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By Editor Morten B. Reitoft 

Meeting people at Hunkeler Innovationdays was beyond description. The social elements of a physical show CAN'T be underestimated by any means, so 100% great. A show with SO much equipment is also really cool, and having end-to-end solutions that give the PSP a real opportunity to see technology at work, can't be underestimated. Of course, the physical shows have a high price tag for the partners and exhibitors, but also for the visitors, as Lucerne, by all means, is more expensive than most places. But as with everything, price is relative to return, and that's where Hunkeler Innovationdays plays an enormous role. Four days with almost 7,000 visitors, with an average visiting time of two days, combined with a razor-sharp focus on digital print and finishing, in two reasonably sized halls, is the formula that fits my taste.

Whereas other shows embrace the entire industry with everything from all segments or choose a national/regional approach, you experience the industry's diversity and size matters when visiting a public tradeshow, but are we fooling ourselves? I understand that you may find inspiration from other segments, but what is the purpose of a tradeshow?

As the name indicates, tradeshows are for trade, and though I find plenty of inspiration, I believe most people have pre-arranged meetings, look at demos relevant to their business, and focus on these areas. I am not convinced that a tradeshow will convince a commercial printer to become a packaging or label printer, but just my five cents on this topic.

Hunkeler, as mentioned, has such a narrow focus that it gives the visitor the one thing a vast show never can - and that's time. You have time to compare the different printers and the other binding solutions, and you will still have time to cover all the social aspects between your peers, suppliers, and friends you haven't seen for a long time. I am certain that the ROI for exhibitors at Innovationdays is high if the exhibitor focuses on the target group visiting the event!

In just a few weeks, I have been asked to moderate an event by Printing-expo.online. I look forward to moderating the sessions. Still, I also look forward to seeing how the show will be executed as the event is physical - without an audience - delivered through the 3D platform that has convinced exhibitors and visitors worldwide for the past years that an online 24/7/365 days event is what the industry needs. Several thousand visitors use the platform to find information, see presentations, and more - but what I experienced at several physical tradeshows is how printing-expo.online is being used as a resource at tradeshows to show the equipment that is not presented - or to explain details where the 3D models make a lot of sense.

A new type of Hybrid. INKISH will extend the value of the tradeshows we cover by introducing 'Replay Innovationdays' (name of the event) and take advantage of the virtual format to follow up on a physical event precisely as we have all done during the pandemic of the webinars. The idea is to deliver answers to questions you didn't have time to answer during an event.

Online events are more challenging. We all liked them during the pandemic as we worked from home and had time. We are back at work and don't have the time, so the online events make less sense. Or at least this is the case if the events are pre-recorded. If an event is pre-recorded, it's not an event anymore unless it's mixed into a live event. Pre-recorded events can be published and watched anytime, so the world is changing.

Our plan for 2023 is to cover FESPA, LabelExpo, and PRINTING United, and we do so by introducing various formats Before-During-After. Before we do case studies that are relevant in a live stream from an event. The production value is so much higher, as you can focus on details, talk about the product with specialists, and honestly make something that looks freaking fantastic. By combining this with interviews from a tradeshow, we get up-to-date information along with the details an audience would need. The timeliness is not about delivering a pre-recorded message but about letting the event be where content is curated.

Combining the event types must always be with the audience in the center. When, why, and how does the message reach relevant people as best possible?

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