Interview with Maik Fischer
12 May 2021
Maik Fischer, Director interzum, © Koelnmesse
The digital platform interzum @home made its successful debut from 4 to 7 May. We spoke to the Director of interzum about the new trade fair experience and the added value that the digital platform offers the industry.
Mr Fischer, what conclusions have you drawn in the wake of the four-day event interzum @home?
interzum proved that its digital edition, interzum @home, can also present relevant issues emotionally and provide the industry with fresh, creative inspiration. In total, more than 10,000 participants from 132 countries were active on the platform. It was a very impressive demonstration of the relevance and attractiveness of the interzum brand on the global stage. This means that interzum, as the leading international trade fair for the sector, remains the go-to address for inspiring exchanges and new business opportunities even in these challenging times.
Impression interzum ©home 2021
Completely new trade fair experience
What added value did interzum’s digital event deliver to visitors?
interzum @home offered visitors a completely new trade fair experience. It focused on two key aspects: content and networking. The three Trend Stages and the Product Stage for exhibitors hosted around 230 specialist talks and workshops designed to promote knowledge transfer. And, in addition to watching digital presentations by the key speakers from their industry, visitors also had the opportunity to engage in active dialogue with the experts.
How was the networking opportunity received?
The participants used its diverse features to enjoy a lively exchange on all four days of the trade fair. There were over 80,000 chat conversations and audio/video calls in total. More than 10,000 leads were generated during the event, which amounts to more than one lead per minute. The international offering put forward by the exhibitors thus converged with the international demand from the visitors again this year.
interzum Daily with Maik Fischer at interzum @home 2021, © Koelnmesse
World premieres from global key players
Which exhibitors took part in the online event?
interzum is a trade fair known for its world premieres – it is where a large number of exhibitors present their innovations to an international specialist audience for the first time. This year, they moved their product presentations into the digital space as effectively as possible and made the most of the reach offered by this format. 142 companies from 24 countries presented their latest solutions and product innovations at interzum @home. With this line-up of exhibitors, this year’s digital edition of the trade fair was very international. We are particularly pleased that so many of the industry’s global key players were involved. However, the success of interzum also depends on the participation of smaller companies, which often have exciting products to showcase. And it is precisely this mix of exhibitors that once again defined the spirit of the leading international trade fair in 2021.
How did you attract the exhibitors’ relevant target groups?
The unique breadth and depth of the diverse programme offered by the various stages at interzum @home was very well received. No fewer than 230 digital events with a total of 4,240 minutes of content were hosted, attracting around 100,000 visits from 132 countries. Of course, the exhibitors’ showrooms, where all the important product innovations were presented, were also a highlight. To reach out to the target group, we also made use of our Koelnmesse network of interior design-themed trade fairs – imm cologne , ORGATEC and LivingKitchen – as well as spoga+gafa and Kind + Jugend . The exhibitors at these trade fairs are traditionally also the visitors to interzum. Such a strong selection of trade fairs aligned all along the value chain is unique in the global trade fair landscape.
Impression interzum @home 2021, © Koelnmesse
What impact do you think the virtual event will have on interzum?
Digital reach will be used as a new, additional success criterion for all our trade fairs going forward. However, a digital trade fair cannot replace an in-person interzum event in Cologne. In our view, the trade fair concept of the future will be a hybrid format. At interzum 2023, digital components will represent a logical extension to physical presence in the trade fair halls. In the future, the focus will be on knowledge and content in the online space, and on experiences and socialising at the venue, but always with fluid crossovers between the two – with networking remaining a vital connecting element, which is possible both online and offline, and which will always be important.