ISPO Munich/12/16/2020

Jeanette Friedrich: "We Have to Offer Visibility and Orientation"

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ISPO Munich Online will take place completely virtual for the first time from February 1 to 5, 2021. Together with her team, Global ISPO Group Director Jeanette Friedrich is working hard on a platform that brings the sports industry together despite adverse conditions caused by the coronavirus pandemic. For, she has compiled her five most important insights for ISPO Munich.

Jeanette Friedrich, Global ISPO Group Director
Jeanette Friedrich, Global ISPO Group Director

With the start of the year, ISPO Munich is the place to be for everyone in the sports business. Bright halls, the joie de vivre, enthusiasm and excitement grips everyone who has ever been to ISPO Munich. And now someone has hit the pause button. No random conversations in the aisles, no twelve-kilometer daily commute between A1 and the C Halls.

At the same time, the past few months have strengthened our conviction: ISPO Munich is an important impulse for the industry and can't simply be cancelled. A platform where everyone can meet again, at least digitally, do business, make new contacts, and have each other's backs.

In order to set this up for ISPO Munich Online, we are working intensively on a platform that comes as close to a physical ISPO Munich as is possible.

I wanted to share my 5 most important insights with you:


Insight 1: Our primary goal must be exhibitor visibility and visitor orientation

Many digital trade shows have shown that navigating through hundreds of digital exhibitors is a major challenge. Nothing is as frustrating as an unclear set-up. Therefore, our primary goal is to create the greatest possible visibility for all exhibitors. This is also the best way for visitors to find their way around. We provide orientation and visibility:

  • With a thematically structured virtual entrance area
  • With an overview of all companies that can be filtered according to various criteria
  • With topic-oriented landing pages with the appropriate companies
  • With visibility for brand room visitors: Exhibitors can see who is in their exhibition area (brand room), just like at a physical trade fair, and can address the visitors directly.
  • With a matchmaking tool that brings together the right contacts
  • With a search for exhibitors who can directly address visitors with a matching profile
  • With a newly designed Expo-TV
ISPO Munich Online: Screenshot der Suche für Aussteller und Besucher auf der Plattform
ISPO Munich Online: The search for all attendees is pretty easy

Insight 2: Making networking and face-to-face exchange as easy as possible

Our countless conversations before, during and after the ISPO Re.Start Days and in preparation for ISPO Munich Online have shown that our industry misses the personal exchange. And of course, there's no substitute for a cup of coffee and an after-work beer at ISPO Munich, but we can also promote this exchange digitally. That's why our set-up includes

  • a simple chat networking function
  • a planning tool for meetings
  • and integrated meeting options for video calls


ISPO Munich Online: Screenshot der Meetingtools
ISPO Munich Online: Screenshot of the meeting tools

Insight 3: We have digital competence thanks to years of development

After the ISPO Re.Start Days, we received a lot of positive feedback about the event itself. And that was also our biggest realization from the Re.Start Days: Laying the groundwork over the last few years has paid off. We have the competence - we can do digital. And this self-confidence is now helping us to establish ISPO Munich Online.

Insight 4: Online conferences work - when you have the right topics and speakers

The ISPO Re.Start Days also showed how important the right topics and high-quality speakers are for a conference program. Thanks to the detailed, data-based performance evaluation, we have recognized which formats and content work well digitally and which less so. In addition to the number of attendees, the time spent by individuals also allows valuable conclusions to be drawn about which content is received and how.

One key finding: Many of the attendees do not pull themselves out of the day-to-day business entirely, as they would at a physical event, but often consume digital content on the side. Specifically, for the ISPO Munich Online conference program this means, among other things, shorter talks instead of hour-long panels, efficient interaction formats, and emotional moments.

We also saw a change in feedback culture: The digital platform can lower the inhibition threshold for speaking out, as is often the case at on-site events. Feedback from participants comes much more directly. It is important to be prepared for that.

Insight 5: Exhibitors bring visitors...

... this is an important component at physical events, and Messe München's many digital events have proven that this is also the case at digital trade shows. That's why we do everything we can to make it easy for exhibitors to invite visitors.

We have developed our digital invitation tool accordingly. This allows every exhibitor to invite almost unlimited visitors to the expo part of the event free of charge.