Are trade shows still up to date? A comment by G&K editor-in-chief Ansgar Wessendorf

Ansgar Wessendorf is editor-in-chief at G&K TechMedia, publishing house of the magazines NarrowWebTech, Etiketten-Labels, Flexo&Gravure Global and Flexo+Tief-Druck (Source: G&K TechMedia)

Within our interview series to the question how relevant trade shows are in today’s digital life   Ansgar Wessendorf, editor-in-chief of G&K TechMedia and working and writing for the package printing industry for more than twenty years, is responding the question “Are trade shows still up to date?”

Ansgar Wessendorf
Editor-in-chief, G&K TechMedia

Are trade shows still up to date?

Without a doubt, we are in the digital era, and quite a few companies are calculating hard on which activities their marketing budget will be spent. Trade fairs are expensive and thus, are more and more often questioned.

The truth is: If you want to be relevant as a company within the respective industry in the future, you should try to be a part of the digital and non-digital world.

Today, an increasing number of people are looking for products or services online – for this reason, a good website, for sure, is nowadays inevitable for each company. Regardless of this, the importance of the personal contact with the decision-makers and buyers may be neglected.

By having direct contact with the customers, the exhibitor receives immediate feedback leading to the fact that uncertainties can be explained immediately. For sure, today there are techniques to display the benefits of products on the website, such as videos. However, a video can only be a channel and does not give feedback. In addition, the personal contact creates trust and this is still a very important basis for a long and successful cooperation.

However, great success is reported in particular by established large-scale trade shows with global relevance, such as Labelexpo, drupa or “All in Print”. A range of medium-sized and small shows are struggling or have already disappeared. For example, Converflex, Grafitalia and Inprinting have joined to form the new “Print4All”.

In addition, suppliers are increasingly becoming competitors to trade show organizers. In the technology centres or academies they are organising large-scale events in cooperation with partners. If a customer considers investing in a new label printing press, he will probably visit the different relevant press manufacturers.

However, many companies and visitors were faced with the decision – Labelexpo Europe yes or no? Considering all these above mentioned factors and development, the decision is not an easy one. Whether participation in a trade show makes sense or not cannot be judged in general. Each company has to evaluate and to decide by itself depending on its interests and its advantages by visiting a trade show such as Labelexpo Europe.

Please find the whole interview series in this post!

Rosina Obermayer

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