The Fair is Dead… Long Live the Fair!

The king is dead, long live the king! These were the ritual words with which the spokesman of the old French monarchy announced to the people the death of the sovereign and the advent of the successor to the throne, as a guarantee, without interruption, of the royal house. In short, certainty and guarantee of continuity.
The comparison is maybe risky but while the season of the most important trade fairs for our sector is about to open, I find myself as every year to attend debates in which we discuss the opportunity to participate or not to participate in a fair, now that the increasingly virtual and globalized showcases make it possible to constantly monitor the news “remotely”. I have already written that I believe in the usefulness of trade fairs, and the advent of digitization is not a brake on this type of communication “vehicle”, but rather an opportunity to be exploited. The figures indeed seem to support this idea, given the constant growth in turnover of companies that organize trade fairs around the world, not to mention that 28 out of the 33 largest companies in the world are European.
More and more often, event organizers implement digital technologies to facilitate visitors and exhibitors at the same time: from Wi-Fi to digital signage, wayfinding systems, e-ticketing, platforms for security, traffic, logistics management and for matchmaking and apps dedicated to profiled users with increasing precision. Similarly, the opportunity to include in the same event an offer enriched by digital technologies involving several industrial sectors is a way to generate quickly and effectively new interest around a proposal that needs, year after year, to be rethought.
Hence the competition among the organizers to create the conditions for the events dedicated to the industry to become more and more places of technological exchange rather than of commercial proposal. In addition, the exhibitors compete to find applications that may shows not only the peculiarities of their products, but also the ability of the company to integrate complementary technologies, often digital ones, perhaps collaborating with other subjects in the supply chain. This perspective makes me anxious to discover what will be the novelties to be admired in the upcoming trade fairs, and how these will be presented: from MecSpe to Hannover; from SPS to Agritechnica and in all the fairs that, from March onwards, will fill the exhibition centres in Italy and around the world.
If this change causes a sort of break in the sign of continuity, then maybe the king is dead, but long live the king!