«If anything good has come out of this difficult time, it is the stimulation of creativity,» stated Dr Wilfried Schäfer, Executive Director of the VDW, (German Machine Tool Builders’ Association) at the METAV 2020 reloaded Preview on 10 December 2020. The press conference was originally intended to pave the way for the METAV 2020 reloaded fair next March. But the trade fair has now been completely reinvented as «METAV digital». It will be held from 23 to 26 March 2021.
“Out of concern for our exhibitors, who need certainty for their planning, and bearing in mind the health of all those involved, we made the decision last week to cancel METAV 2020 reloaded as a face-to-face get-together and to replace it with a purely digital event,» said Schäfer, explaining the new concept. «Given the stubbornly high infection figures issued by the Robert Koch Institute, and the fact that Messe Düsseldorf has cancelled all events in the first quarter of 2021, this was the only sensible option,» he pointed out.
Networking three in one – the 3-pronged METAV digital
METAV digital is one part of the VDW’s three-pronged concept towards virtual events. The others are the monthly Web Sessions that have been taking place since June of this year, and also the Preview.
The virtual METAV next March also has a three-pronged structure: the Virtual Exhibition, Intelligent Matchmaking and the Web Sessions.
In the Virtual Exhibition, exhibitors can design their own three-dimensional digital trade fair stand. They can choose the size and variant of their stand, devise their own layout and fill it with their own digital content (e.g. document downloads of product information, product presentations featuring moving product images and 3D models).
Intelligent Matchmaking has been developed for the precise matching of exhibitors and visitors. Personal profiles are used as the basis for matching interests, establishing contacts, arranging appointments and exchanging business cards. Precise matches are ensured by the «Matchingscore®», a percentage rating that reveals the overlap of interests between two profiles.
The third element, the Web Sessions, is already familiar. Exhibitors reach their global audience live and online. In 20-minute talks they present their product innovations and interesting examples of applications, backed up by multimedia content such as animated clips, videos or sound recordings. A core element is a discussion platform which the presenters can use to interact with the global audience.
METAV digital set to become a permanent fixture as part of a hybrid METAV
“We believe that METAV digital offers a number of great opportunities – especially given the current market requirements and the situation of many companies who now have to plan their marketing budgets very carefully to ensure they obtain the maximum benefit,» emphasised Schäfer, announcing: «Hybrid trade fairs are the future. METAV digital will continue as a complement to the face-to-face event in the future.» The hybrid concept is to be adopted from METAV 2022, which is scheduled to run from 8 to 12 March 2022 in conjunction with Messe Düsseldorf.