Another event hopping onto the hybrid bandwagon is the Industrial Transformation ASIA-PACIFIC (ITAP) 2020, happening from 20-22 October. Organiser SingEx Exhibitions cleverly held a pre-show hybrid session to give industry players a taste of what’s to come.
Held over a zoom meeting, the panel session in mid-September saw industry leaders discussing how the industry is changing, and at the same time getting ready for a new phase in manufacturing transformation and opportunities in Asia.
James Boey, executive director SingEx Exhibitions emphasised that ITAP 2020 is not about “creating a digital twin – for instance, taking whatever we used to create in the physical space and bringing it into the digital space. That will not work”.
“[My customers] tell me ‘James, we can’t travel, but there’s still a need because of the economic situation between China and the US. I’ve to shift my supply chain to another market.’ So how can we help facilitate new channels? We bring in captains of the industry, trade associations and embassies to [a platform like this]. If we do this right, we’ll value add to the industry we serve.”
Now into its third edition, the event supporting Asia’s manufacturing industry players will for the first time take on a blended business environment of hybrid formats, even as Singapore slowly edges back to the safe restart of events.
Hybrid or face-to-face?
Titled ‘Forging Ahead with Industry 4.0 in the New Normal’, the three-day live event will be powered by artificial intelligence and digital learning elements, with added components such as exhibitions and conferences on demand, so people can do business online. All these will take place on a dedicated interactive platform to drive optimum audience engagement and knowledge transfer opportunities.
The hybrid touch appears in the form of several in-person activities happening across Singapore. *M&C Asia* understands that the SingEx Exhibitions team is currently in discussions with several partners on “physical bolt-on” complementary activities, all guided by a robust set of safe management measures including stringent sanitation and hygiene standards in compliance with requirements set by Singapore’s Ministry of Health.
“We spent months engaging customers on their needs in this new normalcy, and it has caused us to believe digital events alone won’t be enough to serve their needs – there has to be interactions and that’s why we created this hybrid format,” said Boey.
Tommy Leong, president for East Asia & Japan, Schneider Electric, who bought a booth at ITAP 2020, added that “the importance of such events allow us to come together to discuss issues and opportunities. It’s a forum we can share and transfer knowledge, to meet customers and really hear they want so we can adapt solutions better”.
Looking forward to the event and even further ahead into the future, Tim Philippi, Singaporean-German Chamber of Industry and Commerce Executive Director and Member of the Board definitely believes the future of hybrid is promising.
“We are all used to virtual meetings nowadays, but we also need to have face-to-face meetings again – it’s the same for ITAP and our trade fairs. This year as a Chamber we’ve a virtual pavilion in Singapore, but in future maybe we might have a physical pavilion enlarged by digital activities.”