Technology showcase drinktec now also a marketing hub

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The visitors, the speakers and the sponsors – all were agreed the Innovation Flow Lounge, which premiered at drinktec 2013, was a resounding success. This new marketing platform increased the number of visitors from marketing and sales by eight percent. 12,000 visitors to drinktec were from this area. 3,344 visitors to drinktec, the “technology fair”, were pure marketing specialists. And, notably, almost all the visitors to the Innovation Flow Lounge gave a top overall rating to drinktec itself – clear indication that this event has successfully brought together technology and marketing. In addition to its tradition role as a technology
showcase, drinktec has therefore now taken on another function: as a marketing interface.
Lack of communication between marketing and technology departments is a
common reason for the failure of product launches. This is also true in the
beverage and liquid food industry. The idea behind the Innovation Flow Lounge
(IFL) was to bring both sides together and promote dialog between them again.
And that has been achieved, as the results of the visitor survey at drinktec 2013
has shown. Of the drinktec visitors who showed interest in the Innovation Flow
Lounge, 38 percent were mainly involved in the field of marketing, 36 percent
were from the technology side. Petra Westphal, the Exhibition Group Director at
Messe M?nchen responsible for drinktec 2013, sees this as proof “that we have
achieved our goal of creating a discussion and meeting platform that has been
accepted by both sides. The need for such an ideas forum is evidently there. As
such we have clearly hit the bull?s eye and we will be developing this project
further with a view to drinktec 2017.”
88 percent of the visitors to the Innovation Flow Lounge rated its benefit to them
as “excellent to good”, twelve percent of the total of 66,886 visitors to drinktec
declared that for them the Innovation Flow Lounge had basically been an
interesting feature. The fact that drinktec 2013, with the support of the new
Innovation Flow Lounge, had been able to attract more visitors than ever from
the area of marketing, was reflected clearly in the exhibitor survey. 78 percent
stated that they had reached the target group of marketing/advertising/PR, 86
percent said the same of the target group of sales. And as many as 89 percent
of the surveyed exhibitors had welcomed at their stands managing directors and
operations directors – in small companies these are often the ones who also
take the marketing decisions.
The Innovation Flow Lounge was held on four of the five days of drinktec 2013,
and each of the days was dedicated to a particular theme, developed and
implemented by the partners of the IFL – KRONES, RASTAL , KHS and
FoodBev Media. “Idea – Process – Success” was the motto of the first day.
Krones AG put on an exciting program on the subject of beer marketing.
POSitive Thinking – that was the motto taken by IFL partner Rastal for its theme
day, concentrating on ways of boosting sales at the point of sale. IFL partner
KHS chose the theme of packaging intelligence for its theme day, and, on the
fourth day, the British publisher Foodbev Media put on panel discussions and
talk sessions on the subject of how to successfully launch a product on the
market. Their motto was “Beverage Innovation – creating a successful product”.
In a range of “action modules” such as the IDEArena, the Talking Table and the
5-o?clock Theme, the focus was on information, exchange and networking.
Many prominent names from the world of beverages and marketing came along
to take part in this “talkshop”. The wheat-beer brewers Georg Schneider and
Jeff Maisel discussed with other experts the booming craft beer scene. Jorge
Grabmeier from Becker?s Bester and Nils Lorbeer from Campari were among
the panel discussing “Top it off with something good! Promotion extras for
beverages”. High-ranking experts were also attracted to the Innovation Flow
Lounge to discuss packaging intelligence, among them Geert Mars? from Coca
Cola and Myriam Shingleton from Carlsberg. And in the Innovation Flow Lounge
finale FoodBev media director Bill Bruce welcomed marketing experts such as
Markus Lotsch from Wild and Olli Graham from Rexam. The highlight of this day
was the presentation of the Beverage Innovation Awards.
One of the biggest attractions on all the five days of the fair was the Beverage
Innovation Bar. Here the visitors to the Innovation Flow Lounge had the chance
to try out innovative drinks from all over the world, and from all segments of the
drinks industry. For example “Wake Up” from Israel, with guarana, gingko
biloba, patented fructose and elderberry. And “Nutralic”, a functional protein
drink from Denmark. Coca Cola?s “Freestyle Drink Machine”, which mixed 100
different beverages from this soft drinks giant, was in more or less permanent
For some visitors to drinktec the Innovation Flow Lounge was already on their
list of things to visit at drinktec, others discovered the orange-colored talkshop at
the West Entrance quite by chance as they were passing. The slogan of
“Marketing meets technology” certainly made many curious. One visitor
described the IFL quite neatly as: “Something to take home that?s different.”
Another commented: “Any innovative product needs a market and needs to
know how to get in the market.” Clearly he had understood perfectly what the
Innovation Flow Lounge was all about.
Testimonials of the IFL partners:
Prof. Matthias Niemeyer, Chief Executive Officer of KHS GmbH, in charge
of technology and development: “By establishing the Innovation Flow Lounge
drinktec 2013 took an important and innovative step. Familiarizing marketing
experts on the customers side with the marketing-technical possibilities of our
machinery and systems opens wider perspectives for the use of more targeted
promotional messages. On the KHS Day, under the title of “Packaging
Intelligence – Secondary Packaging”, we used the platform for short talks and
the Talking Table as an opportunity for intensive exchange of opinion and we
were particularly pleased with the reports on their experience by our guests
Myriam Shingleton (Carlsberg) and Geert Mars? (CCE). My conclusion is that,
through dialog between technology and marketing, the Innovation Flow Lounge
promotes knowledge about the new applications on both sides. We are very
much in favor of a continuation and further development of this trade-show
attraction in 2017.”
Dr. Ralph Schneid, Head of Product Management, Process Technology,
Krones AG: “I thought the Innovation Flow Lounge was an excellent idea. After
the lecture, at the Beverage Innovation Bar, it was easy to engage in
conversation with the audience and continue the discussions started in the
lecture and find out more about each other?s views and experiences. The
Innovation Flow Lounge should most definitely be continued.”
Bill Bruce, Group Editorial Director, FoodBev Media: “The Innovation Flow
Lounge was a clever addition to what we have all come to expect at drinktec.
Putting marketing and branding issues into the mix created a real buzz, with
new types of visitors clearly in attendance. These days so many key purchasing
decisions are made by those with a background in branding and design – and
not just a technical background. So adding the Innovation Flow Lounge to
drinktec made a lot of sense and added real value. This was reflected in the
caliber of many of the trade fair visitors we met at our stand in the New
Beverage Concepts Arena in Hall B1. The sessions by Krones, Rastal and KHS
were well attended and the Beverage Innovation Bar and Talking Table
sessions drew good crowds every day. But for us, the highlight was of course
the FoodBev Media session themed ‘Creating a successful product’, which
attracted over 120 delegates.”
Sabine Sahm, Press Spokesperson, RASTAL GmbH & Co. KG: “It was our
impression that the program on the RASTAL theme day was rewarded with a
truly marketing-oriented and -interested audience. It was particularly noticeable
that there was a high proportion of international guests in the Lounge. For our
company we can therefore quite clearly state that the concept idea of a
supplementary marketing platform as part of a primarily technically oriented fair
has been a success.”