Nothing speaks of the power of face-to-face events to drive business recovery, growth and innovation, as the sight of customers streaming back through our show doors. As 2022 draws to a close, we highlight the many ways RX events have been helping customers to rebuild their supply chains, renew their order books, and grow more sustainable and inclusive businesses in a post/late COVID world.
On 1 December 2022, the doors closed on IBTM World, the leading global event for the meetings and events industry. Over 100,000 one-to-one business meetings took place over the three-day event in Barcelona – more per attendee than in 2019, the last pre-pandemic edition. If evidence were needed of the business world’s desire to reconnect and do business face to face, IBTM World is it.
Reflecting the feedback of many exhibitors, Zinhle Nzama, Acting Chief Convention Bureau Officer at the South African National Convention Bureau said “A lot of the meetings that have taken place on the stand have resulted in business leads. We continue to see how face to face interactions are imperative in business events.”
IBTM World is just the latest RX event to return in triumphant form in 2022, confirming what 78% of respondents told our Global Digital Insights team earlier this year - that trade shows offer them something unique that cannot be created elsewhere. The sense of community and collaboration that comes from meeting and doing business in person. The energy and buzz of a packed exhibition hall. The ability to see, hear, touch, smell and test drive the products on display. The sheer efficiency and economy of meeting with so many people, in one place, at one time. The unprompted discussions that spark innovation and generate new leads.
For 2022, RX events offered them more: a focus on how to build back better, and discover more responsible, sustainable and inclusive ways of driving growth; and a wealth of new digital and data analysis tools to enrich their event experience and turbocharge sales.
Building international business
The global marketplace for the sheet metal working industry, EuroBLECH 2022 connected visitors with businesses from all over the world to help them find solutions for current challenges and integrate the latest machinery and software into their manufacturing process. The hot topics this year were digitalisation, sustainability and Industry 4.0, and many of the products and innovations shown at had been developed with a focus on cost and resource efficiency.
Of the 1,300 exhibiting companies, 62% of exhibitors came from outside Germany - up from 58% at the last event, held in 2018. More than half of the 38,076 trade visitors also attended from abroad, 88% of whom were decision makers.
“The visitors this year meant serious business. Almost every second person entering the gates to EuroBLECH 2022 came with the intention to invest”, said Exhibition Director Evelyn Warwick.
"We've had a fantastic week recording a record number of leads” confirmed Matthew Fowles, Group Marketing Director, LVD Company NV.
“The atmosphere was electric, and it was clear to see that customers were ready and excited to be back at EuroBLECH."
Building business relationships
Online Retailer Conference & Expo is Australia’s #1 meeting destination for the eCommerce industry. After a long hiatus, the first fully fledged, face to face edition in two years took place from 20-21 July at the ICC Sydney.
Global ‘buy now, pay later’ (BNPL) platform Afterpay, who have been exhibiting since 2015, were once again centre stage, building their reputation as a thought leader on the conference platform, connecting to existing and new customers on their 18 square metre stand, and raising their brand profile through their awards sponsorship.
“We were excited to once again return to a physical presence this year. While we loved having the ability to connect virtually, there’s nothing like meeting face-to-face” said Katrina.
“Returning with a physical booth at this year’s event meant we could really build those in-person connections with the merchants and vendors at the heart of our business ‒ its building and nurturing those relationships that we value so much.”
In November Online Retailer was awarded Best Industry Event at the NORA Solution Partner awards for the 3rd year running. “The award is voted for by our customers and is great validation of the work the entire team has done collectively in delivering an exceptional show and customer outcomes” said Event Director Matt Smith.
Building sustainable business
in-cosmetics Global, the world’s leading personal care ingredients show, returned with its first physical European event after a three-year hiatus. With 732 exhibitors it was the largest Paris event in the show’s history attracting over 8,000 buyers, 57% of whom were international.
While sustainability has long been high on the industry agenda, this year’s show highlighted the tangible progress being made by brands and ingredient suppliers alike, with the event’s Sustainability Corner growing in size from 29 exhibitors in 2019 to over 40 for the 2022 edition.
in-cosmetics Global is regarded as a prime opportunity for innovative ingredient suppliers to connect with international cosmetics manufacturers and brands. Milan-based BiCT was among the 100 new exhibitors in 2022 and was delighted with the result.
“We received 450 contacts from 35 countries. This was a very positive experience that allowed us to launch our sustainable biotechnology products and services to the worldwide cosmetics market.”
Building inclusive business
JCK, the largest and most iconic jewellery buying experience globally, successfully wrapped its 2022 edition in Las Vegas in June, exceeding pre-pandemic 2019 attendance numbers. The team was recognised for its achievement by TSNN Magazine in the Comeback Award category, honouring shows that returned to pre-pandemic attendance levels while demonstrating resilience and business excellence. The team also won the 2022 International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE) Award for ‘Outstanding Marketing and Sales’.
JCK 2022 was also memorable for its commitment to increasing diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) within the industry. Among the exhibitors in this year’s JCK Design Collective were six designers from the Black in Jewelry Coalition (BIJC). For the first time, JCK provided a sponsored platform for the BiJC designers - Adore Adorn, Jam + Rico, JNCY Jewelers, Christian Stone, Made by Malyia and The Personal Jeweler - to be discovered by new retailers while forming new, long-lasting relationships.
“It truly was a spectacular show and in my three years of attending JCK, there was a noticeable difference this year in the amount of diversity and level of comradery among the exhibitors. It was spectacular to see and be a part of…this is just the beginning,”
JCK also worked with the Women’s Jewelry Association (WJA) on a networking breakfast, featuring a presentation by the Founder and CEO of Blue Level Training, a black woman-owned enterprise focused on diversity, equity and inclusion training. And JCK Talks—the curated conference program opening a day before the show floor—featured a panel discussion, Attract and Reach New Customers Through Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, leading attendees through a discussion on developing awareness in DE&I.
JCK’s diversity initiatives are part of a wider drive across RX in 2022 to promote and support a culture of inclusion and belonging within RX, at our events, and among the communities and industries we serve, by encouraging our customers to ‘Now, be you’.
Building quality business
Equipotel 2022, held in Sao Paulo, experienced record-high rates of exhibitor satisfaction and fidelity – an exceptional achievement for an event which celebrates its 60th anniversary next year. Exhibitor satisfaction at Latin America’s leading event for the hospitality sector reached 90%, while fidelity, which measures exhibitors' intention to return, was at 81%, the highest ever for the event.
A total of 40,000 leads were generated by exhibitors and R$ 120 million in business was projected within six months, of which 30% was finalized during the four days of the event. The average of 10,000 daily leads was 30% higher than the previous edition, with 85% of exhibitors having a positive outlook on negotiations for the coming months. 18,339 hospitality industry professionals attended, of whom 85% were decision-makers, 70% were in leadership positions, and 60% had funds to do business during the show.
"We welcomed a very qualified public, looking to get quotes and do deals” said Rose Molon, National Hospitality Manager for Altenburg, which supplies bedroom, bathroom and dining products to the luxury hotel market.
“We left the event with excellent results. Not all negotiations were finalized at the show, and they may last up to three months after the event. We believe that in at most 60 days we will have surpassed our target by around 10 to 15%."
Building innovative business
Life Instyle is Australia’s biggest curated trade event connecting boutique retailers with quality brands, the majority of whom are small, entrepreneurial organisations. “We know what it takes to start a new business and wanted to help the brave movers and shakers taking the steps to build the business of their dreams,” said Nina Vidale, Event Director. “So, in 2019 we launched our ‘New Breed Scholarship’ offering a prize package valued at over $7,000 including business mentoring, marketing support, and a stand at Life Instyle Sydney.
The 2022 scholarship was won by Megan Pollock, founder of Brisbane-based Second Scout, which she single-handedly launched in July 2021. Her cleverly conceived range of tactile ‘routine helpers’, planners and home organisation solutions was inspired by her own efforts to make life easier for herself and her young family.
“As part of my prize I had sessions with a wholesale coach who talked me through my numbers and margins, advised me on my wholesale catalogue, helped me with my stand design and so much more,” said Megan. “Life Instyle also organised a session with a local business mentor in Brisbane, a photoshoot which has been great for my website and catalogue, and an email campaign to their attendee database which drove many people to my stand at the show.”
Building digitally enabled business
Customers returning to RX event in 2022 took advantage of exciting new digital and data-analysis tools to target suppliers and buyers more accurately, generate more sales leads, quantify the return on their exhibition investment, and even develop a data-driven assessment of their performance against their competitors.
One such tool is Emperia, an innovative smart phone app which enables exhibitors to quickly and reliably capture attendees contact details and product interests by scanning their badge.
“Emperia is super helpful for the sales team and easy to use. You just scan the badge, and the data is immediately there” commented Seca, the world market leader for medical measuring systems and scales, at FIBO 2022 in Cologne to drive sales in the global fitness market.
“You don’t need to write down all the customer details or collect their businesses cards and follow up is way easier. We like the data export function because everyone wants the data in their own CRM system and it’s very easy with this functionality. It’s easy to learn too. We didn’t need to train anyone.”