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Fairs, ceo Morselli speaks: "We use digital to show our product"
Coronavirus cancelled the fairs. For a year now has the medical emergency spread throughout the world, which resulted in the fairs being cancelled for understandable reasons of public health. We talked about it with
Gian Lauro Morselli
, CEO of Emiliana Serbatoi.
What are the national and international trade fairs or events in which Emiliana Serbatoi participates and what is the last event in which the company took part before the outbreak of the pandemic?
«The fairs in which Emiliana Serbatoi participates reflect the merchandise sectors of the company and the applications of our tanks and storage systems: therefore, it ranges from agriculture to earthmoving, from hardware to ecology, from automotive to oil & gas, from nautical to industrial plants. The last fair we participated at in person on the international level was Conexpo at the beginning of March in Las Vegas, USA, an important international event in the building sector. Exactly one year has passed since that date, which was 10 March 2020. In Italy, instead, in the middle of October we took part in OilnonOil, an event in the fuel and energy sector».
Do you agree on the fact that trade fairs represent nowadays one on the fundamental places for trade meeting and an unmissable opportunity for companies to be updated on the market and eventually to update your own proposals?
«Trade fairs are without doubts a unique tool for a company, both for the establishment of new business relationships, especially with foreign players for a company like ours extremely interested in export, and for a comparison with competitors. About the postponement of the fairs, Emiliana Serbatoi prepared an articulated program for 2020 that was postponed to 2021, but also this year there is a concrete risk that the international trade fair calendar may suffer numerous cancellations. Like everyone else, we have had to bow to the medical emergency and certainly to the reasons of public health. We hope, of course, that we will return to normality as soon as possible».
What is the additional value of the physical meeting between company and operators which takes place at the fair? Do you think it could be replaced by interactivity available on digital channels today?
«Certainly digital channels can be an additional showcase for the company and are an important tool for interacting around the world, but the physical meeting, at least in the initial phases of a business understanding, is crucial for the establishment of a relationship, also from the point of view of trust».
Do you think that the choice of the institutions fair to bet on hybrid form represents an opportunity to maximize the investment of the exhibitor (for example, extending the fair beyond the duration of the physical event increases the number of contacts, increases visibility and the possibility of intercepting new customers)?
«The hybrid forms, which is a combination of “physical” fair and “virtual” event, can be interesting, at the same time physical presence at the event is decisive. From what we have seen in recent years, numerous manifestations adopted a digital counterpart that not always was good enough. For example, it is not sufficient to limit to a “showcase” of products and of an internal messaging system. It is necessary to encourage a real online interaction between exhibitors and customers: exactly the way it happens in real life, when the stands attract the public thanks to the organizational modalities activated by the trade institutions».
Thinking about the migration, even only partially, from the fair to the online platform, would you prefer to focus on a digital showcase-product that also exploits the interactivity of the online world to access the digital channels of the company (site, youtube channel, social, etc.) or on a real virtual fair with real exhibitors on the merchandise stands, meetings with buyers, forums, etc?
«Both are valid hypotheses; certainly, the possibility of the "virtual fair" can constitute a more complete platform, especially from the point of view of the informative and commercial offer to the customer as well as the possibility of stimulating an immediate contact which then, of course, can be moved to more formal channels. This hypothesis is possible, as we have seen last November at the digital version of Eima International, but the technological platform must be up-to-date and able to sustain a high-level traffic, let alone be user-friendly and make the user experience as smooth as possible. The scepticism towards the instrument can be mitigated only by an established functionality, which at the moment I don’t think is so widespread».
In addition to Eima digital, what other online fairs has Emiliana Serbatoi attended in the recent months?
«I would like to say that many fairs that we have attended in recent years have been accompanied by a virtual platform, even if it was in different circumstances it was a page-showcase with limited interactivity. Having said that, in recent months we have also participated in "online" versions of the Italian ecology fair Ecomondo, the French “green” fair Pollutec and the American festival dedicated to agriculture World Ag Expo. Even with the pandemic, our action in Italy and abroad continues, as we try to exploit such channels as well and use the tools offered by new technologies and new media».
For more information:
Environment and sustainability, winning choices for the future’s economy
World ag expo lands online, Emiliana Serbatoi partecipates at the US digital event
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