Chaired by Mykyta Fastovets from technology company ExpoPlatform, this wonderfully European panel on Day Two of Event Tech Live featured Stephan Forseilles of Easyfairs, Stuart Ledden marketing director at Tarsus and Matthias Tesi Baur, MBB-Consulting Group’s CEO. Their Two main topics:
how has the tip, the pivot, to online worked for exhibitions; have they managed to find a compelling format for visitors? And what sort of things can we do to make sure exhibitors get more value from an event?
The consensus is that the events/exhibition world is still very much on the lower rungs of the virtual puzzle, despite how quickly companies started the climb back in March. There have been a whole lot of shows in the digital format but, certainly in terms of making new money, there’s a long way to go. Simply replicating a live show virtually will not pay the bills.
Sitting top right on my screen, Stephan Forseilles – logo on his T shirt ‘No, I will not fix your computer…’ led the conversation.
“I’m not super positive about the experience we – as an industry – are giving our customers at the moment,” he said. “We’re doing our best, and sometimes it’s quite good, but it’s never super compelling.
Ledden, in agreement, stressed the differences in expectation and delivery of virtual shows compared to their real live counterparts stressing the want for different formats, different experiences, that deliver against what customers/exhibitors and attendees want to achieve.
All of the participants are part of putting these new model shows together, as organisers, as tech suppliers or as overseers, and it was another compelling example of team Event Tech Live matching speakers in different time zones to sketch out a programme for the future – however quickly we get there.
This sessions highlights four sets of top tier learnings. How virtual events can’t copy the ‘pour all the right ingredients into a room, shake slightly, add water/content and let them find what they’re looking for’ approach of traditional exhibitions.
“It needs to be a journey,” Matthias Tesi Baur says. “A series of events to a goal. Then we have different way of thinking.”
For Stephan, the silver lining “in this shitstorm” is highlighting the traditional resistance to trying new models where now they are the only way forward.
“We can’t organise a trade show like we used to a year ago. At least now we have more freedom to try things.”
It might be micropayments rather than big invoices. It could be about subscription to an event. “Both are very new to our industry,” Tesi Baur says towards the end of the session. “So we need to ask ourselves, what skills are we missing? What people are missing to harvest these ways of making money?”
Event Tech Live continues 2-6th November, register here