Visualisation at trade fairs: how should it be done

02 March 2021

It has taken some time, but there is an ongoing professionalization in the field of visualisation in the B2B market. Most companies know that they must impress their (potential) customers visually and how they can best align this with their company and products or services. I noticed this when I recently visited two major exhibitions in Paris and Frankfurt. In this article, I share some examples of visualization with impact.

Less conservative

The JEC World 2017 in Paris is the world’s largest trade fair for composites. This fair showed that a clear change is going on in the field of marketing and communication: there is more innovation.

In my opinion, this is partly because younger people end up in crucial places within the organisation. They are open to and aware of the latest innovations. They have an urge to impress potential customers. The visualisation of their products plays a very important role in this, because this is the only way to make the proposition visible and understandable in a short period.

The same mindshift was also noticeable at another trade fair, the ISH 2017 in Frankfurt. This mega-fair in the fields of sustainability, energy and air conditioning welcomed no less than 200,000 visitors and accommodated almost 2,500 exhibitors. There, the level of visualisation was even higher than at JEC World 2017.

The upward trend in terms of visualisation started a few years ago. 3D animations, virtual reality and related techniques were used more often. This year, however, there was an enormous boost in visualisations. People are moving away from thinking in terms of technologies and are now thinking more in terms of applications. 

Realtime film studio

A good example was the stand of Viessmann, a supplier of heating solutions. The younger generation in charge of the family-run business had a major impact at the trade fair. At the previous edition of the ISH, they did not stand out very much, but this year you could not miss them.

Instead of just displaying their products, they turned it into a complete digital experience. That’s why everyone was talking about them. It’s quite expensive - rumours said it has cost 5 to 6 million euros for three days - but at least it has paid off.

The central part of their stand was an interactive film studio, with a curved six-metre-high LED screen. Every hour there was a new presenter in front of this screen with a custom-made complete show. There was live editing and live 3D image tracing on objects with which the presenter strongly supported their story.

For example, there was a white, 3D-printed house on which the function of their systems was visualised by means of digital projection mapping. The information transfer was beautiful and effective, and the story was well set up in terms of communication, so that people were always stimulated. Many people visited their stand to get an impression of the presentations. Very well done!

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Different types of visualisations

More and more companies in the industry are noticing that they can use visualisations to tell their stories better, as became clear at the ISH 2017. On enormous screens, short promos were shown to attract the public, while on smaller screens specific product information was visualised, where the sales staff were present to provide support.

That is how A&P Technology and GROHE did it.