Trade fairs 2020

Trade fairs 2020
Managing Director Media Concept Schweiz AG

The Corona crisis poses special challenges for each individual and also for our entire (green) industry! In this blog article we would like to take a closer look at the area of «trade fairs». The cancellation of important industry events such as the Flower Trials in Holland, the ÖGA in Switzerland or the Plantarium have caused a stir and many question marks. However, the GAFA in Cologne in September 2020 is still to be held. In this blog post we look at the risks and reactions of exhibitors in the green industry.

Often we feel as part of a global family. We are proud and happy to be a member of this «Green Family». Every trade fair brings many of us into contact with business partners from many countries around the world. It is an industry that radiates personality and closeness.

This exchange was taken away from us after the IPM 2020 in Essen and it is to be hoped that our trade fairs will return soon. Will they ever return in the form in which we know them? How do exhibitors and companies behave in the phase of reorientation? How do they draw attention to their products and services?

Acceleration of digitisation
Large breeding companies as well as «stand-alone» garden centres have enormously expanded the use of digital possibilities in recent weeks. Many retailers have set up web shops and breeders are increasingly busy producing videos. All this certainly leads to a positive development in using the possibilities of digitalisation and integrating the increase in effectiveness into everyday life.

Product and service information


An interesting example of what the new generation of product information can look like is the California Spring 2020, which should have taken place from 28 March - 1 April 2020. It was one of the first events to fell victim to «Corona». Proven Winners would have been one of the exhibitors. The brand succeeded in producing videos about product innovations at high speed as the following example shows:

Over the period of the fair, every customer or registered fair visitor was provided with a new video every day. This information was also the starting point for the «Proven Winners OnDemand» information center.


Necessary changes
It is good advice for suppliers of horticultural production companies and retailers to have a «digital trade fair presence» in mind in addition to a conventional exhibition stand. It is now up to entrepreneurial decisions to allocate or expand these budgets differently if necessary.

A sum of activities is required to reach existing and potential customers in the context of a «digital fair» and to offer them a comparable information experience:

  • Product videos
  • Digital dialogue with the sellers via ZOOM, Skype or other systems
  • Professional organization of sample shipping (also and especially for plants)
  • Combination with other companies to create «digital exhibition halls». It will be interesting to see what the trade fair companies will propose
  • And much more....


Robert Wacker
Managing Director Media Concept Schweiz AG
Robert Wacker has been working in the green industry since 1980. For 20 years, he has been developing marketing and sales concepts for breeders, producers and retailers. As Managing Director of Media Concept Schweiz AG, he regularly writes articles for this blog.