State-of-the-art physical live events, digital community platforms, comprehensive experience-marketing solutions: MCH Group is aiming to come up with innovative developments and has made intensive progress on a large number of projects over the past financial year.
The live marketing sector is undergoing a profound change, which is being driven forward more intensively and at a faster pace by the Covid-19 pandemic. Live events will continue to be of great importance in future too, especially in the time after corona, when they will play a major role in the economic recovery of large numbers of companies and in the acquisition of orders, as well as providing sales channels for maintaining contacts with existing and new customers. But customers' needs have changed and are set to change still further.
Swissbau Innovation Lab
Traditional exhibition and event formats are no longer sufficient in many areas. New formats are required that will generate significant added value for customers and create unique values for communities. Apart from modern live-experience formats that can be used by companies to acquire, look after, involve and inspire their customers, hybrid and digital formats are called for in future to supplement the physical events and extend their timeframes and content.
Physical and digital community platforms and holistic solutions
With the development of these modern formats, the needs and requirements of customers are also changing, with customers setting out to optimally exploit the opportunities that are being opened up. Customers increasingly expect holistic solutions, extending from the strategy through to implementation and from live events through to purely digital marketing solutions – on either a regional or global basis, depending on the geographic markets they are targeting.
Digitalisation plays a key role in this transformation process, while also forming part of the process itself. Agile development processes in interdisciplinary teams are just as important as a close working relationship with the customer when it comes to providing innovative solutions and opening up new business potential in this way. The technical basis for this is provided by high-performance systems such as ERP and CRM as well as scalable and expandable digital platforms.
Over the past year, the MCH Group has worked intensively on developing future-oriented formats and experience-marketing solutions. It has thus created a sound basis for further developments in various different areas, setting itself up for the "post-corona era". Four notable examples:
Art Basel – Digital platforms
As one of the globally leading contact points for the art market, Art Basel sets out to contribute to the success of the exhibiting galleries. It therefore brings together galleries and art lovers who are interested in buying art. It has been doing this for more than 50 years through the physical events it organises and will be doing so to a greater extent through digital business and content platforms in future. If we are to give galleries access to new customers in future, this will require digital platforms too, enabling customers to call up product information and go online shopping regardless of time and location.
The original concept for the Art Basel Online Viewing Rooms (OVR) made provision for digital platforms in parallel to the physical Art Basel shows to allow gallery owners to display additional curated presentations of works that were not exhibited at the show. After the physical events had to be cancelled last year, the OVR not only served as a (partial) replacement for the physical shows but also became a holistic offering for the art community.
Art Basel OVR
The first OVR edition in March 2020 covered presentations by more than 235 galleries over a period of seven days. This edition attracted more than 250,000 visitors from all over the world and enabled the galleries to get to know new collectors via the platform and make contact with them while also maintaining contact with their existing customers. More than 2000 works were presented, each with an exact price or price range. The overall value of the works shown was estimated at more than USD 270 million.
“Art Basel aims to secure the success of the gallerists – whether at the physical shows or on its online platforms.”Marc Spiegler, Global Director Art Basel
The success of the first OVR provided a major incentive for us to develop the OVR further in terms of their technology and content. In June 2020 and December 2020, two further editions were staged for gallerists of the Art Basel shows in Basel and Miami Beach. Following this, two additional, thematically-focused editions in autumn 2020 gave 100 galleries the opportunity to present curated exhibitions from their programmes on each occasion. The September 2020 edition – “OVR: 2020” – was devoted to works created last year while the October edition – “OVR:20c” – presented 20th century works.
The feedback from collectors on the online viewing rooms was highly positive. They ascertained that the galleries had rapidly adapted their presentations to a digital platform. The galleries also started developing their own programmes in parallel to the OVR, both in digital formats and – wherever possible – physical formats too. They have thus opened up further opportunities for discussions, engagement and new discoveries that have become increasingly important on the journey together through these challenging times.
The Art Basel online viewing rooms are also being offered in 2021. And Art Basel is additionally working on the development of an Art Basel Marketplace. Just as the gallerists expect support from Art Basel in accessing new circles of art enthusiasts and art buyers, the latter expect Art Basel to provide personalised, tailored offers, secure payment methods and immediate customer care – all in the outstanding Art Basel quality. The launch of the Art Basel Marketplace is planned for the end of 2021.
"Swissbau Innovation Lab"
The Swissbau Innovation Lab initiative was launched three years ago at Swissbau 2018 by the MCH Group working together with Bauen digital Schweiz / buildingSMART Switzerland, the Swiss Society of Engineers and Architects and uptownBasel. Swissbau Innovation Lab is the initiative of the leading companies for digital transformation of the construction and real estate industry in Switzerland. With a digital community platform and live events, the concentrated power of the industry is networked and a roadmap for planning, building and operating in the future is set out.
Due to the Covid-19 situation, the plan to go physically on tour with "Swissbau Innovation Lab on Tour" in the the years between the Swissbau fairs could not yet be realized. But the new digital community platform, which forms the basis of the partner network and enables digital networking and know-how transfer 365 days a year, was successfully developed and launched last year.
Swissbau | Livestream Preview Innovation Lab 2022
The new digital platform was presented and launched on 26 November 2020 at an online event in the virtual hub of Hall 550 in Zurich-Oerlikon. Twenty-three partners and 470 interested professionals took part. The entire programme was produced as a live stream with interactive online participation.
“The Swissbau Innovation Lab networks the entire industry community, creating genuine added value for it.”Rudolf Pfander, Brand Director Swissbau
Together with top-notch speakers and strong partners, a roadmap was set out showing how buildings will be planned, built and operated in future. The keynote speakers – two international luminaries – explained where the Swiss construction industry stands in terms of digitalisation and presented promising solutions, approaches and models for the future. Other exciting items on the programme included a panel of experts discussing practically-oriented areas for action and innovation pitches.
The new community platform has deliberately been based on a simple and widespread technology enabling most of the project to be implemented by the Digital Touchpoint team at MCH Group. This has made it possible to adhere to the very tight timetable and keep the costs down. At the same time, valuable experience has been acquired which can now be deployed in the further development of the platform. The Swissbau Innovation Lab concept provides a sound basis on which to develop scalable community infrastructure.
"Lindt Home of Chocolate" by Expomobilia
The Live Marketing Solutions division expanded its range to include the construction of temporary infrastructure several years ago already. In addition to classic trade fair stands, Expomobilia now also constructs pavilions and event structures, together with fitting out interiors. In the course of the financial year, the company added further delightful projects to its long list of impressive reference objects. This list extends from the replacement building for the Palais des Nations at the UN European headquarters in Geneva and the stage construction for the Bregenz Festival, right through to the Stücki Village in the shopping centre of this same name in Basel. One of the company’s new projects is the “Lindt Home of Chocolate” in Kilchberg, Switzerland, which celebrated its opening in September 2020 and takes visitors on a chocolate tour packed with experiences.
Expomobilia | "Lindt Home of Chocolate"
The Expomobilia team was responsible for producing the exhibition structures and fitting out the interior of the new chocolate museum. The exhibits, ranging from detailed imitations of miniature pralines right through to the largest free-standing chocolate fountain in the world, bear witness to artistic finesse and smart technical solutions.
"As a general contractor, we offer ingenious, cost saving and high-quality solutions to deliver impressive experiences.”Frank Marreau, Managing Director Expomobilia
Anyone stepping into the Lindt Home of Chocolate through the white brick façade finds themselves in the spacious atrium. And featured at its centre is the world’s biggest free-standing chocolate fountain, towering 9 metres high. Some 1.5 tons of chocolate flow up and down here. For the daily change of the chocolate filter in the base of the fountain, the Expomobilia team has installed a special mechanism that can be operated effortlessly.
The scent of chocolate leads visitors up to another floor – to the chocolate tour. The interactive exhibition covering an area of 1,500 m2 was designed by Atelier Brückner. The Expomobilia team took over the building shell for the exhibition area in September 2019 and handed it back to the Lindt Chocolate Competence Foundation as a finished museum in September 2020. The Expomobilia engineers conducted the planning and technical development of the interactive exhibits. Parts of the exhibits were produced in the company’s own workshops in Effretikon – from the cocoa plantation, the 360-degree history projection room and the mini production facilities to the interactive numeric cosmos.
A 10-metre-wide marble run marks the end of the tour. The Expomobilia engineers first simulated this on a computer using a sketch from Atelier Brückner, allowing them to calculate the trajectory of the balls. The components were then made by locksmiths and carpenters employing a combination of traditional crafts and state-of-the-art technology, including 3D printing. The basic assembly of the marble run took place in the company’s production shop, enabling the engineering team to test and fine-tune the structure there.
"The Lucid Air" Livestream by MC2
The Live Marketing Solutions (LMS) segment continued stepping up the expansion of its services and offerings last year. In the course of this process, a further dimension was added to the “Through the Line” approach, which extends from the strategy, via creation, right through to production. This is the dimension of hybrid and digital marketing solutions. LMS was able to implement numerous digital conferences and product presentations over the past year, as well as virtual trade fairs. One example of a virtual solution is the livestream presentation created by MC2 for the new Lucid Motors’ product.
MC2 | The Lucid Air Global Launch Event
Lucid Motors originally intended to present its new e-limousine “The Lucid Air” at a live event. Since it was not possible to hold a major physical event, Lucid Motors contacted MC² to design and stage the product launch as a livestream broadcast. Working together, they came up with the idea of combining a recorded video presentation with a live conference for all the relevant target groups.
“The experience had the impact of a traditional live event – conveniently delivered to customers’ homes.”Ben Nazario, Southwest Division President, MC2
The MC2 team had only three months in which to switch to the new virtual format and, in this time, succeeded in designing and staging a 40-minute event under the slogan “Dream Ahead”. In Lucid Motors Northern California headquarters, the structure was converted into a full-scale production set. An on-site director took charge of the entire lighting, sound and video production – with ten media representatives conducting live interviews with the Lucid panel – together with the online question and answer session for viewers. All in compliance with the Covid-19 regulations – before, during and after the production.
The production of the livestream event went smoothly. Lucid Motors was as impressed by the design and production delivered by the MC2 team as by the result of the event, which exceeded all expectations. More than 50,000 participants tuned in – existing customers, potential investors, the media and other interested parties from the luxury and electric automotive industry.