Automechanika Frankfurt Digital Plus opens access to UK garages without travel

Automechanika Frankfurt’s 2021 hybrid event will allow technicians and workshop owners across the UK to take part with no travel required.

At a press conference held yesterday (9 July), organisers of Automechanika Frankfurt explained that the cancellation of this year’s show – itself a cancellation of the 2020 event, has given them more opportunity to bring the event to a wider audience, through the use of its Digital Plus platforms.

The show will still have a physical presence, but this will be much smaller than previous events. Exhibitors will currently be confined to Hall 3.0 at Messe Frankfurt, although there is scope for this to expand. Those in actual attendance will include Schaeffler, Snap-on, Liqui Moly and Haynes. These companies will also be present on Digital Plus, with organisers stating that just 25% of the 200 exhibitors so far will not be in attendance in Frankfurt. Companies planning to rely on digital-only presentations include Continental, MAHLE and Bosch.

“I’m really pleased that our ‘plug & play’ offer of fully equipped stands has been so well received and that so many companies who’ve signed up want to meet in person again in Frankfurt.],” said Olaf Musshoff, director of Automechanika Frankfurt. “However, even those who are not coming to Frankfurt can take part in our wide-ranging complementary programme. Thanks to our new online features, we’ll be providing additional options for presentation, for networking and for a wide international reach.”

International reach

“Trade fairs will change, this is both bad, and good,” said Michael Johannes, Automechanika brand manger. “COVID-19 has changed a lot of different things. There is always a risk, a challenge and an opportunity. From my perspective, we have come up with a pretty good concept in Automechanika Digital Plus. We have 15 shows in 14 countries, and for the future we are sure that when the entire trade show market re-establishes itself, they will change. Having done our research, we found that visitors want the emotion, the content and the knowledge transfer. With the Automechanika brand, I am sure we can deliver this.

Since our last show, the aftermarket has changed, and we have to fulfil our obligation as a service provider to exhibitors and visitors, and we are aiming to bring both sellers and buyers together this year in a new way.”

Automechanika Frankfurt last took place in 2018. The show was supposed to occur in 2020, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic this was not possible. Instead, the event was put back a year. However, rising case numbers in Germany and other major markets will likely prevent travel, and therefore the decision was taken to hold a hybrid event, with a full physical show in 2022. This decision means there will be no Automechanika Birmingham until 2023.

But holding the event online offers its own benefits, not least for garage owners and technicians who want to see and learn about the latest products, but would never have time or money to fly to Germany. Instead, those interested can buy online tickets and watch presentations, launches and more via the Digital Plus platform.

What’s on in Frankfurt

As an innovation showcase, training centre and test lab for car dealerships and repair shops, the Future Repair Shop 4.0 will be working with the Institute for the Automotive Industry (IfA), demonstrating tomorrow’s technologies, processes and business models at the trade show. 

There will be eight learning stations on the customer journey with a focus on aftersales, giving visitors a hands-on experience of technological change. Motor industry professionals can gain valuable expertise and fresh inspiration for their own business in the future.  

Digitisation and new technical developments are posing new challenges to car repair shops on a daily basis. To keep up with it all, it’s important to engage regularly in professional development. As before, hands-on workshops will be held at the trade fair. They will take place in cooperation with well-known partners and will be directed at car repair shops, in particular. There will also be several live accident repair demonstrations, hosted by FabuCar and the Car Doctors (Die Autodoktoren).  

In addition, the Automechanika Academy will be running a wide-ranging programme on all three days. Recent developments on the topics of Tomorrow’s Service & Mobility, Electromobility, 3D Printing and Car Wash will be presented in several visionary talks, given by professionals, and will be debated in panel discussions. 

Anyone who runs a car repair shop will be particularly interested in Schadentalk (a vehicle damage chat show) as well as a range of talks and panel discussions on the day-to-day business of a car repair shop.  In times of climate change and environmental protection, the topic of a circular economy and remanufacturing is becoming increasingly relevant. 

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