Innovation live: Our review of the UFIS21

On May 6th we were exhibitors at the UFIS21 (Upper Franconia Innovation Summit) represented. The UFIS21 is an innovatively designed online trade fair that networks and makes innovators from the region visible. You can read what we experienced there, our experiences and impressions here in our trade fair review.

Strolling through packed exhibition halls, picking up merch and goodies, talking to industry experts, listening to interesting panel discussions: All these impressions have an effect in the today, shaped by Covid-19 and its effects, like a hazy dream from days long forgotten. Not only in the centron (home office) offices, but everywhere in Europe, there is a great longing to just get out again and exchange ideas with customers, interested parties, partners – preferably the whole world.

Trade fairs in the time of Covid-19

So far, more than a year after the outbreak of the pandemic, the major trade fair organizers have not yet managed to find a way to bridge the necessary physical distance. We at centron have also been to numerous online trade fairs and events. However, the typical trade fair spirit did not want to emerge. You can also see that in the number of trade fair visitors and the general interest. In our opinion, the majority of trade fair organizers have given up trying to fight the extinction of the event industry with digital offers. We have therefore decided for ourselves to forgo trade fairs until they are possible again as face-to-face events – actually.

UFIS21: The trade fair concept

Hungry for trade fairs and with the mixed experiences of the past in the back of our minds, we came across the UFIS21, the Upper Franconia Innovation Summit, through our network in the spring. The concept blew our minds from the start. Because the new concept was far away from the boring zoom meetings without networking opportunities that we otherwise knew from online trade fairs. That’s why we didn’t hesitate for a second and registered directly as an exhibitor.

As is typical for online trade fairs, the effort required for the preparation was kept within limits: a landing page was designed, sales briefed, booth duty arranged and things could start on May 6th. As trade fair visitors, we strolled with our avatars over the fair, which was lovingly designed in a pixel look. The Upper Franconian innovation elite presented itself in 8 halls. At the stands themselves, we were able to look at the home and landing pages of the trade fair participants and make direct contact with the exhibitors via video call. There was also a lot of activity at the centron booth and a relaxed living room atmosphere developed, in which people talked, talked shop and laughed.

UFIS21 supporting program

The UFIS21 was accompanied by a congress with numerous lectures on the most diverse aspects of innovation. For example, we learned what pearl diving in our own pool has to do with innovative strength or how we turn resistance into gold in our own company. The trade fair visitors were able to attend all lectures directly in the respective conference rooms via zoom call or in some cases also follow them live via YouTube stream.

In addition to the exhibition halls and the congress rooms, there was also a large beer garden, which invited to network . In the run-up to the fair, visitors to the UFIS21 were able to get their own beer tasting package from the Maisel brewery</a > Order it at home and then taste it virtually. After the end of the fair, we also laughed a lot in the beer garden, made new contacts and enjoyed one or the other cold drink containing hops.

Our conclusion on the UFIS21

As already mentioned, we had to put up with a few disappointments when it came to online trade fairs. However, the UFIS21 surprised and convinced us in every respect. What many big trade fair organizers cannot do, a small team of volunteers has impressively set up here: namely a real, lively digital trade fair that is not just an empty shell. Many thanks to the UFIS21 team, all organizers, exhibitors and visitors. Thank you for giving us something darn close to a real trade show experience during these trying times. We had a lot of fun and look forward to future joint projects!