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Digitisation ‘key issue’ for exhibitions – UFI

Digitisation is the second-biggest issue facing exhibitions worldwide, according to an UFI survey.

The association’s latest Global Barometer ranked the challenge only behind internal management issues.

A total of 17% put it as a top hurdle, up from 16% in January – while it was ahead of media competition which was picked by 15%.

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The latest results show significant variations from the previous edition of the barometer, released in the February.

In particular, the impact of Covid-19 on the business has dropped from being the most pressing issue, to the sixth-most pressing – from 19% down to 11%.

An analysis per industry segment – organiser, venue and service provider – shows no differences for the three most pressing issues

What’s behind the figures?

Some differences can be seen with the impact of digitisation, with different markets struggling with it at different levels.

The barometer shows it is the most pressing issue in Colombia (24%) and Germany, Malaysia and Thailand (20%).

Meanwhile, Covid-19 remains the most important issue in China (21%) and Hong Kong and Japan (20%).

It comes as organisers are digitising their internal processes and workflows and shaping their overall strategies to sync with their customers’ expectations.

This is because event tech has allowed organisers to push new boundaries of personalisation, immersion and interactivity while providing crucial engagement and networking metrics to boost ROI for exhibitors.

What does it mean for organisers?

Digitally-enhanced exhibitions are no longer a value-add but a necessity – meaning organisers have to place this as a top priority.

Business models are being reinvented for specific exhibitions, product offerings as well as entire strategies.

Legacy platforms are being phased out and a more modular, integration-based tech stack is being adopted. This allows organisers to make quick changes to their user experience without having to risk a critical process.

This evolution of event tech has given rise to Smart Events – where organisers can use digital solutions to create value for both the attendees and exhibitor.

These modular solutions include AI-powered matchmaking, Hosted Buyer Programme, Lead Retrieval, Analytics and others. A modern event organiser is equipped with these tools to create richer, ROI-driven experiences for their audience.

Want to know more about Smart Events? Read how you can make money with them!

We hope you enjoyed reading this article and found it useful. At ExpoPlatform, we want to help you build better events and communities. Please get in touch and ask for a demo here. Thank you.