Koelnmesse shows us how to do a trade show under the ‘new normal’

Mit dem #B-SAFE4business Village zeigt die Koelnmesse wie Messen in Corona-Zeiten funktionieren. / With the #B-SAFE4business-village Koelnmesse shows how trade fairs work in times of corona.

COLOGNE, Germany: The number three trade show venue in Germany, Koelnmesse offers a behind-the-scenes look at Covid-19 practice.

The #B-SAFE4business demo area is open to their customers until 31 October and provides useful examples and tips on how to organise a trade show under the new normal, that is under the respecting strict hygiene and distancing measures in compliance with the country’s Coronavirus Protection Ordinance.

Gerald Böse, CEO of Koelnmesse GmbH.

The #B-SAFE4business-village occupies around 5,000 m² of Hall 9 on Koelnmesse’s trade ground. It is a prototype of a trade fair under the new normal, based on the requirements of the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia’s Coronavirus Protection Ordinance (Corona-Schutzverordnung). The demo area is useful in that it translates the not always easy to digest bureaucratic content into the day to day event practice of international trade fairs.

The ‘demo village’ is part of the #B-SAFE4business campaign, which launched in the summer to explain Koelnmesse’s comprehensive protective measures for exhibitors and visitors.

With the #B-SAFE4business-village Koelnmesse shows how trade fairs work in times of corona.

With the #B-SAFE4business-village, a real-life experience joins the campaign. “Many of our customers are unsettled by the divergent protection regulations in various federal states and municipalities,” says Gerald Böse, CEO of Koelnmesse GmbH, explaining the need. “With the #B-SAFE4business-village, we present concrete practical examples and strengthen the trust in us as a trade fair organiser. We are showing how it is done. And we are saying clearly: trade fairs are possible.”

The #B-SAFE4business-village is open to Koelnmesse customers by invitation until the end of October. Distancing, hygiene, face coverings, ventilation, and the coronavirus app: simple behavioural measures with a significant effect are part of our new everyday life.

Press meeting during which Koelmesse explained all the ins and outs of trade show organising under the new normal.

Compliance with these rules poses severe challenges for trade fair organisers around the world. With the #B-SAFE4business-village, Koelnmesse is showing that an event can work and that a trade fair organiser can be ready to welcome several thousand participants from all over the world.

The whole customer journey has been mapped, from paperless ticketing and the newly developed eGuard app for directing the flow of visitors, to a wide variety of stand construction concepts that take the distancing rules into account even when space is limited. New event formats and digital technologies show how exhibitors can increase their reach with hybrid exhibition stands. When it comes to services, Koelnmesse presents its catering and hygiene concept, among other things. In addition to several Koelnmesse business divisions, various service providers are also participating in the Village.

The resumption of trade fairs is essential for Koelnmesse. In addition to the trade fair company’s direct service providers, hotels, restaurants, and taxi companies are among those missing the trade fair guests. The message of the #B-SAFE4business-village that trade fairs are possible even in times of the coronavirus. It is not only an essential signal for the trade fair customers’ sectors but also the economy of Cologne.

At Koelnmesse, with 400,000 m² exhibition space and outdoor area, there is a lot at stake. Throughout the year it welcomes three million visitors per year originating from 224 countries.

The German trade show organiser hosts more than 80 trade fairs, exhibitions, guest events, and special events every year in Cologne and key markets all over the world. For example, Interzum Guangzhou (27 to 30 July 2020). This event was Koelnmesse’s restart in China. It was a success, demonstrating that trade fairs are possible despite the pandemic and can result in an excellent commercial outcome.

Watch the video here.

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