(June 07, 2008) An all-encompassing conceptual design, precise staging, and an integrated communication strategy make the Heidelberg presentation at drupa a complete event package
Every four years, the Düsseldorf exhibition center becomes the focus for the world's print media industry. Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG (Heidelberg) is traditionally by far the largest and most influential exhibitor at drupa, the leading trade show that this year is being held here from May 29 through June 11, 2008. Heidelberg and drupa can both look back on 50 years of shared history. The company's involvement in drupa is extremely important because this is where its strategy and integrated marketing communication for the next few years are determined.
As in previous decades, Heidelberg has once again taken over Halls 1 and 2. Stand design, media presentation, customer events, and the full sweep of communication follow every last detail of an integrated marketing strategy that is to be rolled out worldwide after the show.
The Heidelberg presentation on a net exhibition area of 7,800 square meters goes under the banner "HEI Performance - HEI Value". This concept is at the very heart of the latest Heidelberg umbrella campaign and reflects the company's pledge to quality in a very tangible form. The HEI-branded features of high-performance products and services and the resultant added value for customers run as a constant theme through the entire presentation and firmly establish the company's central message - visually, emotionally, and in terms of content.
The live Heidelberg experience
Heidelberg performs various applications live for customers. Thanks to its sheer size, the most impressive exhibit is the innovative Speedmaster XL 162 sheetfed offset press. Weighing in at over 200 tons, this press marks the company's entry into the very large format market. Prinect software components and their importance for integrating print shop workflows are also presented highly impressively. A further key topic in addition to integrated processes is the extended and enhanced range of services.
The key to the company's communication strategy dates back to the late 1990s when Heidelberg, the world market leader in sheetfed offset printing, transformed itself from an internationally successful mechanical engineering company renowned for its high-tech quality into a solution provider offering a wide range of products and services. Over the years, additional product segments and services have been integrated and developed under the "Heidelberg" umbrella brand. They complement the company's core expertise in sheetfed offset presses and cover the entire workflow of a state-of-the-art print media company.
Solutions, applications, and emotions
The solution concept is reflected in the structure of the company's stand at the trade show, which is split into six different areas devoted to different market segments. Visitors have easy access to these areas from the HEI Way, a raised gallery running through both halls. They enter the world of Heidelberg by passing through a tunnel. As they do so, key industry questions are projected onto the wall and these are answered at the start of the actual presentations. Further details are available later on from advisors and experts at the individual HEI Tech Centers. Halls 1 and 2 are dominated by “brand walls” that convey key messages from the marketing campaign and the re-launched corporate design.
That all-important personal touch
"It's all about integration, transparency, and - naturally - the productivity of our systems. Heidelberg is the only company in the sector that can offer this level of complexity from a single source, providing our customers with practical applications," sums up Adriana Nuneva, Senior Vice President Global Marketing at Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG. Visitors registering in advance for HEI Light tours of the stand benefit from targeted information. "Our aim throughout is to provide an integrated Heidelberg experience. In addition to optimizing the stand architecture, sound, and lighting, we have therefore also made a point of talking to customers individually rather than simply bombarding them with multimedia information," explains Ulrich Börger, who is responsible for trade shows and events at the company. "Heidelberg prides itself on being a professional host and we train our staff accordingly. Our technical presentations also benefit from the involvement of our executives," he adds.
Precise and complex logistics
The conceptual design and organization of drupa 2008 was an inspiring challenge for all those involved - both inside and outside the company. Staff have been given special training and 1,500 of them will be putting these skills to good use on each day of the 14-day show. Complex logistics services were required to ensure the trade show presentation, including all presses and commissioning work, was in place in a period of just four weeks. "From mid-May onwards, 350 to 400 employees were working at our construction site in Halls 1 and 2. At some stages, we were working round the clock in several shifts, and the first machines were commissioned within just a few days," explains Franz Haaf, Technical Manager in charge of the Heidelberg trade show presentation.
Leading design role for KMS
In the summer of 2006, Heidelberg ran a two-stage contest for its trade show design, with KMS TEAM emerging victorious. The KMS TEAM design focuses on the company's genuine, partnership-based approach to its customers and partners. The stand architecture transforms the two halls into an integrated space following the basic rules of urban planning. This creates a cohesive structure out of which spaces and locations for individual topics grow "naturally".
The architecture's core visual element is the "brand wall" running around both halls. This clearly separates the stand from the areas outside it and creates a tangible brand world inside. Information and business centers that represent the central points of contact at the trade show are located along the HEI Way that runs through the entire stand and links the two halls. This is where visitors go to obtain information and advice and hold discussions - all in comfortable surroundings that offer a view of the entire stand. The architectural concept was developed in cooperation with Munich-based architects Schmidhuber+Partner.
The subtle magic of sound and light
SHOWTEC GmbH from Cologne was commissioned by Heidelberg to provide the sound, lighting, and trussing for the trade show presentation at drupa 2008. Long before the trade show started, simulations and test structures were used to optimize the concept and fine-tune the media technology in collaboration with FOUR TO ONE: scale design, the company selected for the lighting engineering. Among other things, this involved checking the color and reflection properties of the architecture, exhibits, and construction materials and determining the appropriate light colors, lighting density, and assembly angle. One particularly complex task was adapting the color reproduction to the different surfaces of the silvery gray architectural and machine components.
Besides SHOWTEC and FOUR TO ONE, other companies involved in the project include b+s Exhibition GmbH (stand construction), ict AG (video technology), and Skyline technische Veranstaltungs- und Organisations-GmbH (project management).
Integrated communication campaign supports customers before, during, and after the trade show Heidelberg is accompanying its trade show presentation with an integrated communication campaign. The company kicked off the new "HEI" advertising campaign last summer with "HEI Tech", followed by "HEI Performance" at the end of January. Immediately before the trade show, the company launched the third stage of the campaign - "HEI Value". In the run-up to drupa, a multi-stage mailing prepared existing and potential new customers for the trade show presentation. A specially designed website (www.drupa-heidelberg.com) also offers a whole host of details about the event. Heidelberg is providing students, trainees, and teachers with information at the "HEI School" next to Halls 1 and 2 in the exhibition grounds. The drupa campaign will be rounded off by a letter of thanks sent out after the event to customers and other visitors to the Heidelberg stand.
Campaign sets the tone for brand presentation over the next four years
The content and themes of the current "HEI" campaign constitute the basis for the presentation of Heidelberg brands over the next four years. The "HEI" concept will be used for all communication measures worldwide until 2012, including advertisements, trade show presentations, in-house events, and brochures.
Further information about the Heidelberg trade show stand can be found on the company's dedicated drupa website at www.drupa-heidelberg.com.
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