Automechanika Frankfurt Becomes Mostly Digital For 2021, COVID To Blame

Automechanika Frankfurt Becomes Mostly Digital For 2021, COVID To Blame

Messe Frankfurt, the organisers of the Automechanika Frankfurt trade show, says this year’s fair, to be held from 14 to 16 September, will be “unlike any other” with the announcement of its new and “once-only” ‘Digital Plus’ format. In addition to a “compact physical exhibition”, the organisers say they are now focused on offering all participants the opportunity to network and present their companies digitally.

Automechanika Frankfurt Becomes Mostly Digital For 2021, COVID To Blame - Detlef-Braun
Detlef Braun.

“As a result of the continuing difficulties posed by the pandemic, we will not be able to satisfy our customers’ expectations for a leading international trade fair this September,” said Detlef Braun, Member of the Executive Board of Messe Frankfurt. “Not only does the event require official approvals, but it also has to be possible to travel internationally.

“Yet this does not change the automotive industry’s need for a platform where they can do business this year, and our customers and industry associations agree. That is why we decided to modify our concept for this year’s Automechanika. In keeping with the ‘plug-and-play’ principle, we are offering opportunities to exhibit and network in person on the exhibition grounds while keeping preparations, risks, and costs to a minimum.”

According to the organisers, the new concept for Automechanika Frankfurt offers companies both physical and digital solutions. For companies physically present, a range of presentation formats are being offered along with various networking lounges where in-person business encounters can take place in accordance with the local coronavirus protection measures. Companies that cannot travel to Frankfurt due to travel restrictions can present their products on the digital platform, where they will also be able to meet and network with visitors digitally.

Messe Frankfurt previously talked in March about the expanded digital opportunities on offer for Automechanika that it promised would maximise exhibitors’ networking opportunities and international range. These arrangements have not changed – for the first time, exhibitors will have the chance to livestream their latest products and innovations at the show, while all participants can benefit from digital matchmaking and the scheduling tools along with facilities for live chat and one-to-one video calls. Messe Frankfurt said most of the videos, as well as exhibitor product information and company profiles, will remain online even after the event has finished.

Automechanika Frankfurt Becomes Mostly Digital For 2021, COVID To Blame - Olaf Musshoff
Olaf Musshoff.

The physical exhibition will be centred around the Festhalle in the eastern part of the showgrounds in Frankfurt. Organisers say an innovation show, networking area and product promenade are also planned, while visitors can also look forward to a “captivating” support programme focussed on the latest topics and trends.

“Even before COVID-19, there had been a lot of pressure on the car industry to change – to increase investment in digitalisation, in supply chains that are resilient and intelligent, and to develop further,” said Olaf Musshoff, Director of Automechanika Frankfurt.

“Now the pandemic has made these concerns even more urgent. Some industry players have already responded to the new requirements with new business ideas, innovative concepts, and solutions. I am already looking forward to all the fascinating presentations and discussions that will be taking place at Automechanika Academy in which visitors can participate on location and online via live stream.”

Automechanika Frankfurt Becomes Mostly Digital For 2021, COVID To Blame - Danilo Kirschner
Danilo Kirschner.

Next door in the Festhalle, Messe Frankfurt’s new Hypermotion show, which is themed on mobility and logistics, will also take place at the same time as Automechanika. Organisers say this marks the first time that users and developers from the fields of mobility and logistics are brought together with the automotive aftermarket, with organisers adding that this will create valuable synergies for the participants of both events.

“There are fascinating technological interfaces between these two events, including alternative drive systems, lightweight materials and construction, IoT systems, the creation and optimisation of resilient international supply chains, and much else besides,” said Danilo Kirschner, Director of Hypermotion Frankfurt.

Automechanika Frankfurt will resume its usual cadence from next year, returning to its familiar format on the Frankfurt exhibition grounds from 13 to 17 September 2022. The event will then take place every two years, meaning the show will again take place in even-numbered years as it has traditionally done.