotion at the end of the year. What can participants expect?

Michael Johannes: Hypermotion is a networking event. A mix of exhibition and conferences on the topics of smart logistics and future mobility. What is special about the platform is that it is a place to discuss solutions on the interfaces between the mobility and logistics sectors. The event fosters an exchange of ideas across all modes of transport – it is all about digitalisation and decarbonisation, whether for road, rail, water or air.

In 2020, the year of coronavirus, Hypermotion was planned as a hybrid format. However, the current rapid increase in the number of infections per day and the new measures announced by the federal and state governments unfortunately made it necessary to cancel the physical event at Frankfurt exhibition centre. But participants can still look forward to an exciting programme over two days – albeit a purely digital one. Numerous online sessions and web talks in several conferences can be followed from home via laptop, tablet or mobile phone. On top of this, companies, sponsors, start-ups and universities from the fields of smart logistics, supply chain and future mobility will present their products and solutions, some of them live in the form of pitches and presentations. The highlight on the first day is an interview with Edward Snowden on the subject of “Data protection in mobility and logistics after coronavirus – What now for infrastructure from a data protection perspective?”.

Martina Bergmann: Since the very first event, Hypermotion has been characterised by interesting presentation and networking formats that differ from a traditional trade fair: be it a hackathon or the start-up pitches. Therefore, moving the event into the digital realm fits in well with the character of Hypermotion. This year, Hypermotion offers interested companies new opportunities to take part – away from a traditional stand presence. All participants benefit from new, additional digital features for networking.

 

Which elements of a physical business event can be reproduced in the digital programme?  

Martina Bergmann: Over the two days of the event, we will be streaming numerous sessions and talks in several conferences. The new digital experience makes it possible to actively take part in discussions and Q&A sessions. All participants can use our AI-supported matchmaking services to exchange ideas, network and make new business contacts within the Hypermotion community. For direct communication, the chat feature and one-to-one video calls are available. Speed networking offers the opportunity to get to know new contacts within a very short space of time. To help participants plan an individual timetable, they also receive recommendations of which conference content and product presentations might interest them.

 

As a long-standing and reliable partner to the business community, Messe Frankfurt works in close cooperation with the players in the mobility and logistics sector for Hypermotion. How have your partners, speakers and participants responded to the digital concept?

Michael Johannes: With the outbreak of Covid-19 and the resulting global contact restrictions, there is no longer any question of whether Messe Frankfurt should implement a digital event. Our customers expect this. After the long period of economic standstill, B2B networking platforms are needed again. Hypermotion in particular thrives on interdisciplinary interaction. A digital event can currently achieve a higher reach, also internationally. Added to this is the desire for as many leads as possible – classic requirements for a successful B2B event model. We have the right tools to provide our customers with optimal digital support in this.

 

How is Messe Frankfurt ensuring that I, as a participant, can prepare effectively for the digital event and don’t miss anything?

Martina Bergmann: As for all Messe Frankfurt events, the event website provides important information even before Hypermotion starts to help participants prepare effectively. This includes the exhibitor and product search feature and the event calendar, but also industry news, current announcements and general information.

Michael Johannes: With the free participant ticket, I can still log into the Hypermotion portal after the event. The extensive event content and all networking opportunities will be available until 10 December. This gives participants the opportunity to watch videos again, catch up on any conferences they missed and deepen their knowledge with the content provided.

Martina Bergmann: After Hypermotion, networking continues via the Hypermotion app and the integrated networking tool “connect!” – 365 days a year.

 

Will other digital Messe Frankfurt events follow?

Michael Johannes: The concept of enriching a trade fair or business event with a digital programme is certainly scalable and transferable to other event formats. I can therefore imagine that these programmes will also be interesting for other trade fairs – even after coronavirus has passed.

Martina Bergmann: The good thing is that we started experimenting with digital additions to our physical trade fairs early on. Not only for the events in Frankfurt, but worldwide. This has already enabled us to draw valuable lessons from which all of us at Messe Frankfurt will benefit in the further development of our events. Next year, ISH will also take place digitally. The International Consumer Goods Show will be complemented by the Digital Days in addition to the physical trade fair in Frankfurt. We are all crossing our fingers that our hybrid concept can be tested in 2021.

 

Ms. Bergmann, Mr. Johannes, thank you for talking to us!