20 May 2021
Martin Beeh (second from left above) and speakers at materials.cologne
Mr Beeh, interzum @home has just celebrated its premiere. How did you like the new digital format?
I was impressed by the digital format, the relevance and diversity of the exhibitors, and the desire for digital communication, which went very well in terms of direct contacts. Everyone participated, from the home office.
You organized the digital conference for design and innovation materials.cologne . What were your personal highlights here?
At the expert presentations at materials.cologne , we provided a "master plan" and a "tool box" of strategies, examples and implementations for sustainable materials and product development. According to feedback from visitors, the visionary presentations by the thought leaders Dr. Anne Stenros (Think like an Urbanist), Dr. Marina-Elena Wachs (Green Materials), Karl Johan Bertilsson (Colour, Trends and Sustainability), as well as those by industry champions such as Albin Kälin (EPEA Switzerland, on Cradle to Cradle) and Dr. Peter Orth (OPC plastics consulting) on circular economy for the plastics processing industry) were particularly impressive.
What other exciting topics were there?
Floor van Ast , Managing Director of Design Post Cologne explained how sustainable design and material selection can be implemented in furniture and interior design projects and what Design Post does for this. Likewise, design practitioners such as byform design (Kristina Meyer, Thorsten Rosenstengel with "Modal Concept"), Laura Kunze (imat-uve GmbH, research project on recycling textile fibers) and the start-up project Schuh.mach.bar were convincing in showing how sustainable materials and design processes work in concrete terms. The regional project of ZebiO e.V. from the German town of Gummersbach also showed how regional economy achieves local added value in the connection of handicraft, design and trade. Last but not least, Sarah Janböcke (Essen) and Gilman Hanson (USA) broadened the horizon to sustainable management, because sustainability is not "the same in green".
What impressed you in general at the digital trade fair?
In general, the appearance of the big names in the industry at interzum@home was impressive. Some new players rightly drew attention to themselves, and I had the feeling that all exhibitors, no matter from which corner of the globe, were taken equally seriously.
The digitalization of trade fairs during the pandemic will increasingly lead to hybrid events in the future. What advantages do you see in the combination of face-to-face trade shows with digital formats?
The challenge will be to combine the quality and commitment of a face-to-face meeting with effective global communication tools. This is ideal if you have already met in person at a trade fair like interzum. The only thing that hybrid formats won't be able to do is harmonize time zones.