eCOM Expo (EXPO E-COMMERCE)
The second event in our revision series focused on events that once held promise, but were left in the passages of history, we have eCOMExpo, which for a brief moment was considered to be THE event for electronic commerce in Spain. The international trade fair had a brief history of just over five years before being discontinued and shared the stage with OMExpo, which coincidentally has survived and is on to celebrate its 14th anniversary. eCOMExpo was an annual event, which took place in Hall 12 at Feria de Madrid in early April every year to great attention from the local sector.
eCOMExpo had one major focus – commitment to innovation and its attractive combination of exhibition and training offer. This guaranteed that there would be a lot for exhibitors achieve in a financial sense, while professional visitors enjoy the benefit from an in-depth education program. The many seminars and interactive debates alongside the congress served as a lightning rod to gain the attention of experts of the national and international scene. This in term brought in a sizeable audience and allowed for exhibitors and sponsors to contact their target audience, a visitor profile in search of new solutions with which to sell more and better on the Web.
Business was good for eCOMExpo, because around 250 exhibitors could command an audience of 10,000 professionals. The conferences alone amassed 5000 goers, which is impressive in its own right. At one point, companies like ebay and PayPal were official sponsors of the highest tier and Camara Madrid functioned as the institutional partner. This ensured that exhibitors had access to a lot of buyers (in previous editions roughly 80% of all in attendance had decision making capabilities in their companies). There were many reasons why trade visitors attended – research new services, purchase new services, get a general overview of the industry, meeting suppliers, attending the congress.
As to what industry background eCOMExpo’s audience represented, you had basically every big industry partaking in the mobile and digital revolutions. Brands were happy to meet and network with representatives from IT, online stores, advertising, marketing and PR agencies, logistics and transport, services, consultancy, internet services, food and beverages, bank and insurance, fashion and textile, tourism, academic training, cosmetics & chemical, trade and distribution, real estate and automation. eCOMExpo further strengthened the procurement aspects of its program with a series of 10 guided tours every day, which featured groups of 40 that met with targeted exhibitors. Another feature exhibitors could make use of during the trade fair was to join Online 365 and have their information easily available for visitors to search for and discover using QR scanners.
eCOMExpo really turned Madrid, Spain into a central hub for the ecommerce community as the official organisers for the fair reserved 15 conference rooms in 2015 alone that housed the dynamic support program, which spanned interactive debates over at debate hall, keynote sessions from the digital rock stars of then, success stories, specialized forums, workshops and free seminars. There would be Agency Day, Digital Manager Day, Mobile Marketing Forum, E-Pharma Forum, Cloud Forum, E-Fashion Forum, E-Tourism Forum, E-Food Market and E-Payment Forum. Given this incredible abundance in programming, it was easy for professionals to identify forums and debates that were relevant to their line of business and leave with new skills, know-how and inside details on how the industry is changing.
We have already touched upon the fact that roughly 80% of all visitors were decision makers in their companies, but we want to dig a little deeper into the profile of the audience. eCOMExpo had a great pull on a higher level with some 45% of all visitors belonging to companies that invest more than 100,000 € to the year digital transformation. Another 21% belonged to companies that had a higher investment rate of € 500,000 or more per year. It then should come as no surprise that roughly 60% have a high-profile position in their company such as a CEO, Managing Director, DirCom and Director of Marketing or in Management Business Development and E-commerce and sales management.
If this were the case, then what happened with eCOMExpo? Why did it disappear? It’s not so much that eCOMExpo failed, but that it simply merged with OMExpo as similar events in nature that are co-located often do. This can be seen in the way OMExpo functions today.