Cologne: 03.–05.09.2024 #kindundjugend

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What if ... there were no trade fairs?

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What happens when trade fairs suddenly become a thing of the past? We asked this two companies that were already present at the Kind + Jugend trade fair in 2023 and are taking part again this year: ALVI GmbH and Lässig GmbH.

Trade visitors gather in the entrance hall of Kind + Jugend Messe 2023.

Trade visitors in the entrance hall of Kind + Jugend Messe 2023. (Image: Koelnmesse GmbH, Oliver Wachenfeld)

What if ... there were no trade fairs?

To give the all-clear in advance: This article is no more than a little experiment and the start of a new magazine series entitled “What if...”.

We can all agree on one thing: we have already experienced years without trade fairs, and the industry does not want to go back to that point, neither in the B2B nor in the B2C sector.

Just the opinion of a trade fair organizer? By no means. The many conversations we have had with companies and trade fair visitors since the relaunch of Kind + Jugend have made it clear that personal interaction and the direct experience of products are crucial to the success of the industry.

Claudia Lässig, Managing Director of Lässig GmbH, is convinced: “If the trade fair didn't exist, we would have to invent it in order to have a place where industry experts can meet, exchange ideas and discover new trends. Without trade fairs, we would miss this important exchange and would have fewer opportunities to present our products and ideas to a wide audience.”

Gabriel Zboralski, Managing Director of ALVI, shares a similar view: “If there were no trade fairs, companies would lose an important platform for exchanging ideas, presenting new products and networking. Trade fairs offer a unique opportunity for companies to meet potential customers in person, receive direct feedback and identify market opportunities.”

During the pandemic, new technologies and platforms that digitally simulate a trade fair experience have been intensively developed and tested. Nevertheless, although innovations in the areas of augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) enable virtual showrooms and interactive product demonstrations, face-to-face interaction is and remains indispensable, especially at a trade fair like Kind + Jugend. Nowhere else and at no other event come so many companies and trade visitors together in one place.

“The Kind + Jugend trade fair is particularly important for us as the leading event in the baby and children's outfitting industry. As a participant at the trade fair, it enables us to simultaneously present our innovations to a broad international audience, identify industry trends and establish partnerships. And all of this in a short space of time,” adds Gabriel Zboralski, Managing Director of ALVI GmbH.
Claudia Lässig, Managing Director of Lässig GmbH, agrees: "The atmosphere is inspiring and the diversity of exhibitors and visitors makes the trade fair a unique experience. That's why we are happy to take part with a stand to strengthen our brand and open up new business opportunities."

Last but not least, trade fairs such as Kind + Jugend offer start-ups and SMEs in particular an effective opportunity to gain visibility on the market, make contact with potential business partners, negotiate or identify new business opportunities.

Our conclusion: the absence of trade fairs would force entrepreneurs and retailers to fundamentally rethink their marketing, sales, networking and customer engagement strategies. Fortunately, this “what if...” is just a thought experiment. Participants at Kind + Jugend can look forward to these highlights in 2024:

  • THE meeting place for industry experts from around 50 countries, trade visitors from over 100 countries and top buyers from Germany and around the world,
  • Over 1,000 exhibitors are expected, including many industry giants as well as numerous innovative start-ups and newcomers and well-known returnees - including Cybex, done by deer and Artsana/Chicco,
  • The hands-on presentation of countless innovative, new products,
  • Countless impulses, ideas and inspirations that arise from direct exchange or participation in various presentations at the Trend Forum,
  • The Innovation Award as the most important award in the industry and
  • Lots of good conversations and social moments at the networking events!