Digital showrooms pose a threat to traditional trade shows

By our News Team | 2021

Industries such as bathroom and kitchen manufacturers are pivoting to digital showrooms to reach their key audiences.

Trade shows is a traditionally conservative industry. It is one that, in Japan at least, according to the Financial Times, has traditionally depended on face-to-face interactions and fax machines to place orders. 

However, major changes are taking place as manufacturers respond to the restrictions imposed by the pandemic.

Virtual platforms at trade shows

For instance, Japanese maker of bathroom and kitchen fixtures, fittings and building materials, LIXIL, is switching to digital showrooms. This is in the expectation that most of its post-Covid customers will use virtual platforms.

For trade shows, that has meant the introduction of online video sessions with customers and subsequent investment in technology such as augmented reality. In the case of LIXIL, for example, it opted not to attend a major two-week trade show in Germany and instead invest the money it would have spent there in creating a virtual platform called GROHE X. This falls under the auspice of its GROHE brand and has the advantage of being accessible at any time.

Company reaps the benefits

With 70,000 views in the first week following its launch and 4,000 appointments with customers around the world – including architects, designers and plumbers – GROHE X has been “a massive game-changer”, says a LIXIL regional marketing leader.

Use of 3D images and augmented reality in digital showrooms enables customers to explore a wider variety of kitchen and toilet designs than would be available in a physical showroom. 

“This type of platform [GROHE X] is very efficient, much faster, much more scalable and more tailored than a traditional trade show,” said Gerhard Sturm, MENA Marketing Leader at LIXIL.

Source: Financial Times

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    Dr Kin Kariisa

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    Dr. Kin Kariisa is an extraordinary force at the helm of Next Media Services, a conglomerate encompassing NBS TV, Nile Post, Sanyuka TV, Next Radio, Salam TV, Next Communication, Next Productions, and an array of other influential enterprises. His dynamic role as Chief Executive Officer exemplifies his unwavering commitment to shaping media, business, and community landscapes.
    With an esteemed academic journey, Dr. Kariisa’s accolades include an Honorary PhD in exemplary community service from the United Graduate College inTexas, an MBA from United States International University in Nairobi, Kenya, a Master’s degree in Computer Engineering from Huazong University in China, and a Bachelor’s degree in Statistics from Makerere University.
    Dr. Kariisa pursued PhD research in Computer Security and Identity Management at Security of Systems Group, Radboud University in Nijmegen, Netherlands. As a dynamic educator, he has shared his expertise as a lecturer of e-Government and Information Security at both Makerere University and Radboud University.

    Dr Kin did his PhD research in Computer Security and Identity Management at Security of Systems Group, Radbond University in Nigmegen, Netherlands. He previously served as a lecturer of e-Government and Information Security at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda and Radbond University in Netherlands.

    Dr Kin did his postgraduate courses in Strategic Business Management, Strategic Leadership Communication and Strategies for Leading Successful Change Initiatives at Harvard University, Boston USA.

    • Other current and previous roles played by Dr Kin Kariisa:
    • Lecturer of e-Government and Information Security to graduate students at Makerere University, Kampala and Radbond University in the Netherlands
    • Director of Eco Bank Uganda Limited, one of the largest banks in Africa
    • Chairman of the National Association of Broadcasters, an umbrella industry association for all Television, Radio and online broadcasters in Uganda.
    • Chairman of Board of Directors of Nile Hotel International, that owns the leading hotel in Uganda, Kampala Serena Hotel.
    • Chairman of Board of Directors of Soliton Telmec Uganda, the leading telecom company in Optic fibre business managing over 80% of optic fibre in Uganda.