The purchase of products and services is showing some remarkable contrasts these days. On the one hand, it has become increasingly easy to place routine orders on online platforms, a development that is also gaining significance in the B2B sector. Yet at the same time, many products are becoming ever more complex and are therefore ever more difficult to assess – with respect to quality, cost-benefit considerations and sustainability. This in turn means that personal contact between buyers and providers plays a major role. Where is this type of contact easier to find than at a trade fair that is exhibiting the products in question? It therefore makes sense that trade fairs are some of the most important informational platforms for German decision-makers.
Digital media are not supplanting trade fairs, but instead are helping exhibitors and visitors before, during and after these events to acquire information, place orders and establish contacts.
The high appeal of trade fairs is all the more remarkable given the fact that they take place at long intervals. Clearly the ubiquitous availability of digital media does not automatically mean greater use thereof in making complex decisions. And if online providers themselves are now opening their own brick-and-mortar shops, including for less complex products, in order to make personal contact with their customers, this is also a good sign for the future of trade fairs.
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