Interview PCIM Europe - "Digital event formats play an increasingly important role"
In these times when many trade fairs are postponed or even canceled, PCIM Europe will take place this year - as a digital alternative. In our interview, Lisette Hausser, Vice President PCIM Europe, Mesago Messe Frankfurt GmbH, provides insights into the event and explains its benefits for the industry.
This year, the PCIM Europe will take place for the first time in digital form from
7 - 8 July 2020. In addition to a virtual exhibition and conference, the team from PCIM Europe and Mesago Messe Frankfurt GmbH will offer participants at PCIM digital days 2020 a variety of ways to network, thus enabling a lively exchange with the community. The conference program includes more than 250 contributions, and more than 60 exhibitors will present their solutions through virtual exhibitor profiles.
In times of COVID-19, trade fairs face a particular challenge. Other trade fair organizers have canceled their events without replacement or postponed them to the end of the year or into 2021. What prompted you to convert the PCIM Europe into a digital format?
Lisette Hausser: Due to the increasing distribution of COVID-19 in Europe and the resulting ban on all major German events up to and including the end of August, the PCIM Europe Trade Fair and Conference 2020 in Nuremberg was initially postponed from May to 28 - 30 July 2020 and finally had to be canceled. Nevertheless, we wanted to offer our community a format for knowledge exchange and networking. For this reason, we decided on a digital alternative.
As a result of the COVID-19 crisis, do you see the trade fair organizer industry facing a fundamental change? Will digital extensions be developed in the future in addition to personal on-site events?
Lisette Hausser: We do not see a fundamental change; personal contact remains essential and cannot be replaced digitally. Apart from all the negative sides of this crisis, we can still see some positive aspects: The current situation gives us new insights and experiences on a daily basis, which allow us to further educate and grow. Even after the crisis is over, we can still profit from the exciting digital event formats because they play an increasingly important role in the future of the event industry. For example, we follow the development in the "Digital-to-Live" sector with great interest.
The content platform Power & Beyond is a digital extension of PCIM Europe. What advantages do you see in the digital extension of the PCIM Europe trade fair?
Lisette Hausser: Unlike PCIM Europe, which is always focused on a few days of experience, networking and exchange, regardless of whether it takes place in Nuremberg or digitally, Power & Beyond offers the opportunity to present and network all year round. It provides the power electronics community a platform for knowledge exchange and information.
Personal contact is the heart of a trade fair. How do you offer the participants of the PCIM digital days 2020 these opportunities?
Lisette Hausser: Participants can use digital exhibitor profiles to find out more about the range of services and product innovations on offer and can contact a representative of the company directly in the event tool. Interactive networking opportunities through digital matchmaking are another focal point. The companies with the most matches to your interests are automatically displayed. Other networking opportunities include business speed dating sessions and the Early Bird Café. A central component is also a varied lecture program. Participants can expect a digital lecture program of the expert forum and the e-mobility forum in virtual form. As an exception this year, the complete conference program is also available to all participants free of charge. International speakers from industry and science will give short presentations on their latest research results and be available for exchange in live discussions.
COVID-19 reaffirmed the importance of communication. What is PCIM Europe's role for communication within the power electronics industry?
Lisette Hausser: PCIM Europe stands for communication within the industry, and every year brings together more than 10,000 bright minds from all over the world who create the future with new solutions in an inspiring way. Those who take part in events specializing in technology topics leave with concrete results: new contacts, more knowledge, and inspiration. This is also what Mesago represents with its claim "Connecting bright minds."
Why are these topics especially in focus this year?
Lisette Hausser: We aim to present the latest trends and topics in power electronics research and development to the participants at the PCIM Europe Conference every year; be they in the field of "new semiconductor devices & passive components," "new circuits, systems & control methods," or "new applications." By the way, every year we honor the overall best contribution from all the submissions with the Best Paper Award and the three most outstanding contributions by young engineers with the Young Engineer Award.
COVID-19 is predicted to have far-reaching implications for the future. What developments do you see for PCIM Europe over the next twelve months? Will the usual format of PCIM Europe be available again in 2021? Do you plan to continue the digital offerings of PCIM Digital Days independently of COVID-19 in the coming years?
Lisette Hausser: We already see a great deal of interest in PCIM Europe 2021, which will take place in Nuremberg from 4 - 6 May 2021 in its usual format as an international trade fair and conference. Personal exchange and contacts are currently greatly missed, and companies and speakers have a strong need to present new products and developments. However, we can imagine complementing PCIM Europe with digital formats. Irrespective of this, with Power & Beyond, we offer the opportunity to present and network digitally throughout the year.
Thank you for the interview, Mrs. Hausser.