The COVID-19 crisis has created challenges throughout the electronics industry, which is why electronica 2020 in Munich (November 10-13, 2020) presents long-established companies, start-ups, and innovators with exciting opportunities to demo technology and learn about new engineering solutions. Falk Senger, Managing Director of Messe München, explains how his organization is planning for the event and what exhibitors and attendees can expect.  
Falk Senger talks about electronica 2020
Falk Senger (Managing Director, Messe München)

Preparations for electronica 2020

Elektor: Due to the COVID-19 crisis, 2020 has been a challenging year, especially for events. But we hear that electronica 2020 (November 10-13) in Munich will be one of the first big industry events. Can you tell us something about that?

The preparations for electronica are in full swing. The show will be the first unique opportunity this year for the industry players to make direct customer contact and present innovations. Feedback has been very positive: the number of registered exhibitors is almost on the same level as for the previous event. This year's motto for electronica is "driving sustainable progress." With new impulses, at the trade fair we will demonstrate how electronics with its innovations can make a decisive contribution to sustainable progress. The focus will also be on medical electronics, intelligent energy solutions, and 5G for the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). At four conferences — electronica Automotive Conference (eAC), electronica Embedded Platforms Conference (eEPC), Wireless Congress and the electronica Medical Electronics Conference (eMEC) — experts will present the latest developments in electrical engineering. 

Elektor: What precautions are you taking to reduce COVID-19-related risks at electronica 2020? Did you learn from other events, or were you largely on your own? And are there any measures that will probably stay in place for future events?

Together with the Bavarian State Government and the responsible authorities, we have set up a safety and hygiene concept for all our events, which is constantly adapted to the current situation. It provides a number of concrete measures to ensure that even in times of COVID-19 we are able to hold trade fairs such as electronica, with the usual success and safety for everyone involved. Essentially, it is a matter of three things: keeping distance, hygiene, and traceability of all participants. In addition to the official requirements, our experience from previous trade fairs in the first quarter of this year is also being considered in the planning, such as increased cleaning intervals. 
electronica 2020 is slated for November
electronica 2020 is scheduled for November 10-13, 2020, in Munich (Source: Messe München)
Elektor: Looking at your electronica 2020 bookings, are there industry sectors that will be more represented due to COVID-19? Are there certain sectors, or perhaps regions, that are more reluctant than others?

Registration for electronica 2020 is still open. Only then we will have a complete overview of the industries represented and the exhibitors' countries of origin. The current number of registrations is on the same level as for the previous event.

Elektor: The threat of a second wave hovers over the market. How is Messe Munich reducing its own risks?

The past few months in which we have been living and working with the Corona pandemic have shown that the situation needs to be reassessed on a daily basis and requires a rapid response if necessary. This is why we are in close and constant contact with the Bavarian state government and the authorities.

Elektor: Many event management companies have turned to virtual events this year. What is your take on virtual events for the electronics industry?

We are working hard to organize a safe and successful event for everyone involved, just as exhibitors and visitors at electronica have been used to for many decades. For our extensive conference program, we are planning a partly virtual implementation in order to let also those participate, who do not have the possibility to be present this year. In fact, in the current situation, there is no 100% certainty in the long term. If, contrary to expectations, the situation should become worse, we will inform the industry about further steps in time. 
elecctronica Fast Forward
electronica fast forward, the start-up platform powered by Elektor, offers start-ups an opportunity
to present their solutions. (Source: Messe München)

e-ffwd 2020

Elektor: The start-up area for electronica Fast Forward (e-ffwd) gets larger and more professional every year. This year, Elektor and Messe Munich will dedicate even more square meters to start-ups. How do you explain the success?

Start-ups are innovation drivers for the industry and play a decisive role in its success. With our partnership and the development of the start-up program, we have absolutely met the demands and meet our claim as the world's leading trade fair and most important industry platform. electronica offers the perfect setting for bringing together young, agile entrepreneurs with established and renowned companies — the success has proven us right.

Elektor: This event no doubt is one of the biggest opportunities for start-ups to get in contact with the industry face to face and give the industry the chance to get in touch with new technology, innovative approaches, and the agile start-ups behind them. What do you feel will be different about this matchmaking, especially after COVID-19 presented both sides of the table with so many challenges?

The concept of matchmaking and the associated opportunities remain as usual. Considering the existing uncertain situation, the proper contacts and networks are even more relevant for one's own business success than before. We expect the situation with the uncommon general conditions at the trade fair to be perceived as less irritating, as it is already known and learned from everyday life.

Elektor: Any advice, or words of encouragement, for companies still on the fence about exhibiting at electronica 2020 in November?

Trade fairs are an important motor for the economy and give industry a boost. electronica is an indispensable international industry platform and this year is the only opportunity to present innovations and make personal contacts. After the corona-related decline in sales in the industry, this is now more than ever important.

In view of the number of visitors, we assume that the positive trend, especially in Europe, will continue and that the situation will have largely normalized by autumn. Whereas extensive travel restrictions were imposed in recent months, border closures and travel warnings are now being gradually lifted — at least for the European countries from which the majority of electronica visitors come. With our hygiene concept and comprehensive measures, we are also ensuring a safe and secure trade show participation!

Free Download: Elektor Industry (Electronics in Challenging Times)

This interview appears in July 2020 edition of Elektor Industry magazine. Want to read more? You can download the entire July 2020 edition for free. This offer is brought to you as part of the Elektor Helps initiative
electronica Fast Forward 2020