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AUMA – The German Trade Fair Industry News

ExpertsForum highlighted the theme of science at trade fairs

The ExpertsForum "Trade Shows as Innovation Hubs – Science to Business", which AUMA hosted jointly with the trade fair working group on science at the Berlin University of Technology (TU Berlin), was part of Global Exhibitions Day on 7 June 2017.

In her opening address Prof. Dr. Christine Ahrend, TU Berlin Vice President (photo), emphasised the importance of trade fairs for science.

Dr. Peter Steiner of the Max Planck Society spoke about the “Max Planck Science Tunnel”, which is an instrument of Germany’s external research and academic relations policy. It presents knowledge and insights from the Max Planck Institutes to the public in various countries, he noted, and in particular the challenges faced by humanity through 2030 in terms of resources, the environment and education. 

Prof. Sven Prüser of HTW Berlin – University of Applied Sciences emphasized that scientific institutions have to address potential customers and partners at trade fairs in a targeted fashion, with the mentality of the hunter rather than the fisherman. It is especially important, he noted, to use trade fairs to establish media contacts and orient post-exhibition efforts toward commercial exhibitors.

The communication of universities is currently too focussed on online media and social media. Trade fairs should therefore burnish their profile as an efficient tool. This was emphasised by Dr. Thomas Windmann of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology. Science, he said, has credible information to offer. This should be given greater prominence by organisers in their external communications. Both sides – scientists and organisers – should work toward establishing even more fruitful partnerships than they have in the past.

The communication of universities is currently too focussed on online media and social media. Trade fairs should therefore burnish their profile as an efficient tool. This was emphasised by Dr. Thomas Windmann of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology. Science, he said, has credible information to offer. This should be given greater prominence by organisers in their external communications. Both sides – scientists and organisers – should work toward establishing even more fruitful partnerships than they have in the past.

Jens Heithecker, IFA Executive Director at Messe Berlin, highlighted the fact that the term innovation is more broadly defined in the US than in Germany, for example. The quantity aspect plays a much bigger role there, he said. Addressing those who engage in joint participations, he argued that the trade fair activities of research institutions should be more business-oriented and more concerned with the question of what visitors from a trade fair.

Innovations, he noted, are directly exposed to evaluation by potential customers at trade fairs. This is an advantage rather than a drawback, emphasised Rudolf Sommer, representative of the international network of corporate event organisers. From a visitor perspective, trade fairs are increasingly becoming trend and scouting platforms.

Four roundtable discussions offered the opportunity to exchange views and experiences for about 60 participants from science and business communication, who had followed the invitation of AUMA.

Responsible for the content of this press release: AUMA – Ausstellungs- und Messe-Ausschuss der Deutschen Wirtschaft e.V.

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