【DE】Especially for a mechanical engineering fair, the LIVE experience is absolutely necessary  

The economy worldwide is slowly picking up speed again, companies are investing and people meet again – privately and professionally. One of these business meeting places will take place from the 16th to the 19th. November 2021 in Munich will be the productronica, to which around 850 exhibitors are expected. Here are three questions for Dr. Reinhard Pfeiffer, Vice-Chairman of the Management Board of Messe München, on trends and highlights and on the question of why face-to-face fairs are so important.



For this year’s productronica, from 16th to 19th November 2021 around 850 exhibitors expected in Munich   Photo: Messe München


productronica has been known in the industry for years for current trend topics. What are they this year?

As in 2019, productronica 2021 will also be one of our trend topics for productronica 2021 Smart Factory, i.e. the digital transformation in the factories. In addition, the focus is also on Internet of Things (IoT), 5G/6G, microelectronics as well as electromobility and autonomous driving. These topics are not only dealt with by our exhibitors; the supporting program of productronica, which is organized, among other things, in cooperation with the Association of German Mechanical and Plant Engineering (VDMA) and the Central Association of the Electrical Engineering and Electronics Industry (ZVEI), will increasingly reflect these forward-looking topics.


Due to the pandemic, organizing a trade fair is more complex. Why is it still so important to meet again at face-to-face fairs and how do you offer digital added value at the same time in times like these?


For me, the biggest advantage of meeting at a face-to-face fair is undoubtedly personal contact: facing each other and literally looking in the eye personally is certainly something different than doing this via video programs. And especially for a mechanical engineering fair, the LIVE experience is absolutely necessary.


In addition, our customers have also often mirrored to us that face-to-face events cannot be easily replaced. Direct and personal exchange is more important than ever after Corona.


However, it is also beyond doubt that the past one and a half years and the special situation have driven digitization forward worldwide and shown alternative marketing opportunities. In this respect, digital additions to events will also play an important role in the future in order to offer our exhibitors the opportunity to present themselves outside the trade fair period, but in the context of the event. Therefore, we are offering the “productronica online” for the first time this year. This already went eight days before the physical event, i.e. on the 8th. November, online and will be until 26. November will be live. This offer offers an optimal digital addition to the fair, with the help of which exhibitors and visitors to productronica can network – but of course also all the industry representatives who cannot be there live this year due to the travel restrictions still in force.


We look to the future. Imagine it’s the 19th. November 2021 at 4:00 p.m., the fair is over and you will be asked the question: “How did productronica 2021 go?”


My statement a quarter of an hour after the end of the fair could be something like: “Exhibitors and visitors were thrilled to finally see each other live again after one and a half years of pandemic restrictions and, above all, to be able to exchange business. The greats of the industry were all represented and were more than satisfied. We all lacked contacts from overseas, especially from Asia and the USA, but the talks were valuable and make us look optimistically into the future.” Either way, I will probably express myself, because we have had these experiences at the IAA Mobility and especially recently at EXPO REAL. Of course, productronica 2021 will have been a more European trade fair, but still the optimal meeting place for the electronics industry.


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