The last time Marconi exhibited at international IT and telecoms
trade fair Cebit, it inherited its stand from the recently acquired
Bosch Telecom at the 11th hour. One year on and the company returned to
the show at Messe Hanover last month to communicate two main messages
using a purpose-built stand of its own.
'We've been telling customers that Marconi Germany encompasses the
former Bosch Telecom for the past year. We found that Marconi is a
recognised name in Europe, but people have been slow to realise that we
have more than the limited range of products previously offered by
Bosch,' Marconi vice-president communications Chris Whatley says. 'Our
aim at Cebit 2001 was to showcase our extensive range and to remind
people that the move to broadband networks is going to be one of the
most fundamental technological developments ever to have happened.'
The stand, designed by Crystal Visions was a 1,200sq m double deck area
comprising a dozen offices and a press room with a hospitality area on
the upper tier. The stand was designed as a spacious environment with
messages communicated via a series of plasma screens and four
'Marconi's approach was to put a human face to its brand and invite the
visitor into a vision of the future, which happened to be driven by the
company's applications and hardware,' Crystal Visions marketing director
Will Dixon says. 'The on-stand visuals had to create a balance between a
futuristic vision and the message that Marconi is using the applications
now, making the vision a reality.'
The on-stand visuals displayed the strapline 'Because of Marconi', in a
bid to show visitors that everyday environments are changing and
technology is responsible for a faster and better way of life.
'Our customers will be spending a lot of money investing in broadband
technology and they want to know what it is all for and how the
technology is changing the way we live,' Whatley says. 'People who
invest in broadband applications will make money and get rich whereas
those that don't will be left behind.'
Audio-visual elements were used to keep visitors on stand so they could
relax and learn about the technology. 'People were available on stand to
talk through issues and applications for the technology so it was vital
to create a relaxed environment,' Dixon says.
'Many of the surrounding stands were pumping out this 'come and see what
we've got' audio. The background audio on the Marconi stand was very
ambient. It was designed to portray the company as an oasis of calm in
the busy telecommunications market.'
Visitor reaction to the stand's design was positive, according to
Marconi's Whatley. The exhibition annually attracts many senior client
representatives who have a genuine interest in the technology and Cebit
is seen as an excellent networking opportunity for the major players in
the German market.
'The German interest in all things technical had to be reflected in the
stand's design and the video-wall approach worked well. Not only did it
have a high visual impact but it allowed visitors to take their time,
open the bonnet and understand how the equipment works,' Whatley
Cebit 2001 was the first time Marconi had exhibited its message to
European visitors. Previously, it had exhibited the same message to the
Malaysian market using a different stand design.
'Our aim is for those visitors that see us exhibit in Malaysia to gain a
sense of unity when they come to see us in Hanover, but also to be able
to see that we are aware of the differences in the markets. We are
constantly looking to think local while acting global and you have to be
aware of how the markets will react,' says Whatley. 'We have exhibited
with a much more significant budget and stand at Cebit which reflects
the importance of the market. Germany is the third largest common market
in the world.'
The company now plans to take its 'Because of Marconi' message to
Atlanta in the US during June, before earmarking Singapore and Madrid.
Each time a new custom stand will be tendered out to keep its exhibiting
strategy visionary and in line with its product range. 'We change the
stand's design at each exhibition because I'm a great believer in the
subliminal impact of what we do,' Whatley says. 'We don't believe in
tweaking a concept, we believe in completely redesigning it to keep it
at the forefront of our strategy - just as our technology is at the
forefront of society's development.'
Design: Crystal Visions
Event: Cebit 2001
Venue: Messe Hanover
CEBIT LOOKS EAST
Cebit 2001 is the world business fair for office automation, information
technology and telecommunications. It took place from 22 to 28 March at
Messe Hanover in Germany.
Cebit 2001 not only set a new record of 8,015 exhibiting companies, but
also had the highest number of foreign exhibiting firms (3,034 from 60
countries) of any trade show in the world. The event is officially
recognised as not only the largest trade fair for the IT industry, but
also the largest trade show of any kind, anywhere in the world.
The success of Cebit and the globalisation of the international trade
fair industry have prompted organiser Deutsche Messe to participate in
leading ICT fairs outside Germany and to stage its own Cebit Asia in
The starting point was Bilisim - A Cebit Event in Istanbul in September
2000. The next Bilisim will be held in September 2001. The second Cebit
event in Turkey is AEF Satellite and Broadcast in October 2001. Now 2001
- A Cebit and ATUG Event in Sydney in May 2001 will be the third element
in this global Cebit strategy.
Beginning in autumn 2001 Deutsche Messe will be staging Cebit Asia in
Shanghai at annual intervals. At present the trade fair companies in
Hanover, Dusseldorf and Munich are constructing their own International
Expo Center in the Pudong Special Trade Zone in Shanghai. Upon
completion this new venue will boast 230,000sq m of hall capacity. This
will make it the biggest exhibition site in Asia - and the fifth largest
in the world after Hanover, Milan, Frankfurt and Paris.