Tradefairs during COVID‑19

In normal circumstances, Sioen participates in a significant number of trade fairs, ranging from Préventica over Interschutz to Baumpflege Tage. We’re easily talking about more than 30 fairs per year for the group. Our sales and marketing team always strives to make each of the fairs unforgettable in its own way. 2020, however, is no ordinary year due to COVID-19 and therefore unusual measures have to be taken, making an impact on our participation in fairs.

Ever since the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak, the measures to stop the virus have had an enormous impact on our daily lives. One of the sectors that has been seriously affected by the measures is the event sector. In many countries, large events have been cancelled due to the contamination risk of the virus. Those events don’t only include festivals, weddings and concerts, but also corporate meetings, trade fairs and professional gatherings. The cancellations have an emotional impact on its regular participants and visitors and of course a major financial impact on the companies participating in the fair, the fair organisers and the stand constructors.

We realise that the event sector is going through difficult times and we would like to express our sympathy support for everyone affected.

Many fair organisations cancelled or postponed their fair, as few ones are still planned to take place as scheduled. There are a number of reasons why it might be interesting to participate even in these difficult times. One could argue that the visitors who do attend the fair under these extreme safety measures, are really motivated and interested. Those potential clients put in an extra effort and thus really want to find the right solutions at the fair. Due to fewer people participating there might also be detailed and longer conversations with the visitors, answering every question they have and convince them.

We’ve taken all these pro’s into consideration, but they do not outweigh the cons. That’s why we’ve decided not to participate in any fairs this year. After thorough consideration, we agreed on not exhibiting for a number of reasons. First, we want to put the safety of our clients and colleagues first. Some fairs are located in areas with many contaminations and therefore, it did not seem opportune to participate in an event where this many gather. Further, there are new initiatives involving digital events in which we plan to participate. That way, we can present our products to our clients in a safer way. In addition, we want to further elaborate our websites for different Sioen brands so that everyone not only can find the right information or product but also a huge fund of extra’s in just a couple of clicks.