The first edition of Eima Digital Preview, the virtual platform created by Eima International, to allow virtual visits to exhibition stands, contact with companies and participation in training and business events, ended on November 15
1. In your opinion, what was the real strength for Eima Digital Preview?
The most successful part of the EIMA Digital Preview is that of seminars, conferences and product presentations made by institutions, publishing houses and companies in the sector. The program counted over 120 events with a very large participation. It was like giving life to a great "forum" of agricultural mechanics, to which university faculties, professional organizations, representatives of the political world and manufacturing companies have given their contribution. At a time when the health emergency is at the center of attention and seems to stifle any other topic, opening an arena for discussion on mechanization was the right choice.
2. On what aspects do you think it is necessary to work for a future edition?
Navigating the virtual stands has shown various critical issues, linked in some cases to access mechanisms, in other cases to network infrastructures. By analyzing the flows of visitors connected to the platform and the feedback received from users, we believe that entry into the platform and landing in product areas and company rooms should be made more agile, if necessary also by simplifying the graphics. Our intention is to redesign the platform as soon as possible to make it more functional and useful for exhibiting companies.
3. What have you learned, as organizers, from the experience of the first international fair in a digital version that is so “important”?
That the work of monitoring and verifying the platform takes a long time, especially when it comes to a complex system like that of the EDP. There has been talk for some time about the possibility of creating virtual fairs, and the use of networks for economic activities and relationships is now very widespread, but in reality the experiences of three-dimensional and "immersive" fairs such as EDP are still very limited, and it is difficult to acquire specific know-how that protects against unforeseen events and technical problems related to software and telematic infrastructures.
4. How many people connected to the platform during the 5 days of the digital fair? What peaks have you recorded?
In the five days we had 59 thousand visitors on the platform, and 10 thousand people participated in the program of meetings and webinars. To these must be added the foreign economic operators, who participated in the "business-to-business" meetings organized by the ICE Agency in collaboration with FederUnacoma, meetings that are still in progress having been scheduled over a longer period of time than the duration of the review. With regard to public participation, the seminars recorded a constant presence of connected people, while access to the platform for visiting the merchandise planets was concentrated mainly in the first two days, with over 20,000 visitors a day.
5. What resources worked on the platform and how long did it take to organize it?
Systems such as EDP are complex and require different "desks": part of the work concerned the calendar of events and was aimed at ensuring the punctuality and efficiency of the connections; one part concerned the direct relationship with exhibiting companies and assistance in loading materials on digital stands; another the "business-to-business" meetings; and a large section concerned, finally, the technical and IT management of the platform. This last section was entrusted to an external company. The preparation of the EDP took up the summer and autumn months, a very short time for the design and construction of a platform from scratch. Instead of using pre-packaged systems, it was in fact preferred to design a completely new tool, which we hope will over time constitute an added value for companies in our sector.
6. The part dedicated to events and training therefore had a great following. What feedback have you recorded, especially in the garden sector?
The themes of gardening have been dealt with in numerous meetings, which have had as their subject the techniques of green management, the use of mechanical means and design aspects. The BioHabitat Foundation was very active, with a cycle of seminars on the theme of "green construction sites" and with an important forum dedicated to gardens, urban decoration and green spaces in metropolitan contexts. The meetings promoted by Comagarde should also be noted