ISM and ProSweets trade fairs remain on course for 2021 shows

The organisers of the international ISM sweets trade fair in Cologne have confirmed plans for staging the event in January 2021 remain on track despite the ongoing pandemic, with 80% of exhibition space filled, reports Neill Barston

As Koelnmesse noted, its preparations are proceeding for next year’s confectionery showcase, which is to be held alongside equipment, systems and industry solutions event ProSweets (below), despite the German Federal government last month extending a ban on large general events within the country until the end of 2020, as coronavirus continues to remain a key issue.

Significantly, the organisation said it is basing its planning on a North Rhine-Westphalia state decision that has permitted trade show events to be staged again since 30 May, in compliance with appropriate protection and hygiene provisions to protect visitors.

Koelnmesse added that there had been strong feedback from industry and within the trade that business must continue despite the major disruption that coronavirus has caused during this year. For 2021, the event will feature an enhanced digital Matchmaking 365+ service enabling exhibitors and visitors to connect ahead of the Cologne show.

The last event held in January for the 50th anniversary ISM, covered by Confectionery Production came amid the beginning of the pandemic, which impacted on visitor numbers, with many Chinese visitors unable to attend the show as a result of the initial covid outbreak in Wuhan.

Speaking on the prospect’s for 2021’s event, Sabine Schommer, director of ISM, said: “After this long period of time without trade fairs, the industry is particularly looking forward to face-to-face meetings and conversations, because without them, business relationships will not be able to do without them in the long term. In addition, trying the products is essential for buyers to make decisions. As part of its “#B-SAFE4business” concept for the corona-compliant execution of trade fairs, ISM 2021 offers optimal solutions for this purpose, so that the release of samples is also possible under these conditions.”

As Koelnmesse added, with Matchmaking 365+, exhibitors of the ISM can reach trade visitors in good time before the start of the fair, regardless of the physical event date of the ISM 2021. This opens up the possibility to establish business contacts and offers additional options for contacting, networking and sharing. With Matchmaking 365+, the ISM team is taking the next step towards a hybrid trade fair.

Compared to the previous version of the system, the latest version offers exhibitors additional enhancements in the product presentation: Users can present their products as image and text information within the exhibitor showroom and increase the awareness for their company by embedding video content. New products are highlighted separately in order to present them specifically to potential customers and media representatives.

In addition to the traditional forms of contact, the platform now also enables virtual meetings via video, chat or audio. Through functions such as online scheduling, targeted product search or virtual meetings, the ISM enables optimal preparation and follow-up of the trade fair visit. Furthermore, Matchmaking 365+ has also been designed for additional show content.


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