"The large number of participants and the very positive feedback from our customers more than fulfilled our expectations", says Ute Panzer, Vice President Marketing and Communications at ENGEL, drawing an extremely positive conclusion after the first live e-xperience. "We have made a quantum leap in the field of virtual exchange with customers and partners."
Focus on personal contacts
"Even though no classic trade fairs are taking place, and restrictions apply to personal meetings, we still want to exchange ideas with our customers, partners and interested parties and present our solutions and innovations. After all, Covid-19 does not mean that we are slowing down our development activities", says Dr. Christoph Steger, CSO of the ENGEL Group. Against this background, the injection moulding machine manufacturer developed a completely new virtual and interactive trade fair concept. Seven machine exhibits, an online specialist congress and one-on-one meetings with familiar local contacts and other experts ensured that the ENGEL live e-xperience was on a par with a physical trade fair. "We succeeded in making personal contacts the focus of attention, even in virtual format," says Panzer. Many customers booked appointments in advance and were guided through the virtual showroom during the meetings. ENGEL provided insights into the new machine solutions and process technologies via video streams.
Both the concept and the content impressed the participants. There was also very positive feedback on the functionality of the platform and the excellent transmission quality. ENGEL had set up two streaming studios at its headquarters in Schwertberg.
Participants from 90 countries
"The reach is astounding. The participants came from 90 different countries," says Ute Panzer, highlighting one of the main advantages of the virtual format. People who were unable to attend the event live still have the opportunity to visit the machine showroom, independently of their time zone, and to view all keynotes and expert talks via the media library. This is another benefit compared with a physical exhibition.
"Despite the very good experience, we view it as extremely important to see, and look forward to seeing, our customers, partners and interested parties in person again soon," says Christoph Steger. "The virtual trade fair will not replace physical events in the future, but it will complement them in a very good way. We are establishing the live e-xperience as a complementary, permanent sales channel. It opens up the opportunity to present ENGEL's solutions in a way that was previously only possible at trade fairs or at one of our locations, independently of distances, time zones and restrictions".