Industrial fairs are entering a new era. Czechia wants to be a pioneer in digital solutions to support exports

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  • This will be made possible by the Digital Library of Czech Industry, which is being prepared by the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MIT) in cooperation with industry representatives.
  • The Association of Communication Agencies (AKA) is also involved in the project. According to her, virtual reality will compensate for the significant effects of the pandemic on physical forms of presentation and will help Czech companies to export.
  • A project of this kind is so far unique in the world.

The outbreak of the pandemic and the consequent restrictions on organizing mass events and traveling abroad have drastically reduced opportunities for business promotion. As early as last spring, AKA therefore turned to the Ministry of Industry and Commerce with proposals to support the marketing activities of national companies. These are the first to be cut, which however weakens demand and sales. The money intended for the co-financing of official participations (CTO) of Czech companies in foreign trade fairs could also be used for other projects, since trade fair activity is de facto stopped.

“We knew that CTU co-financing is an almost exclusive form of state marketing support to Czech exporters. However, the practice with its roots in the 1950s and 1960s did not reflect today’s development and possibilities. That’s why we provided the ministry with an overview of how to complement physical fairs with modern technologies. I’m glad that thanks to our suggestions, the state is already promising a year later,” says Marek Hlavica, director of AKA.

In the autumn of last year, the Ministry of Industry and Trade organized the Digital Promotion 4.0 competition, through which it was possible to map a large portfolio of companies offering advanced digital tools that can help present Czech industry abroad. Based on her productions, she is currently working on a unique project for the Digital Library of Czech Industry. It is to serve as a guide for industry in the Czech Republic and at the same time as a showcase for individual industries.

YORD Proposal

“An example is a virtual hospital, which will include an operating room equipped with solutions from Czech companies. Similarly, it is possible to assemble a hangar or a production hall with an exhibition of Czech contractors, as well as design galleries and much more”, explains Rudolf Klepáček.The digital library will thus gradually expand by adding new fields, companies and 3D models.

“The project will start around the middle of this year. To ensure the technical part, we are preparing a tender, where it is possible to assume the participation of suppliers who have already presented themselves to us in the Digital Promotion 4.0 competition.” Thanks to the project, industrial companies will be better able to win orders online without having to travel and depend on a physical presentation.

The main advantage of the planned project is its independence from salons and salon administration platforms. In addition, 3D virtual models associated with a thematic environment will allow you to present the product in its real environment with a high level of detail and interactivity. Cost savings are also an advantage. Sending a sales representative to the event costs tens to less than hundreds of thousands. These amounts can now be directed by companies to create these models, which can be used over time.

Possibilities of individualization and subsidies for companies

Companies will be able to use the platform autonomously for their own purposes, for which they will adapt the virtual environment. Support tools funded by the European Union should be developed for the creation of 3D models and other digital activities. These can cover companies up to half of the costs they invest in creating a virtual presentation, while the total project costs are determined by the companies themselves within a specified range. The technological solution is in the development phase, everything should be ready for pilot operation at the beginning of next year.

“Focusing on modern technologies will give Czech companies the opportunity to participate in supporting exporters with their own solutions. For example, Czechia is one of the best in the world when it comes to creating virtual reality. State will thus bring a double benefit”, explains Marek Hlavica, director of AKA.

Involvement of professional associations

The Ministry of Industry and Commerce is also working closely with relevant trade associations to resolve individual sections of the digital library. These are, for example, the Association of Virtual and Augmented Reality, which is the technical mentor of the project, the Association of Aircraft Manufacturers, the Association of Manufacturers and Suppliers of Medical Devices or the Confederation of Industry and Transport as the highest representative of business. The Ministry of Industry and Trade also consults the CzechTrade and CzechInvest agencies on project requirements.

“Some areas are already well prepared to enter a virtual environment. As well as a number of Czech exporters. In cooperation with them, we are working to expand the existing range of export-friendly instruments supported by state institutions At the same time, our goal is not to forget the traditional pro-export tools we have used so far. The financial support of full-time fairs by the Ministry of Industry and Trade will continue. says Martina Tauberová, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade for the EU and Foreign Trade, and adds:

“Some business activities will continue to depend on personal contact and physical inspection of products. But for companies, a virtual presentation is a great support tool. It expands the range of options allowing companies to be better prepared to other crisis situations. Whatever the circumstances, we also try to identify new and effective ways for Czech exporters to present their products and services in the spirit of the Czech Republic’s Innovation Strategy 2019-2030 . »

Edited press release AKA – Association of Communication Agencies

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