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Surprise, Surprise - Events bring the equestrian industry to life

21 Jun 2022

Trade fair visitors at the entrance

Live events have many advantages that need to be exploited during the restart and realignment, says Anna Lena Grytz and continues: "For one thing, the so-called serendipity on the visitor side can be particularly effective here and played out in a business-promoting manner." In plain language, this means that visitors to an event discover surprising things as they pass by - without having expected them in advance or having been on the lookout for them. According to Grytz, this willingness of visitors to discover, marvel and be surprised requires the organizer to create space for this and to prepare the best possible stage for positive moments of surprise. "Of course, today as a consumer you theoretically have the possibility to find almost all available products, solutions and information on the Internet, provided you search for them specifically. However, in this context, the progressive development of algorithms and offers tailored to the needs of each consumer significantly limits the possibility of unexpectedly discovering something new. This is where the live event has a clear advantage that needs to be communicated to the consumer/visitor.

Making brands tangible

In addition, live events offer the opportunity to make brands and companies tangible, to give them a face in the truest sense of the word and to bring the people behind the products into play. Anna Lena Grytz: "On the one hand, as a supplier you can play out the likeability factor much more directly at the moment when individual product advantages do not come into play with a comparable offer. On the other hand, in my opinion, there is hardly a better opportunity to receive direct, unfiltered and concentrated feedback on one's own products than to expose them to the concentrated consumer competence at trade shows. At the same time, however, the way in which one presents oneself to the market will increasingly play a role. Cleverly integrating digital presentation forms and techniques into the live experience on site offers the chance to create new aha experiences with a finger on the pulse."

Combining the tried and true with the surprising

The EEBA executive director admits that, given the lack of sales from the past two years and the economic pressures that come with it, event organizers might be inclined to play it safe with the restart and focus exclusively on tried-and-true offerings for customers. But the market and consumer demands were undergoing accelerating change even before Corona, he said. "Competitive pressures among events were growing in equal measure, as was the degree of oversaturation on the consumer side. In the case of equestrian shows, the trend toward quality, presentation of innovations, good advice and the creation of unique (shopping) experiences has been evident for a number of years. The challenge will be to deliver the unexpected as well as the tried and true." That, he said, requires keeping a close eye on changes in the market and, to some extent, anticipating and adapting one's own concepts. "`Back to normal,'" Anna Lena Grytz believes, "will not be the sole solution in the medium term."