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Do cross-sector and cross-disciplinary trade fairs make sense? Can they hold their own – after the experience of three years of pandemic – against trade congresses and topic-specific events? Since ABB and AUCOTEC, among others, did not exhibit at the Hannover Messe this year, I thought it would be interesting to get a sense of the mood from some exhibitors. Even though they are only individual examples, they give an impression of the considerations that play a role here.

Here are the answers from Annegret Cox, EUROCENTRAL Marketing Director at Dassault Systèmes.

Annegret Cox, EUROCENTRAL Marketing Director at Dassault Systèmes (Photo Dassault Systèmes)

Ulrich Sendler: Ms. Cox, what is your attitude to trade shows after the pandemic break?

Annegret Cox: We are pleased that normality is returning to everyday trade show life after the pandemic-related break in recent years. For us, it has become even clearer during this time how important personal exchange with our customers and partners is. At the moment, however, our focus is more on smaller, exclusive networking events that allow for a more intimate discussion atmosphere.

Ulrich Sendler: Do you have experience with online events?

Annegret Cox: During the pandemic, we were able to gain some experience with online events and successfully tried out various formats. For us, however, they were more of an interim solution for staying in touch with customers, partners and media representatives despite the physical distance.

In the future, we will be focusing more on face-to-face events again, as we do not believe that online formats achieve sufficient results, but at the same time are very time-consuming to organize.

Ulrich Sendler: Which trade fairs are interesting for you?

Annegret Cox: This year we will be present at the Hannover Messe, the SPS, but also at various smaller industrial trade fairs as well as at VDA and VDMA events.

Ulrich Sendler: Which other events do you use?

Annegret Cox: In addition to the major trade shows and events, our 3DEXPERIENCE Conference in Darmstadt on October 18-19, 2023, is the most important event for us this year. Visitors will learn through presentations and breakout sessions how they can use technology to drive sustainable innovation and stay competitive.

Ulrich Sendler: What are your main reasons for attending trade shows?

Annegret Cox: Trade shows are where the industry meets. Many of our customers and partners, as well as long-standing media contacts, are on site, so there are numerous opportunities for personal exchange. In addition to customer meetings, we naturally want to draw even more attention to our solutions and come into contact with potential new customers.

Ulrich Sendler: What are your goals as an exhibitor?

Annegret Cox: Our goal is to make new contacts as well as to develop existing contacts. We can show them directly on site with demos or showcases what is possible with our solutions and what the latest developments are.

Ulrich Sendler: Where do you currently best achieve these goals?

Annegret Cox: To deepen and maintain our existing contacts, our own events and small exclusive events organized by associations are best suited. If the aim is to establish new high-quality contacts and create awareness, industry trade shows are the right place.

Am Stand von Dassault Systèmes auf der Hannover Messe 2023 (Foto Dassault Systèmes)