Internet, globalization and modernization, together with the financial crisis years ago truly changed both our personal and business lives. The internet has changed business in many ways and we just simply had to adapt to the changes that it brought. But, despite the fact that digitalization is present in more and more areas of businesses, the role of fairs and exhibitions is growing year by year. In the opinion of some people in this business, the financial crisis identified an even more important role for companies and their marketing mix.

Considering all this and in spite of all the digitalization in our lives, people are searching for personal contact and business is still focusing on the personal aspect. With the financial crisis that also affected this part of business in recent years, the big players in the exhibitions market in the region had to adapt a little bit to globalization and most of them were successful. In this sense, the regional exhibition industry is successfully adapting to global trends and using their regional benefits, which can still focus on an individual approach and quick adaptation. They constantly need to adapt and develop, which are the positive outcomes that the financial crisis and digitalization have brought. Maybe, they were even the key trigger that forced and encouraged regional exhibitors to become more goal-oriented with a focus on the challenges for a successful appearance with a common denominator, the visitor/potential buyer is king.

Let’s keep it real, digitalization brings some positive aspects which need to be taken into account in the exhibition business and can also importantly upgrade the exhibitor’s presentations and whole package. But a digital solution cannot replace the face-to-face communication and personal contact still remain the core of one’s presence at a fair and also business in general, and because of this, exhibitions remain a key part of the solution.

Here is what the leaders in the field of international exhibitions have to say about the ever changing exhibition market:

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VIEWS: Nick Pilbeam, Divisional Director, Reed Exhibitions

“Even though technology of course plays its part in the process of business, it cannot replace the relationship that starts with a live meeting”

VIEWS: Corrado Peraboni, CEO Fiera Milano

“Fairs are irreplaceable tools, even if the advent of internet for a while led us to think differently. In reality, nothing can equal personal, direct contact between those looking for products or complex solutions for their business and those able to provide them.”

VIEWS: Wolfgang Marzin President and Chief Executive Officer of Messe Frankfurt

“There is no substitute for experiencing products live and being able to see and touch them, for soaking up inspiration at first hand and striking up conversations with people – this is what makes trade fairs a unique experience”

IN FOCUS: Gábor Ganczer, CEO of Hungexpo

“I feel that the B2C exhibitions have become increasingly specialized. Those of our events are truly successful which target a well-defined audience, whether it’s hunters, motorbike or sailboat enthusiast. The age of grand, general fairs is over. The role of B2B exhibitions is growing year by year and it is precisely the financial crisis which showed that they are indispensable in the marketing mix of firms.”

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