Real? Virtual? Or better still... Both!

CIMT in Beijing, METALLOOBRABOTKA in Moscow, MACHTOOL Posen, EMO Milano 2021 – Four key exhibitions for metalworking went live again this year. How were the events received? How did they compare to their virtual counterparts? What are the pros and cons of in-person versus online formats? For the CHIRON Group the answer is simple: Both are important for different reasons.

Pleased, enthusiastic, impressed. The first big in-person events in such a long time received a very positive response. The most important thing, according to visitors and exhibitors, was the personal contact and the direct discussions. It's really irreplaceable – that's something everyone agrees on. But the opposite appeared to be true for the machines themselves. Many exhibitors chose a more compact space and presented fewer machines live, preferring instead to opt for digital elements.

Interactive showrooms and VR glasses replace real machines
At the EMO Milano 2021, the CHIRON Group presented the compact Micro5 and the larger DZ 25 P five axis. For everything in between, not to mention other premiers like the 715 Series, visitors could dive into the interactive showroom to learn more. This was also similarly well-used and very well-received at the METALLOOBRABOTKA and the MACHTOOL exhibitions.

The CHIRON Group chose not to show any machines live at the CIMT this year, instead reserving the exhibition stand space for business discussions, tailored consulting and the much-visited VR area. Here, the industry visitors could experience the machine highlight – the MILL 3000 – via VR glasses. »I felt like I was standing in front of a real machining center, I could see every function so precisely,« said one visitor. Gong Shujuan, Editor in Chief of Vogel Media for the AI sector, was impressed by the format. »The concept is innovative, attractive and a real eye-catcher. The CHIRON Group has really set a trend here.«

Digital experience in high quality
Digital exhibitions and events formats are well-received too. The visitors appreciate the opportunity to learn about the brand and get advice exactly when it suits them. They enjoy, perhaps, getting a quick big-picture overview in just a few minutes and then going in-depth on certain topics. And all of that is available at their desk, just a few clicks away.

One real positive of digital formats is that everyone, everywhere, can take part. What's more, country specific coronavirus regulations are often currently very strict and it's not worth it for foreign visitors to make the trip. Multiple tests, numerous forms and quarantine on arrival are a steep price for an exhibition lasting two or three days.

As far as the experience and content at virtual exhibitions goes, it's by no means inferior to the real thing – for example at the OPEN HOUSE ONLINE. Personal consultations by appointment, a 360° tour with behind-the-scenes access, discussions such as the Innovation Talks, livestreamed from Tuttlingen, Germany, all make the »exhibition on-screen« a true experience.