Hannover Messe experienced from my home office was a different experience. The Messe people built a good platform for “booth” appointments and press conferences. It was reasonably (not perfectly) easy to use. I had a number of good interviews. They did try for networking, but I haven’t seen a single digital networking interface that has really worked.
When I talked with marketing people from exhibiting companies, I received a mixed bag of responses about their experiences. Some had had enough good interactions to justify the investment. Some did not. I have no idea why the disparity. This press release from the Messe organizers tells us that they intend to bring the physically located event back but also to maintain a digital component. This hybrid event should expand the reach. 2022 will be interesting.
“The HANNOVER MESSE Digital Edition demonstrated the innovative power of mechanical engineering, electrical engineering and IT companies. At the same time, it showed that the tradeshow of the future is hybrid,” said Dr. Jochen Köckler, CEO of Deutsche Messe AG. “Together with our exhibitors and partners, we succeeded in strengthening the core brand of the world’s most important industrial show: innovation, inspiration and networking in the age of industrial transformation – that is what HANNOVER MESSE stands for.”
German Chancellor Angela Merkel opened the world’s leading tradeshow for industry on Monday together with Joko Widodo, President of the Republic of Indonesia. The 1,800 participating companies presented 10,500 products and innovations to 90,000 registered participants. The conference featured 1,500 experts discussing topics such as Industry 4.0, digitalization of industrial processes, supply chain management, lightweight construction, hydrogen, and electromobility.
“The positive response to the digital HANNOVER MESSE exceeded our expectations. At the same time, we saw that a digital tradeshow cannot replace the magic of a physical event,” reported Köckler, citing trust-building face-to-face discussions, concrete leads at the booth and the hands-on product experience as well as chance encounters that can lead to new business partnerships. “The personal contact simply is not there.”
“The digital HANNOVER MESSE confirmed that we are on the right path. Based on our experience this week, in the future we will bring together the best of the digital and analog worlds to provide our customers with a holistic hybrid tradeshow experience,” added Köckler.
During the five days of the live show, the 90,000 participants generated more than 3.5 million page views and submitted 700,000 search queries in the exhibitor and product search. In addition, the new conference and exhibitor live streams attracted approximately 140,000 views. “The HANNOVER MESSE Digital Edition 2021was a successful test case for us in every respect. We wanted to see which concrete benefits digital formats deliver to our exhibitors and visitors,” explained Köckler.
“Among other things, we now know that we are reaching completely new exhibitors and visitors. When we transfer this knowledge to our physical events, we maximize the bandwidth of our tradeshows many times over. In this way, we increase the relevance of HANNOVER MESSE,” concluded Köckler.
Beginning 19 April, all content from the HANNOVER MESSE Digital Edition will be available here. Interested parties who missed the live week can register to learn more about the exhibitors and products and watch the keynotes and panel discussions on demand.
The leading German industrial associations agree with Deutsche Messe’s assessment.
“I pay greatest respect to the organizers of the HANNOVER MESSE Digital Edition for a very successful event in pandemic times. The fair management put together an innovative format that demonstrates the capabilities of our industry despite Corona,” said Siegfried Russwurm, president of the Federation of German Industries (BDI). “The gathering of politicians, suppliers and business users from all around the world is an important signal to focus on innovative strength. More than ever it is important to grow out of the Corona crisis with new solutions and business models.”
“This year’s HANNOVER MESSE showed that the brand is also appealing in a digital format and continues to bring exhibitors and customers together. The electrical industry presented numerous product innovations and remains a key player in the global Industrie 4.0 movement that began at HANNOVER MESSE ten years ago,” said Dr. Gunther Kegel, president of the German Association of Electrical Engineering and Electronics Industries (ZVEI) and CEO of Pepperl + Fuchs SE. “Today, the ‘Industrie 4.0′ brand enjoys worldwide recognition and, together with AI and 5G, strengthens Germany’s competitive position as a manufacturing location. Our industry needs a strong exhibition location, which in the future will be a mixture of physical and digital offers.”
“HANNOVER MESSE is and remains the international showcase for industry even in times of Corona. This year’s Digital Edition brought companies, politics, media and many viewers from all over the world online to present fascinating technologies and discuss important topics,” said Thilo Brodtmann, CEO of the Association of German Machinery and Plant Manufacturers (VDMA). “Mechanical and plant engineering play a key role in industrial transformation. This applies to climate-neutral production and the mobility of tomorrow as well as intelligent production and logistics technologies.”
The next HANNOVER MESSE runs from 25 to 29 April 2022. Portugal is Partner Country.