The EIMA International exhibition, which will hold its 44th edition at the Bologna exhibition center from February 3-7, 2021, will be the first major event of the year dedicated to agricultural machinery.
It will feature nearly 2,000 exhibitors from 50 countries - divided into 14 product sectors and the five thematic Trade Shows dedicated to "Components", "Green", "Idrotech", "Digital" and "Energy" - offering over 50,000 models of machines and equipment for every type of work task, making this exhibition the main technical reference for operators from all over the world.
It will also be the first "in person" exhibition in this sector after the COVID-19 emergency, which has led to a sharp slowdown in production and business activities. For reasons of safety and health protection, the crisis forced the cancellation of trade exhibitions scheduled in 2020.
"Given the above," explained the President of FederUnacoma Alessandro Malavolti during a virtual press conference held in July, "the February EIMA must be the event of reference also as regards the criteria and safeguards for the safety of exhibiting companies and the vast audience of visitors and businesspeople, offering the highest standards employing specialized medical devices."
"These must take into account the general rules set by national and international political and health authorities," added Malavolti "supplementing them with organizational and logistical criteria specifically designed for this review."
New safety procedures put in place
To allow the proper distancing and ensure even greater health and safety conditions, the system provides - as specified in the guidelines implemented by the internal regulations of the Bologna exhibition center - controls and precautionary measures on three levels: the external areas and access to the event, the exhibition complex, and the exhibition spaces managed by companies. Prevention starts from the external spaces, spacing out the rows for access to taxis and buses, setting up dedicated parking areas, and organizing sanitized shuttles that connect the exhibition to the railway station, to the airport, and to visitor parking. The entrance to the exhibition spaces, which will require a mask, is managed by a computerized system that helps maintain the proper distancing between people, while the visitors' body temperature is measured in a portal with infrared cameras positioned near the turnstiles.
The second level of safety concerns the common areas: walkways, toilets, refreshment points of the exhibition. The organizers underline that these spaces are set up in such a way as to guarantee compliance with safety distances and differentiated paths. Enhanced cleaning measures are planned, including the continuous sanitation of the toilets. Sanitizing gel dispensers will be positioned in many places throughout the exhibition center, and the ventilation system will be enhanced by significantly increasing the volume of external air and eliminating the air conditioning recirculation function. An unprecedented innovation will be the wi-fi control room, which will use heat map technology to help identify the areas with the greatest crowding. This will enable timely interventions to restore the safety distancing.
An operational task force in service throughout the exhibition center will also contribute to avoiding any gatherings. Another important new feature of the 2021 edition of EIMA regards the (enhanced) refreshment points, providing an innovative online booking service with slots displayed and selected based on availability. The catering service to the stands will also be managed remotely, with booking and delivery via an app.
The third level of safety relates to the exhibition areas of the individual companies, set up in such a way as to facilitate their sanitization and cleaning (both at night and during the exhibition), to optimize the air exchange, and to encourage distancing. The company stands will also clearly mark the entry and exit path for visitors, to improve safety as well as optimizing the exhibition path.
Virtual preview event to take place in November
A constellation of 14 "planets" corresponding to each of the 14 product categories represented at EIMA International; 2,000 digital spaces, one for each participating company; six different types of stands. This is the architecture planned for the "EIMA Digital Preview" platform for the virtual exhibition spaces reserved for industries that have already booked for the physical event of EIMA International.
The preview event represents a bridge towards the 2021 edition, capable of activating the sector's business and to ferry it into the new year.
Organized by the Italian federation of agricultural machinery manufacturers FederUnacoma, the digital event will take place over 5 days, from November 11-15. Exhibiting companies of EIMA International will feature virtual stands, accessible from all countries of the world with full 24/7 coverage.
To enter the web-based exhibition area, attendees must register on the portal and then select the dedicated access point. The platform has two other sections, one relating to conferences and events (Agorà) and one reserved for the organization's interface with visitors. Once the exhibition area has been selected, the visitor accesses a "constellation" of fourteen planets, each of which corresponds to one of the product categories presented at EIMA International. Each planet hosts companies belonging to the same product category.
To locate the individual manufacturer the visitor can search by specialization sector, by company name and by type of product. Once the visitor enters the selected area, he is greeted by an Avatar and enters a large virtual Hall, branded with the company logo and enriched with suggestive decorative elements. The Hall features the institutional video, which tells the company's history and production activity, and the presentation of the top products it manufactures. Just like in a real stand, the room provides a space dedicated to meetings with businesspeople. Another three graphic elements displayed as small towers give access to the company catalog, the company website link, the chat with the company's representatives and the agenda to schedule appointments. These are the basic elements common to all virtual spaces. However, the design, architecture and surface of the stands vary according to the square metres assigned to each company for the February physical event.
There are six layouts available. "The more structured rooms, i.e. the oval or round ones, are multi-story," explained the general manager of FederUnacoma Simona Rapastella, "and they allow to enrich the spaces with additional contents such as a second company video or the three-dimensional presentation of the top models." The more structured rooms also offer the option to add a link to the simulator and configurator on the manufacturer's website.
"The exhibition spaces of EIMA Digital Preview," added Rapastella "were conceived in such a way that the visitor has an even more direct experience of the machines and he can familiarize himself with their features, thus preselecting the model that best suits his specific needs. In addition, inside their virtual area the exhibitors will be able to broadcast live events from their factories."