The modular system for successful event formats
Every industry has its own needs when it comes to event formats. Let's start with a classic order show for the trade. The expectations of suppliers (exhibitors) and buyers (visitors) are primarily focused on the depth of the range of products on offer, price scales and delivery dates. In this case, it is important that suppliers and buyers can meet easily and talk to each other in a pleasant and trouble-free atmosphere. Important elements in this case are accessibility and practicability of the venue, spacious booths or meeting rooms that guarantee the desired privacy and a sophisticated matchmaking tool with which the appointments for talks have already been made in advance. Supporting programmes tend to be seen as chichi, unless they are social events, and these are particularly welcome among buyers who have to spend more than just a few hours at the event due to their job.
A completely different event format is desired by sectors of innovative technologies. For those who represent the future, the classic exhibition stand alone is not enough. Let's describe the format as Innovation Lab. Here, it's all about messages and these are transported through content, for example, through their own workshops within the framework of the event or through expert lectures that they give themselves or, even better, case studies that are presented by their customers. What is usually called a supporting programme becomes the main programme content for this industry. Sometimes even the target groups become blurred and suddenly it is not clear who is the supplier and who is the customer. In principle, the target audience consists of participants who, in the course of getting to know each other, emerge as potential partners, facilitators, suppliers or buyers, as the case may be. In these sectors, socialising and networking are added to the pure knowledge transfer to a not inconsiderable extent.
In addition to the two extremes of order show and innovation lab, we find a broad field of traditional industries that have the need to present themselves to their existing clientele on the one hand and to expand this circle at the same time by participating in a show. Here, too, there is no recipe for «the event format». On the contrary. The organiser must immerse himself deeply in the individual industry, surround himself with representatives of the various disciplines and be able to listen well. It is important to work out the subtleties and nuances of the respective industry. In one case, it's about staging the entire event, in the other, it's about picking up on changes in buyer behaviour. In each case, it's about selecting the right elements for a successful event format.
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