Home & Flooring Expo 2021: Digital trade fair focuses on exchange
SN-Verlag Hamburg will be holding its first digital trade fair from 2 to 5 November 2021 (Tuesday to Friday): Home & Flooring Expo is aimed at a professional audience from industry, retail, wholesale and craft trade. The premiere is a joint project of the five business magazines BTH Heimtex, FussbodenTechnik, Parkett Magazin, Haustex and Carpet Home – brought together under the SN-Home brand. In an interview, organiser Tim Steinert explains what visitors and exhibitors need to know about the new format.
Carpet Home: How did the idea of Home & Flooring Expo 2021, a dedicated digital trade fair hosted by SN-Verlag, come about?
Due to the Corona pandemic and the resulting changes in the general conditions, we are all in a learning curve – our publishing house as well as the manufacturers and our readers. Digital fairs are something completely new for most people. We all have to learn to make the most of the opportunities this type of event will open up for us. That's why we are making it as easy as possible for all participants to take part in our Home & Flooring Expo: It's absolutely affordable, and it won't take much work and time either. This allows us to gain valuable experience and to walk this new path together.
Carpet Home: What is your goal with SN-Home's first digital trade fair?
A virtual trade fair is first and foremost a great communication tool. Here, visitors can get directly in touch with exhibitors via live chat, ask questions about the products, discuss problems and delve into specific topics. The aim of our Home & Flooring Expo 2021 is to make this kind of exchange possible. And of course, there will be plenty of web space for exhibitors to present their novelties at the same time.
Carpet Home: What can visitors expect at Home & Flooring Expo 2021?
For four days, we will provide a platform for selected companies to get in touch with interested visitors from the retail, wholesale and craft trade. Our new digital format is clearly geared to the needs and interests of our readers. The exhibitors from the sectors covered by our five trade magazines will be presenting themselves at virtual stands from Tuesday to Friday. At those stands, they will be able to deposit video clips or make product information available for download. And visitors of the fair will be able to contact sales representatives directly via text and video chat.
Carpet Home: Which industries will Home & Flooring Expo 2021 represent?
Our digital trade fair is specifically tailored to the SN-Home sectors. We have devised a clear structure that comprises five exhibition areas: Floor Coverings & Carpets, Flooring Technology & Screed, Paint & Wallpaper, Home Textiles & Sun Protection and House Textiles & Bedding. In our virtual exhibition halls, we will present the topics that visitors would otherwise find at a Domotex, BAU, Heimtextil or IMM Cologne – all in just one event. Thus, we will bring together the industry participants that are important for our readers in one place. And, in contrast to the major international world-leading trade fairs, visitors of Home & Flooring Expo will only meet exhibitors that are relevant to them.
Carpet Home: Why should someone attend your digital trade fair as a visitor?
Above all, Home & Flooring Expo 2021 enables visitors to conduct a targeted search. With just a few clicks, they can navigate through the various virtual trade fair stands and get all the information they need very quickly, which saves them an enormous amount of time. At on-site fairs, you are usually tied to one place for hours or days. At our digital fair, on the other hand, even visitors who only want to spend ten minutes of their lunch break to get some information are welcome.
In addition, our digital format grants visitors extreme flexibility: they can browse Home & Flooring Expo from anywhere, simply by smartphone or computer, whenever they have the time. There are no travelling or accommodation expenses, which you usually have when attending on-site fairs. Those who are interested can visit our fair as often as they want on all four days.
The worldwide pandemic situation – which is constantly changing – has made it impossible for all of us to make reliable plans. Entry restrictions and quarantine rules prevent many manufacturers from our industry from attending international fairs at all. Many companies generally prohibit their employees from such visits to protect them from the risk of infection. With a virtual trade fair, there is no such risk.
Carpet Home: How can those who are interested visit Home & Flooring Expo 2021? What do they have to consider technically?
Visitors only have to register online once at the beginning, then they'll be able to visit our Expo at www.home-flooring-expo.de completely free of charge on all four days of the fair. The hardware requirements are low: our Expo IP trade fair software runs smoothly on a smartphone with an LTE connection or on a standard computer. However, it is important to use an up-to-date browser.
Carpet Home: For a supplier, what are the advantages of exhibiting at the fair? What does he have to think of?
By exhibiting at Home & Flooring Expo, suppliers reach many different target groups with just one booking, since our five participating trade magazines will attract a wide range of participants – including visitor groups that do not usually go to the big leading trade fairs. In addition, our fees for virtual exhibition stands at the premiere are very moderate.
When participating, an exhibitor must first and foremost provide sales staff that will be able to respond live to the trade fair visitors' enquiries. That should not be difficult at all since the supplier could simply host his trade fair presentation from his real showroom in the company, for example. That way he could actually show visitors around his existing exhibition areas and present his products via videochat. Our exhibitors from the carpet industry could even sell individual pieces this way. However, it is also possible for exhibitors to display their entire trade fair presentation on the virtual stand. In addition, we will set up a digital show stage for practical demonstrations.
Carpet Home: What are your personal highlights of SN-Home's first virtual trade fair?
First and foremost I think it is great that our publishing house is taking this step and that Home & Flooring Expo will take place in 2021. Thinking of our planned formats, however, I am particularly excited about the "Wall of Inspiration". This is a digital pinboard where exhibitors and visitors can post photos of their trade fair highlights. Here, manufacturers are allowed to emotionally stage their products with appealing pictures, which are also sorted by the five exhibition areas I mentioned earlier. That way, visitors can get some inspiration as well as a quick overview of the fair's novelties without having to click through all the stands first. Of course, we will inform them at which stand they can find the articles depicted on the pinboard.
Carpet Home: Will there be a central platform where exhibitors and visitors can exchange thoughts?
Yes, we are setting up the SN Home business lounge for this purpose: a virtual space and an excellent place for networking. Every exhibitor and visitor can create a virtual image of themselves for it – a so-called avatar. Everyone will be informed who has just entered the business lounge. Visitors are welcome to approach exhibitors there and vice versa, or visitors can exchange information with each other. It will also be possible to create discussion groups. After the technical presentations that will accompany our digital trade fair, the speakers can move on to the business lounge to answer questions from the audience there.
Carpet Home: In your opinion, is a digital trade fair an adequate substitute for an on-site event?
A virtual trade fair will never replace an on-site Domotex or IMM. The format has a completely different benefit: Above all, it enables everyone to participate in a long-distance virtual exchange. Still, digital trade fairs cannot replace personal contact or the direct experience of the product – in other words, the emotional aspects of a real trade fair.
Nevertheless, digital fairs will play an important part in our readers' professional lives in the future – I am firmly convinced of that. Digital fairs have a purpose and are an enrichment because of the numerous advantages they offer. More and more people around the world will be using these formats. They will not disappear again after the Corona crisis, but will profitably complement on-site fairs.
For more information, please visit the fair website at www.home-flooring-expo.de
. Exhibitors can contact organiser Tim Steinert directly to book a virtual stand, email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Tel: +49 (0)40 / 24 84 54 48.Carpet Home-Newsletter: Click here for free newsletter subscription