A total of 2,500 visitors attended METAV digital, and more than 1,530 registered for the web sessions. “This good result is due in particular to the fact that very many exhibitors invited their customers in advance and drew their attention to the highlights at the stand and the web session topics,” explains Simon. “This has given the VDW’s intensive online advertising even more momentum. This interaction is even more important at a digital trade show than at a face-to-face event,” Simon continues.

In an initial summary, it should be noted that METAV digital was considered a test run to clarify which digital formats can hold up at all in hybrid event concepts. “At Kern Microtechnik, we had already gained initial experience with digital formats, but wanted to use METAV digital to take the next step and find out whether virtual trade fair participation is worthwhile for us,” says Peter Schöps, Area Sales Manager at Kern Microtechnik GmbH, Eschenlohe, for example. It was also important, of course, to show the flag for metalworking in Germany after the long dry spell without one single trade show. “The pandemic has shown us the opportunity to solve a wide variety of problems online. This could be meetings, webinars, product presentations, customer portals or even virtual trade fairs. The digital world knows no boundaries. It is therefore particularly important for WFL to be on board of this train. With METAV digital, VDW has offered us a good solution for being present in the market,” confirms Sabine Steinkellner, Head of Marketing, WFL Millturn Technologies GmbH & Co. KG, Linz, Austria.

Nevertheless, the digital trade show does not replace a presence event. All players without exception agree on this and are looking forward to the second half of the year, when trade shows will be possible again. Andreas Enzenbach, Vice President Marketing and Corporate Communications, Mapal Dr. Kress KG in Aalen, says: “The personal contacts are extremely lacking. With digital formats, it is very important that the exhibitor can also enter into dialog. This must not be one-dimensional, but always bi-directional.” And Dr. Wilfried Schäfer, Managing Director of the VDW, added: “In the coming days, we will take a very close look at the results and the feedback on METAV digital and decide which formats can also offer added value in a hybrid event.”

METAV digital continues for another three weeks – special forums additionally address interested parties

METAV digital is not over yet, however. It will be available remotely to visitors and interested parties for another three weeks until April 16, 2021. “The trade fair tour and a visit to all 30 web sessions will still be available at metav-digital.de/en,” says Stephanie Simon. “We also offer one special forum each week. Topics include machine safety, intelligent production and, finally, recruiting young talent. Once again, special target groups are additionally invited to these special forums,” she explains.

What is it all about in detail? The VDW’s Safety Day already has a long tradition at the METAV. It will now celebrate its premiere as a web session on March 31, 2021, and will be dedicated to Safety technology on machine tools under changing conditions. Machine saftey is a progressive process that requires constant adaptation to current developments – due to technical progress on the one hand and innovations by the legislator on the other. The new version of the Machinery Directive 2006/42/EC is currently in progress. The focus is on the integration of safety and cybersecurity or the digital delivery of operating instructions. In addition, machine manufacturers, component suppliers as well as occupational health and safety experts will show at Safety Day what requirements are placed on modern machine tools and how they are currently being met. Everyone agrees: machine tools built in accordance with standards are and remain safe!

One week later, on April 7 and 8, 2021, the special forum will focus on Intelligent Production – Producing with Artificial Intelligence and new cooling lubricant concepts. Members of the WGP (Scientific Society for Production Engineering) will present research results for efficient, future-proof and sustainable production. They deal in detail with new cooling lubricant concepts and the enormous potential of artificial intelligence, for example, and support companies in implementing them.

In the last week of METAV digital, on April 14, 2021, the forum will focus on the young talent foundation for mechanical engineering with training marketing and recruiting. Among other things, Generation Z will be highlighted: What makes them tick and what does that mean for recruiting trainees? In addition, new formats for training marketing will be presented and the suitability of social media communication for attracting trainees will be discussed.