January 24, 2015

Ruwan Berculo - Project Manager, VIV

Ruwan Berculo - Project Manager VIV

How b2b meeting concepts shape our feed business

Exhibitions, or any kind of physical b2b meeting platforms, have always played a significant role in pushing industries forward. The annual fairs that most Western countries had in the 19th and 20th centuries, the World expo's, industry trade shows... They have all been playing one central role: to unite peers who will watch out for innovations presented and set directions for future technology developments. That hasn't changed and will not change, I am sure.

Meeting platforms haven't lost their relevance, although many of you foresee a decreasing role following the introduction of online match-making concepts. But hey, can you list 3 successful digital initiatives that just did what a physical meeting used to do? I don't think you'll get far. Of course, print and online serve a relevant purpose, though quite different from the value of face to face meetings. It's no surprise that publishers increasingly start developing meeting concepts. One cannot do without.

Decent communication requires physical interaction. People need to see each other, look each other straight in the eyes and yes, human beings like to touch. Face time just doesn't do that for you.
Regardless of the industry we're talking about, the principles are similar. Quality interactive discussions which start and end with a hand shake have something unique to offer: the chance to push an industry forward.

The agenda for our feed industry is loaded with physical meeting platforms. Are they all relevant? No, of course not. We don't need many. Successful meeting platforms should meet three conditions.
At first, they need to unite peers, within a country or across countries. People who have a common interest, a clear focus.

Secondly, they should connect science, business and government. No discussion can take a firm direction without the commitment of all these three parties who, only in combination, express game-changing power.

The third element addresses the need for a meeting platform to create the perfect business ambiance. Food for thought in the more literal sense. It sounds obvious, but it is a hell of a job to create an ambiance where every single detail gets attention to ensure people get energized in meeting each other.

Meeting concepts that meet all three criteria exist in our feed industry. And what do they do? They have the unique value to inspire people to set up new co-operations for the creation of better technologies, quite often with people you would not have expected to start working together. This is where truly out-of-the-box thinking starts. This is essential for the feed industry to continuously improve practices in nutrition in general and more specifically for its individual players to strengthen their competitive advantage.

And let's not forget the value of physical interaction to enforce lobby circuits. It is essential to feel the enthusiasm among each other to start a successful lobby to create a favorable business environment for our industry.

If meeting concepts work in this way, they become true game changers, resulting ultimately in more competitiveness and as such more innovations and more investments being made in the feed business.

With VIV, we strive to present such game changers; meeting platforms that give way to improvements of current innovations. Interaction that results in setting the directions needed to bring our feed industry forward. Next to our flagship VIV's in Utrecht and Bangkok and national VIV and Ildex events, we have recently introduced  a series of hassle-free and low-cost initiatives. Hassle-free in the sense that they require much less preparations. Low-cost, because we focus on reducing the costs for suppliers in terms of shipment, employee involvement and stand construction. This new series of activities, where we connect our loyal exhibitors with attendees in smaller though yet very promising countries, consists of Summits (250-300 attendees), Master Classes (30-50 attendees) and Round table investment discussions (max 10 attendees). The quality of these new activities again find their success in meeting the same criteria as for the larger trade show in our industry.
I believe the continuous introduction of smart concepts for physical interaction will help our feed business to take the lead as the best innovators in the entire animal protein production industry.  This will accelerate investments in feed, possibly even at the expense of those planned for in other parts of the supply chain.

At VIV we take our role within this perspective very serious. And I kindly invite the competition to do so as well. Why. Because this provides the feed industry with the best meeting platforms. And that's where you will benefit most. Mission completed.

Ruwan Berculo
Project Manager VIV

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