Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Digital Transformation of Exhibitions: Insights from the 2024 Global Sources April Hong Kong Show

Regardless of the extraordinary times in the past few years or the demands of modern management, various industries have been accelerating their digital transformation in recent years. Even the exhibition industry, which people generally consider more traditional, has been undergoing digitalization and online integration in all aspects to fully enhance its O2O capabilities and help exhibitors find more business opportunities.

The recent 2024 Global Sources April Hong Kong Show demonstrates many digital transformation achievements. For instance, “Cloud Expo Tour,” developed during the difficult times for physical exhibitions, allows representatives to assist people who are not present at the site to visit the exhibition through live video streaming, breaking geographical limitations. In 2024, live streaming tours are still available, allowing visitors who cannot be physically present to participate, which is convenient for visitors and increases exposure opportunities for exhibitors.

Of course, with the return of physical exhibitions, on-site activities are definitely the focus. Global Sources has significantly enhanced the functionality of its Buyer App by adding the “Expo Guide” feature to provide convenience for buyers. The app includes an identity management (e-badge) function that uses a QR code to replace traditional paper-based entry badges, reducing paper usage, which is environmentally friendly and convenient. In addition to reducing the time for badge collection, it also greatly reduces the time and effort required for reissuing lost or damaged badges, benefiting both the exhibition and the visitors.

Since there is an app, basic exhibition information is naturally available. The exhibitor and product search functions make it easy for buyers to find their target exhibitors. Coupled with the digitized map, exhibitors can be directly highlighted and located on the map, which is more convenient and faster than using paper maps in the past. The app also supports note-taking functionality and can quickly add seller business cards, eliminating the problem of losing or organizing a large number of physical business cards, greatly improving procurement efficiency and indirectly giving sellers more opportunities to interact with buyers, enhancing the overall procurement experience.

Global Sources continues to invest resources in optimizing the exhibition experience. In addition to being more environmentally friendly and efficient, it also allows trade shows to go beyond the exhibition itself, realizing an O2O experience.