Mesago organises several great trade shows in Germany, ranging from PCIM and SPS/IPC/DRIVES to Facility Management and Fireprotec. The shows are all aimed at a professional audience, and continue to deliver outstanding visitor numbers. I was delighted to get the opportunity to talk to Udo Weller, the President of Mesago PCIM GmbH.

You have several shows that cover electronics and automation, which have some overlap between them. Why do you think it is better to have several shows, rather than one huge event?
All of our shows are very clearly focused on a distinctive expert audience. There are indeed some overlaps concerning the exhibitors present and the technologies shown, but these occur at the edges, rather than the central theme of each show. Being at a show that is distinctively committed to one topic is far more time- and cost-effective than looking for information about this technology within a huge event covering a broad range of applications, technologies and markets. Each Mesago show delivers a deep and solution focused approach to the topic covered. Therefore we do have an extended range of conferences, tutorials or workshops at each of our shows. This concept works better if the show does stay focused.

Udo Weller, Geschaeftsfuehrer Mesago PCIM GmbH
Udo Weller, Geschaeftsfuehrer Mesago PCIM GmbH
Many people think that the internet has reduced the need for trade shows, yet PCIM showed increased visitor numbers. Why are your shows still so strong?
Face-time can not be substituted by written information, nor by pictures and nor by social media. At a tradeshow you experience the products exhibited, you touch and feel them, and above all you talk to your existing or potential business partners. The solutions and products offered at our tradeshows are complex and in need of explanation. Talking to your future supplier at his booth, experiencing his knowledge of the product or service offered builds up business confidence in a way no information media is able too. At our shows experts meet experts and they talk shop in a very effective way.

Germans seem particularly willing to attend trade shows. Why is this?
This would be a nice topic for a diploma thesis on intercultural studies. It might refer to the fact that lots of the German trade shows are not focused on just making first-contacts and getting new, often still superficial, leads but on seeking solutions for challenges in the everyday working life.

What advice would you give an exhibitor to help them get the most out of a trade show?
Choose the right show for your needs. Cleary work out what targets you want to achieve at the show. Market your presence at the trade show to your existing customers and your prospects. Have experienced technicians at your booth and not only sales and marketing people. Do a decent follow up of the show.

What advice would you give a visitor to help them get the most out of attending a show?
Choose the right show. Cleary work out what targets you want to achieve at the show. Gather as much of information about the exhibitors present and their solutions offered before the show. Make appointments and make sure that you meet someone at the booth who has significant knowledge to your needs. And: take some time to just walk through the show floor with open eyes and discover some interesting stuff you never thought about before.

Are there any areas of electronics or technology that you think would justify the launch of a new trade show?
Always – even if this is not a simple task nowadays. Many new technologies are cross-sectional or enabler technologies and applicable in many industries and products. Innovations are often created by a new combination or connection of technologies and it’s really a challenge to launch clear focused events for these kind of technologies or industries. But you can bet we have some ideas for new events…

What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
I enjoy many activities: reading, eating out, traveling, jogging, meeting friends and family. I also tend to spend my time on a motorcycle.

What is your favorite gadget?
My Blackberry. Although I sometimes hate it – especially when I forget to switch it off.