Formex digital talks created business value and commitment
The idea of Formex digital talks was born even before the pandemic and was created together with InvitePeople in the autumn of 2021. The event created opportunities for participants to do business, mingle with industry colleagues and be inspired – just like at the physical fair.
Formex is the Nordic region’s leading trade fair for interior design, attracting just over 20,000 visitors during a physical fair. The visitors are buyers, agents, wholesalers, importers, designers, producers, and media from the entire interior design and gift industry. Many do business and place orders during the fair, which is characterized by being a hub for the industry. Every year there is a seminar program, Formex Talks, where speakers from the industry lecture on current topics. Many visitors and exhibitors have said in surveys that they don’t have time to visit the lectures, and the idea of making the seminar program digital had been raised by the project group even before the pandemic. When the fair could not be carried out physically, they decided to make their idea a reality and launch a new concept: Formex digital talks.
Catarina Öhlund is the project coordinator for Formex:
Visitors to Formex want knowledge, inspiration and business. Those are the three legs that are the main reasons for visiting Formex and we wanted to bring that to our digital event Formex Talks.
The project group focused on bringing in what attracts visitors to the physical fair. Since Formex is a visual fair full of news, trends, eye-catching decor, and inspiration, the appearance of the platform is important. They chose InvitePeople’s platform and enlisted help from a production company to create the videos. The event itself was pre-recorded and consisted of several lectures on everything from trends to sustainability. To reinforce the live feeling, the speakers were present in the chat during their lecture, something that created interactivity between the participants.
For the project team, it was important to make it possible for visitors to do business during the event. In InvitePeople’s platform, it is possible to have partner pages, where exhibitors can present their products in a digital booth. Catarina and her colleagues chose that function, something that was appreciated by the exhibitors. There was also the opportunity for everyone to contact each other on the platform. Each participant could create a profile on the platform, and share information about themselves or their company. This made it possible for the participants to make contacts both before, during, and after the event.
Prior to the event, participants could update their profile and contact other participants to book meetings. Some exhibitors were active during the event itself and thus gained more customers because they could look at which other participants could fit their products and then get in touch.
Easy with a live broadcast
The project group did not have to do very much during the event itself. They were there to catch up on questions and any issues, but they could sit back and enjoy the content. They had the support of their Customer Success Manager from InvitePeople. Most of the work was done prior to the event and Catarina recommends devoting plenty of time to creating engaging content. Both the broadcast itself and the content pages were important to them, as they wanted to create recognition with the physical fair. The project team liked that they could customize the content pages and share digital material with the visitors.
Participants had access to the content four weeks after the event. Many chose to watch the material again and continued to engage with the platform. Catarina believes that the accessibility that came through having a digital event, made Formex attract new visitors.
As the digital talks do not require that you have a company or are in the industry, it became possible for anyone who is interested in interior design or is in the start-up of a new company to take part in the program.
About Formex Digital Talks
A new generation of the seminar program that previously existed at Formex. The event lasted three and a half hours and was pre-recorded material. The program included inspiring lectures on trends, sustainability, and retail. Formex Talks also became part of the marketing and attracted the attention of industry media, including Inredningsnyheter.se.
Functions used: registration, session page, participant page, partner page, and product page. During the broadcast, there was an event chat for all participants.