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The Week in Events: Machinery buyers geared up for digital future

Your weekly event news roundup from ExpoPlatform – Machinery buyers are harvesting the power of digital according to new research, Emerald X takes over the world’s largest cannabis industry trade show and the opening of CES 2022 is hailed as an event planner’s guide to beating omicron.

Heavy machinery buyers harvest power of digital

Buyers of heavy machinery are harvesting the power of digital as remote and ecommerce are the preferred choice of around half, according to a new study.

Exclusive research from ExpoPlatform and LECTURA reveals a surge towards digital sales opportunities across a range of related industries.

Findings show ecommerce transactions have increased in popularity for sectors such as material handling and transportation, although less so in agriculture and construction.

The survey of 25,000 buyers reveals nearly half of material handling and transport machinery buyers were interested in buying through ecommerce.

Construction and agriculture buyers preferred face-to-face interactions, but one-third still rate digital as their preferred channel to do business. 

While in-person interactions remain popular, the convenience of digital self-service ecommerce and remote contact with sales teams have now taken the lead.

More than two-thirds (67%) of materials handling buyers preferred to purchase heavy machinery through digital channels, the survey shows. 

This is 62% for the transport sector, 56% for construction and 46% for agriculture.

The findings also show high levels of spending has moved online for industries such as construction, agriculture, materials handling and transportation.

More than half of the respondents would spend up to $50,000 this year, while around a quarter would go as high as up to $500,000.

Download the full report to find out more.

Emerald buys out world’s largest cannabis trade show

The world’s largest cannabis industry trade show has been taken over by a major organiser for at least $120 million.

Emerald X has completed the acquisition of MJBiz, a leading event producer and content platform in the rapidly growing sector.

Emerald paid $120m as initial consideration upon closing of the transaction, with potential future payments contingent on performance throughout 2022.

Hervé Sedky, Emerald’s CEO, said: “This is a transformational acquisition for Emerald as it represents an important next step in the implementation of our strategic initiatives and underscores our commitment to evolve and grow our customers’ businesses 365 days a year.

“MJBiz’s leading event and content portfolio coupled with their 365-day engagement platform, which connects the entire cannabis supply chain, will diversify our collective product offerings, enhance our growth profile and enable us to deliver even greater value to our customers over the long term.”

Cassandra Farrington, MJBiz co-founder, added: “Our organisation has experienced massive growth since its inception, initially as a how-to resource to help dispensary owners run their businesses better, into our position today as the leading commercial resource for the cannabis sector.

“Integrating with a larger organisation provides the additional resources and channels to unlock the next phase of MJBiz’s growth and is the right next step in our evolution as a business.”

The acquisition includes the world’s largest and oldest related trade show, MJBizCon and related brands such as award-winning publications MJBizDaily, Hemp Industry Daily and MJBizMagazine.

Opening of CES in Las Vegas ‘model for 2022’

The opening of a major electronics event in Las Vegas has been hailed as a model for events in 2022.

Fears had been raised the Consumer Electronics Show (CES 2022) may be forced to cancel due to concerns about safety for attendees due to coronavirus.

Despite this the Consumer Technology Association’s (CTA) event managed to open in-person last week with full health protocols in place.

Roger Dow, CEO of the US Travel Association, has since described the opening as an example for other organisers to follow.

He said: “By staging an influential live event that safely convenes thousands of global professionals across the technology, business and political spectrum, CES is nothing short of a model for how business trade events can and should take place in 2022.

“It is our sincere hope that other professional event organizers will follow their lead this year.

“Gary Shapiro and his team at CTA are to be commended for navigating today’s challenges while ensuring that attendees can build meaningful relationships and plan for the future of technology.

“And the health and safety protocols in place at the Las Vegas Convention Center and throughout the hotel and hospitality community has further enabled the safe return of this and other major events.

“The success of this year’s CES will contribute to the recovery of business travel in general and related industries. But of critical importance, it is producing jobs for American workers who are dependent on the safe return of all sectors of travel, which accounted for 1 in 10 US jobs pre-pandemic.”

This 52nd edition of the show opened between January 5 and 7, one day shorter due to Covid-19 challenges.

Early reports suggest there were 1,900 exhibitors participating despite several large companies, including Amazon and Google, cancelled their onsite plans.

Industry body blasts Sunak’s latest round of industry support

Industry members are being urged to contact their MPs over a lack targeted support from the Chancellor’s latest aid package.

The Meetings Industry Association (mia) has blasted the £6,000 one-off grants offered by Rishi Sunak, describing it is as “insulting”.

It is now calling on its members to write to their MPs and has provided a template for those wishing to do so.

Kerrin MacPhie , mia chief executive, wrote to members: “Following Rishi Sunak’s announcement of a £1bn hospitality support package on 21 December, we feel the business meetings and events sector is simply being forgotten and is being put at a distinct disadvantage.

“We are therefore asking members to consider writing to their local MP to individually demonstrate the sector’s plight and concerns alongside the necessary intervention that is needed to support the future viability of our industry.”

Exhibition planners ‘riding out’ the Omicron wave

Trade show organisers are remaining confident despite the threat of the latest coronavirus strain, according to a report.

A story in the Financial Times highlights how some of the world’s largest event planners are getting set for a string comeback after the latest wave.

It reports that industry leaders have had to be flexible over the last two years but are now keen to position their companies to take advantage once the pandemic finally subsides. 

Stephen Carter, CEO of Informa, told the newspaper: “Effectively, we have been scheduling, rescheduling, negotiating.

“It has been very demanding on our teams, and it’s been quite demanding on our relationships with venue partners and contractors.

“Customers have remained very committed to participating — when they’re able to.”

The report also highlights how companies such as Informa are also trying to take advantage of the data generated by exhibitions.

This includes through the use of specialist mobile apps, matchmaking and post-event analytics along with compulsory online registration due to health concerns. 

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