Since May, igus innovations exhibitions have been located in the halls of the company’s facilities around the world. 120 new motion plastics products are exhibited at real, but virtually accessible, igus trade show booths. The booth at igus HQ in Cologne, Germany is also the model for a digitally explorable trade show booth that is available 24/7. In addition, the booths have become the number one location for product demonstrations, presentations, customer visits, workshops, press conferences, and more — all held virtually.
120 new motion plastics products are currently being presented by igus at its 400-square meter trade show booth at its main location in Cologne. As usual with the orange igus trade show booths at Hannover Fair or IMTS, the latest motion plastics innovations can be found here. With these innovative new products, customers can improve their technology and save costs: Low Cost Automation robots, intelligent plain bearing technology or the e-chain autoglide 5 as an easy-to-install and low-maintenance alternative to the busbar system.
While there are no in-person visitors, more than 10,000 interested engineers from all over the world have already visited the igus live booth within the framework of a digital visit with an igus specialist.
“When Hannover Show, our most important show to present our innovations was cancelled we knew we had to come up with a great idea in order to substitute this. We love meeting our customers live and in person at the booth, inviting them to a drink and having the chance to show our newest motion plastics solutions,” said Alexa Heinzelmann, Head of International Marketing at igus. “The substitutional solution would have to come as close to a real booth as possible but needed to work for digital not live visits.” So, igus created the first real exhibition booth that was never intended to host real visitors.
A trade show booth in motion
The igus trade show booth in Cologne is continuously developing and is actively used for igus communication under the motto “Cost down, Tech up. It’s our job”. It served as a location for the annual press conference, for reports from news broadcasters and for the presentation of new products on YouTube. The vector award 2020, which honors exciting and creative energy chain applications was also awarded here.
In addition, an online seminar studio has been set up near the trade show booth. Here, customers can find out everything about current developments in the field of tribo-polymers — from materials science and project planning to assembly aids, the recycling of plastics or how to build their own 3D printers.
“At a trade show booth, I may have to wait longer because of the high number of visitors. Here, making appointments is quick and the News tour is not particularly time-consuming, but all the more customized. In the current situation, the digital exhibition from igus is an interesting alternative to a real exhibition booth,’’ said Uwe Kinze, Development Manager at the Velbert-based fittings manufacturer Haps.
Nevertheless, he is convinced that it will not replace the classic igus trade show presence in the medium term. “I like to have the tactile aspect of a trade show booth, I like to take the products in my hands and have a close look at the product details,” Kinze said. But igus also made this possible and simply sent him the appropriate samples after the appointment.
Virtual trade show is the “Digital Twin”
More than 53,000 visitors have strolled through the virtual version of the booth. This replica of the real booth can be visited online or also guided by an igus expert. At the individual stations, display screens, films and texts, provide information about product innovations, from SPE cables specifically for the e-chain up to the lightweight drylin polymer telescopic guide and 2-component 3D printing. Links take the user to more detailed technical information and videos on the website.
“Both booths, the live one and the online one, work perfect for our customers in the UK. For remote visits to the real booth in Cologne, we invite a product expert from Cologne to the meeting and he acts as our eyes on the booth and takes us on a tour there,” said Matthew Aldridge, Country Manager of igus UK, who has held several meetings with UK customers in the digital format. “If I had to name one good thing about the COVID-19 crisis, it would be that it has forced us to try out and use digital communications,” he added. “We will always prefer the live in-person contact but digital service for our customers will remain a number one focus point for the company.”