R+T digital brings the industry together virtually

Sebastian Schmid, Department Director Technology at Messe Stuttgart (Copyright: Messe Stuttgart)

Successful live event of R+T digital from 22 to 25 February 2021 / High level of internationality underscores its position as the most important industry meeting point

R+T digital kicked off on 22 February 2021 after just a few months preparation time for everyone involved. The virtual platform of the world’s leading trade fair for roller shutters, doors/gates and sun protection system has been live since then and offered a large number of trade visitors different insights into the latest trends and product innovations in the industry. “R+T digital has set new standards as the largest ever event virtual event format of Messe Stuttgart,” concluded Roland Bleinroth, President and CEO of Messe Stuttgart. “With over 300 people on-site, we staged the live programme of R+T digital in our studios with a very high degree of professionalism and great enthusiasm in order to offer the global R+T network a first-class information platform. Thanks to the assistance of our reliable partners, we were able to ensure the smooth operation of the platform, support and technology, and also take our expertise in the area of digital events to a new level.” Sebastian Schmid, Department Director Technology at Messe Stuttgart, added: “The industry once again demonstrated its efficiency and innovative capacity through the attractive and innovative product presentations by our exhibitors, numerous live talks and video sessions, as well as in a varied accompanying programme. We are pleased that everyone involved breathed life into our platform on all four live days and demonstrated the value of our network for the industry.”

High level of internationality among visitors and exhibitors

R+T digital attracted a total of 22,000 visitors during the live period from 22 to 25 February 2021. These visitors logged on from 121 countries – primarily from Germany, Italy, the USA, China, the Netherlands, Poland and Spain. The innovations and new products were presented on 299 virtual exhibition stands by companies from 23 countries; 193 exhibitors (65%) came from abroad. The exhibitor countries of Italy, China, Spain, Turkey and France were very well-represented. “We now want to evaluate all the collected data and analyse the findings together with our partners and exhibitors in order to enhance our projects in a purposeful and efficient way. We are pleased that we were able to offer the industry an innovative and international information platform within the short preparation time. However, it naturally cannot be compared with a R+T in Stuttgart,” said Department Director Sebastian Schmid.

Extensive live programme on four theme days

The visitors were offered an extensive accompanying programme during the live period of R+T digital. On the first live day different representatives from restaurants, hotels and craft trades exchanged information on the current challenges and trends in the area of outdoor gastronomy. “Especially now, solutions must be found to satisfy the special requirements. The exchange of information between all participants is vital in this respect,” said Heinrich Abletshauser, President of the Federal Association for Manufacturers of Roller Shutters and Sun Protection (BVRS). The renowned R+T Innovation Award was also presented on the first day of the trade fair. The winning products were presented in detail via a live stream on the following Day of Innovation. “It was really very impressive to see how much innovative capacity the roller shutter, door/gate and sun protection industry has to offer,” said Sandra Musculus, President of the Industrial Association for Technical Textiles, Roller Shutters and Sun Protection (ITRS). “Even if social life is currently at a standstill, our industry certainly isn’t. And it is exciting to see this confirmed in the form of a large number of innovative products.” During the Doors/Gates Forum on the morning of the third live day, association representatives and experts examined the latest trends and technical developments in the areas of gates and automatic doors. “This programme item, in particular, was important for our industry to exchange information,” said Dr. Claus Schwenzer, Chairman of the National Federation of Door and Gate Manufacturers (BVT). “Although the virtual format cannot naturally replace a personal meeting, it can build a bridge in the meantime.” Talks and discussion panels in the Smart Home Forum in the afternoon provided visitors with an extensive overview of the different possibilities and advantages of smart homes. On the fourth and last live day of R+T digital ARCHIKON 2021, the Regional Congress for Architecture and Urban Development, was broadcast live on the R+T digital platform by the Institute for Advanced Construction Training of the Baden-Württemberg Chamber of Architects. On all four live days visitors to the R+T Alliance Forum were also able to enjoy exciting talk programmes regarding international industry topics on the most important R+T markets. During the live period a large number of talks, workshops and video sessions were also staged continuously in the Exhibitor Forum and the Exhibitor Auditoriums. Different product innovations were presented in detail in these talks, workshops and video sessions.

 Outlook for other R+T events

Even after the live days, the world’s leading trade fair will certainly not stand still in future. “Our platform will still be available right up until R+T 2022 in order to provide information on innovative products,” said Sebastian Schmid. “Interested parties will also still be able to download on demand all the contributions by the exhibitors and from the conference area.” R+T digital was also a prelude to other trade fairs of the R+T Alliance, i.e. the trade fair network for the sun protection industry and the door/gate industry. The next R+T Asia will be held in Shanghai, China, from 24 to 26 March 2021. R+T Turkey (16 to 18 September 2021) will take place in the Istanbul Expo Centre (IFM), Istanbul, Turkey. The première of Sun Shading Expo North America will be staged in the Music City Convention Center, Nashville, USA, from 2 to 4 November 2021. “And our plans for R+T 2022 in Stuttgart are also naturally in full swing,” said Sebastian Schmid. The world’s leading trade fair will be held in Stuttgart from 21 to 25 February 2022.