Hannover Messe Digital Days

Trade Shows Go Virtual, and the Trade is Information

July 6, 2020
On-demand shows offer knowledge without all that walking.

No doubt about it: Manufacturing trade shows have made the pivot from live events to virtual trade show platforms. Gone are the free ballpoint pens and bowls of bite-sized candy—not to mention sore feet and crowded aisles. They’ve been replaced with simulated chat rooms and on-demand presentations. The in-person interaction may be gone, but the availability of knowledge has increased.

In short, what trade shows now are trading in is information.

Hannover Messe cancelled its live show in April in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and quickly developed an interactive event that will run July 14-15. Hannover Messe Digital Days will launch with a focus on manufacturing innovation, Industrie 4.0, energy and key issues facing the sector as a whole.

The virtual event also is supported by several major sponsors, including Beckhoff, Cisco, Festo, Harting, Ifm, Igus, Phoenix Contact, Rittal, Schneider Electric and Siemens. Hannover Messe Digital Days also will continue its advocacy for women in manufacturing with a separate track on the subject, and also will award its Hermes Award for outstanding innovation during the event.

It is designed to be as much like an actual trade show as the digital format permits. “Thematically, the  Hannover Messe Digital Days focus on the content of the trade fair,” show officials said in a press release. “Exhibitor product and solution presentations form the second pillar of content. The networking component enables all participants to search for suitable business and cooperation partners and make contact directly via the chat function.”

With the absence of such live shows as Hannover Messe, key industry suppliers have developed their own live events that have transformed into an on-demand show. Among them:

  • On July 8, 3D Systems will open its virtual event portal for 30 days to discuss how additive and subtractive manufacturing can improve everything from supply chain to design and engineering. Access to the portal is free and can be found by clicking here.
  • Bosch Rexroth will present its 4-day Factory of the Future virtual event on July 13-16. Topics will emphasize how technology and design can address issues of supply chain, flexible manufacturing and project management. Access to that event can be gained by clicking here.

Other events already have been archived, allowing manufacturing leaders to schedule their own virtual trade show access. Some of those archived events include:

  • PTC’s LiveWorx presented June 9 with more than 120 sessions on topics ranging from augmented reality to the Internet of Things. That content can be accessed by clicking here.
  • Simulation World, presented by Ansys, looked at topics including 5G, digital transformation and the Digital Twin. Those presentations can be found by clicking here.

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