4 questions with Messe Muenchen Shanghai CEO Xu Jia

Messe Muenchen Shanghai became the largest Messe München subsidiary with a three-person management team that included Jia as its the new CEO and general manager

In August, Messe Muenchen Shanghai became the largest Messe München subsidiary with a three-person management team, adding Xu Jia as the new CEO and general manager of Messe Muenchen Shanghai.

Deputy general manager Stephen Lu became chief operating officer and deputy general manager Candace Hua became chief financial officer. The three will form the management board of Messe Muenchen Shanghai, responsible for the organization and execution of trade fairs in China. Beyond their functional roles, all of the management board members will be in charge of operational business areas.

“With the new setup we will be able to continue driving the growth in China," said Klaus Dittrich, the chairman and CEO of Messe München and chairman of the board of directors of Messe Muenchen Shanghai. "The potential in southern and western China especially should be more strongly developed."

Jia will be responsible for the capital goods trade fairs. Additionally, she will also take care of corporate marketing and communication, HR, administration and operations as well as outbound business. She has more than ten years of experience in the Chinese trade fair business.She has been COO for Messe Muenchen Shanghai since 2013. Jia has taken over from Edwin Tan, who left the company on July 31 under mutual agreement, due to differing views on the future strategic goals.

Xu Jia answered 4 questions about the organization and how technology is affecting the industry.

What new technologies are driving your product development and why?

As a wholly-owned subsidiary of Messe München, the leading global exhibition organizer, Messe Muenchen Shanghai Co., Ltd. holds 25 brand exhibitions and outbound business, covering a wide range of areas including construction machinery, logistics, environmental technology, electronics, laser and photonics, laboratory technology & biotechnology, beverage & liquid food technology, architecture and building materials, sports fashion.

For an exhibition organizer, our product is the professional and high-quality services we create. To this end, we always adhere to the spirit of openness and integration. We not only learn from inside the exhibition industry, but also from other industries for new technologies to continuously improve the quality of our exhibitions. To build a strong exhibition, we must first ensure the quality of exhibitors and visitors. In the era of mobile Internet and information explosion, customers acquire information in very different ways, which poses challenges to communication and marketing activities. Messe Muenchen Shanghai has accordingly adopted AI and Big Data technology to optimize database management. Through careful depiction of customer characteristics in different industries, we have made complete, accurate portraits of the users, so that exhibitors can receive tailored services. At the same time, we have integrated different marketing channels, and used automation technology to improve marketing efficiency. As a result, the successful marketing results created more sales opportunities, thus ensuring the quality of exhibitors and visitors.

We also use a variety of new, mobile-based technologies to provide more convenient and wide-ranging services. In the past, visitors spent a long time to queue up for registration. Now, simple mobile phone operation is available anytime, anywhere to complete online registration and just “one-click” will help visitors access to electronic badges, visitor guide, and even customized tours and exhibits recommendation. This not only greatly enhances the visitors’ experience, but more importantly, promotes efficiently business matchmaking between exhibitors and visitors.

Meanwhile, digitalization will result in major changes in the trade-fair business. In the future, visitors won’t just want to experience the real cranes and large excavators, they’ll want to discover them digitally using virtual reality headsets and 360-degree cameras. In cooperation with Tmall, we have already expanded our trade fair’s target group to end consumers. For instance, with a 30-minute livestream of ISPO, we managed to generate three million clicks in China.

How does the Industrial Internet of Things influence your business strategy?

Affected by multiple factors such as the changing market demand and increasing labor costs, traditional manufacturing companies are facing unprecedented pressure in making transformations and upgrades. As cloud computing, Big Data technology and commercial 5G applications are increasingly used, more and more manufacturing companies have started adopting intelligent technology. And IoT is the core of “intelligent manufacturing”. In fact, the first major application target of ​​the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is in the manufacturing industry, followed by transportation and logistics. Such trends will surely make a huge impact on the industries involved in the exhibitions held by Messe Muenchen Shanghai, including electronics, logistics, construction machinery, laser, etc.

For Messe Muenchen Shanghai, as one of the pioneers of China's exhibition market, we have to provide customers with not only an international platform for product display and market communication, but also a keen market insight, adaptability and innovation capability. We help them predict market trends and adjust business strategy timely. By expanding the theme and scope of our exhibitions and supporting programs, Messe Muenchen Shanghai turns its exhibitions into a real barometer for the industry and market.

How is the development of software solutions impacting your requirements for hardware?

As an international exhibition organizer, Messe Muenchen Shanghai uses a lot of software to improve office efficiency in our daily work. For example, we use the SAP financial system for a paperless, visible, efficient and standardized financial approval process; we apply Salesforce in CRM management; we use multi-party video conferencing system to connect the headquarters at any time for better communication and lower costs.

Looking into the future, how will technology change your company over the next five years? 

As mentioned above, technology can impact our corporate strategy and business development in many ways. Technology drives us to innovate against market changes, so we can provide customers with an international exhibition and communication platform through advanced concepts, professional teams and quality services. We can also help them enter or expand the Chinese and overseas markets, promote products and services, establish brand image, and facilitate exchanges and cooperation in an increasingly competitive business environment.

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