Trade show Coiltech Italia 2021 > Exhibit > Post show report Coiltech Italia 2020

QUiCKFairs® Coiltech Italia 2021

Pordenone, 22/23 September 2021

Coiltech Italia 2020 in the pandemic: Our experience

On February 27th, 2020, we decided to postpone Coiltech Germany (scheduled for April 1st / 2nd). We were one of the first trade fairs to take this step and did so well before the authorities prohibited the holding of trade fairs.

In June, however, we decided to go ahead with the preparations for Coiltech Italia, although numerous other trade fairs organisers cancelled their events during the same period. As a consequence, Coiltech was one of the first trade fairs to be held after the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic. Also, it was one of the few exhibitions that took place in 2020.

What were the base and our reasons for this decision? How did visitors and exhibitors react to increased hygiene measures? What was the result of this unusual edition?

The situation after the end of the lockdown

On the other hand, we obtained a slightly different picture during our numerous phone conversations with the exhibitors and the visitors during and after the lockdown. We noted a widespread desire to resume working and living as normally as possible, not least to alleviate the economic consequences of the lockdown.

An online survey of Coiltech visitors confirmed this impression. The objective of this study was to understand how far the increased use of videoconferencing might have an impact on the propensity to substitute face-to-face meetings with remote encounters in the medium and long run.

The result was unequivocal: 3 out of 4 declared that to see each other is irreplaceable (see graph). This outcome encouraged us to face the challenge of carrying out the realisation of the fair even if at the time of the survey (end of May/beginning of June), the prospective for September was uncertain.

The objectives in the implementation of Coiltech under these conditions

To provide an opportunity to see each other - for those who want it in the circumstances

Coiltech Italia 2020 was the eleventh edition in Pordenone. At the end of January, before the outbreak of the pandemic, the number of bookings was higher than in the year before - as in previous years. Coiltech is still a young trade fair which is starting to have its record and continues to grow.

It was clear that the companies had signed up assuming business as usual. Hence, we expected that a significant portion of them would have doubts about exhibiting in the condition caused by Covid-19 - either because of health concerns or the prospect of less visitor footfall.

Therefore, we offered to all already registered exhibitors to postpone their reservation in the year 2021. For the echo on this, refer to "The echo" section at the bottom of this page.

"Fed up with virtual meetings"

The dominant reason for the participating companies to take part in Coiltech 2020 was the intention to meet and see business partners.

More than half of the exhibitors (54%) stated this point of view as the driving force behind their participation. The second most quoted reason was the intention to set an example on the market (33%). Arguments like "show presence because the competitors do it" or, conversely, "show presence as the only competitor" or "participate in the only trade fair in this field this year" were the minor reasons for participation this year.

For the visitors as well, the # 1 motivation for taking part was the opportunity to meet in person.

The usual reasons to visit a trade fair - looking for and finding new business partners, comparing alternatives, renegotiating conditions - are more accessible when you sit or stand across from each other.

One of the goals of Coiltech Italia 2020, therefore, was to offer an industry meeting place even under the challenging external circumstances.

Pleasant atmosphere, safe environment

Exhibitors and visitors meet at a trade fair to develop or discuss joint projects. This works best in a pleasant setting in which everyone involved feels comfortable.

Coiltech has also gained a reputation for enhancing the exchange of information between exhibitors. To this end, the event offers networking opportunities such as the Workers' lunch and Wine tasting session on the stand setup day as well as the Exhibitor Get-together on the evening of the first day of the exhibition.

We wanted to take the precautions regarding Covid-19 in a way that the increased security did not come at the expense of the atmosphere or of the networking opportunities.

Provide a networking opportunity without becoming a "super spreader event"

For companies, a B2B trade fair like Coiltech is an opportunity to meet their supplying partners and to develop the business; for people, it is a most efficient way to keep in touch with other people in the industry.

However, trade shows and congresses are also cited to be among the occasions that may cause a more massive outbreak. For example, a congress of biotechnologists in Boston / USA in February 2020 turned out to be such a "super spreader event".

We had to assume that there could be participants in Coiltech who were carrying the virus without knowing it. We had to organize every aspect of the exhibition in such a way as to not only minimize the risk of infected people entering but also to ensure that even a carrier would not be able to spread the infection.

Satisfied participants

Under normal circumstances, the larger a trade fair or its growth, the higher the participation, the more it will be considered successful.

Over the past few years, Coiltech had grown year by year.

After the outbreak of Covid-19, we expected less attendance by visitors: fewer exhibitors attract fewer visitors per se, and concern due to the pandemic would further negatively affect the potential visitor numbers.

It was, therefore, part of the preparation to notify both exhibitors and visitors of the downsizing. Those who thought of participating had to be well aware of it and not expect a continuation of the positive trend of recent years. It had to be clear that the smaller size was solely due to the circumstances.

Gain experience

Institutions such as the Robert Koch Institute (Germany), the National Institute of Allergy and Infections (USA) and the Istituto Nazionale per le Malattie Infettive (Italy) do not expect that the pandemic will disappear from one day to the next.

We must therefore assume that in 2021 we will probably not return to normality as we knew it before the outbreak of the pandemic, and that appropriate measures must be taken to avoid contagion. 

The success factor of a trade fair will be to be able to implement these measures in such a way that everyone can participate with serenity and feel at ease.

Being able to implement Coiltech Italia 2020 helped us a great deal to gain experience in this area - precisely because it was smaller than in previous years. We acquired skills that will be very helpful to us - at the realization of Coiltech Germany (17/18 March 2021), where we expect up to 300 companies (Exhibitor list).

The echo

It was almost like travelling back in time to the early years of Coiltech - at least in terms of the number of exhibitors, visitors and conference speakers.

105 stands / 126 companies

More than 2/3 of the exhibitors were Italian companies. The share of companies of international origin was, therefore, lower than in previous years, when it was around 45%.

Most of the non-Italian companies are "DACH" headquartered, therefore German, Austrian and Swiss.

812 visitors

In the past few years, Coiltech was able to increase the proportion of international visitors to almost 1/3. In 2020, only 1 in 7 visitors came from outside Italy, most of them from Germany. The longest journey to join the exhibition had some visitors from the USA.

The number refers to visitors only and does not include stand personnel. Coiltech is the only Coil & Winding fair that has its statistical data confirmed by an auditor. The fully certified data will be publicly available from December 2020.

29 presentations at the World Magnetic Conference

Coiltech has been promoting, via the World Magnetic Conference, the exchange of results from research and development between companies and universities.

Given the epidemic, ten speakers withdrew their contribution. Some of them suggested holding their presentations via video transmission.

The steering committee, chaired by Prof. Marco Villani (Università de L'Aquila), after a profound discussion, unanimously decided to hold the conference as a face-to-face event despite the circumstances to offer the participants the benefit from the direct interaction. The decisive reason for this choice is the severe limitation or complete lack of direct interaction among the participants at online or hybrid formats.

The participants' feedback

Comprehending the judgment of your customers is essential to be able to continue to improve your services. We have two sources to evaluate the feedback of the participants of this unusual edition: the results of post-show customer satisfaction surveys and the verbal statements that we have published on a dedicated page.

About the atmosphere at Coiltech in the light of health safety measures

The precautions such as social distancing and the use of protective masks had no dramatic effect on the mood at the fair. At least that is what the exhibitors' answers to the follow-up survey show. More than two-thirds stated that the measures did not affect the atmosphere; one out of four stated that their impact was noticeable but acceptable. Only 3% said that the mood had suffered as a result.

About the additional hygienic security measures

All participants rated the precautions and measures as either good or very good.

We are pleased that the effort we put in has made everyone feel as safe as possible - be it through the separate entrances and exits, measuring the body temperature at the gates, or dispensers for disinfectants all exposed areas at the fair and in the stands, constant disinfection of tables and surfaces in the restaurant, at the bar, in the washrooms, the adhesive strips on the floor or the free use of the restoration.

About the expectations of visitors and exhibitors

More than half of the visitors and exhibitors stated that their expectations were exceeded, a third that the result met expectations.

Given that the Covid-19 pandemic will keep us busy for a long while, this appreciation is an encouraging sign for the exhibitors and visitors of our upcoming initiatives (Coiltech Italia in Pordenone, 22/23 September 2021 and Coiltech Deutschland in Ulm, 06/07 April 2022).

Lessons learned