Is the exhibition industry only doing a pseudo-digitisation?
There are a lot of digital initiatives reported in the exhibition industry lately: IT departments are growing nearly everywhere, budgets are increasing and job titles that are pretty new in the exhibition business are arising. A “Chief Digital Officer” and a team with a start-up attitude seem to be a must-have. And it is also a must-do to talk about all these efforts, furthermost to the board of directors.
SESSION ABOUT DIGITAL DISRUPTION AT UFI GLOBAL CONGRESS IN JOHANNESBURG
At the last UFI Global Congress in November 2017 in Johannesburg, South Africa, Gunnar Heinrich (CEO adventics & Scan2Lead) held a session on “Digital Disruption” with his colleagues from the Digital Innovation Committee Stephan Forseilles (easyfairs) and Matthias Tesi Baur (MBB-Media). The panel raised different controversial and thought-provoking topics with the audience, prompting a lively debate over the pros and cons of each issue.
THE AUDIENCE VIEW ON THIS TOPIC
During the session in Johannesburg, there were some arguments which underline the thesis of a real threat to the exhibition industry:
1. Many organizers (and here especially the state-owned companies) are to slow to really bring innovative solutions to the market.
2. We need a different corporate culture. We are not used to allow errors. Agility is something else. We need the right organization and the right attitude of the top management.
3. They bring in modern technology but forget about the appropriate business models.
4. Just buying a new CRM system and taking five years for a basic implementation is not really digitizing the business.
5. We can’t work with big data because we do not even understand our small data.
6. Many initiatives rolled out are pretty old school and have nothing to do with industry 4.0 and modern digital business.
Interestingly, the entire audience was seeing it the same way. The big majority (about 95 %) voted that they agree or even strongly agree that the exhibition industry is currently doing a pseudo digitisation. Nevertheless, it was discussed that there are some bright exceptions in the market who are really leading the industry in terms of using modern technologies and business models.
KEEP IN TOUCH WITH THE UFI DIGITAL INNOVATION COMMITTEE
Join us online:
Come and join us on our LinkedIn Group (“UFI Digital Innovation Group” or http://www.ufidigital.com) or follow us on Twitter (@UFIDigital). Join your expert peers in the event industry and be part of the community shaping the future of events.
Join the Digital Innovation Group’s next Focus Meeting:
Once a year, we invite CIOs, marketers, IT specialists and anyone else interested in the digital transformation of our event industry for a focus meeting. Packed with interesting sessions and presentations, the focus meeting is also where the three finalists for the Innovation Award will showcase their solutions. Attend our meeting and vote for the winner.