With a brilliant communication surcharge, Volkswagen makes the opportunities of digital possibilities clear. The virtual VW exhibition stand as a replacement for Geneva could be the first step, after Corona, to do without car shows altogether and to redirect or concentrate the tangible, personal communication on your own events.
There will certainly continue to be auto shows worldwide, but as has become apparent in the past, many car manufacturers are increasingly shifting their technological visions and developments to technology shows such as the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. The change of location of the IAA from Frankfurt to Munich will also be accompanied by a completely new exhibition concept, which should bring about a strong digital realignment.
Volkswagen in the digital pole position
Volkswagen is in pole position here, and is now continuing the digital realignment in the vehicle (example of a new Golf) at a communicative level. This is also confirmed by VW Marketing Director Jochen Sengpiehl: “Our first digital exhibition stand is only the first addition to our new, sustainable concept for future innovative online experiences. Exploiting the possibilities of virtual reality is part of our digitization strategy. It becomes an integral part of our experience marketing, the overall external image of the brand and the interaction with customers and fans. ”
In fact, this marketing strategy has been brilliantly implemented within a short period of time, as can be seen here (until April 17, 2020). https://www.volkswagen.de/de/specials/geneva-2020.html . The “virtual exhibition stand” is undoubtedly a highlight of digital communication. The virtual trade fair experience is actually only missing the personal contact to people, the conversation over an espresso in the VW lounge - but also the annoying crowds in the aisles and the journey to Geneva. But Geneva in particular will hopefully be worth a visit again next year, as the Swiss Salon is one of the most congenial meeting places of the international automotive scene, which cannot be said of the car show once held in the cold Detroit even after it was moved to summer. Hopefully the human encounter will not be completely sacrificed to digitization now.
Corona will have consequences
The strategies of the manufacturers will now be realigned. In this respect, the cancellation of the Geneva Salon is the spark for an accelerated redesign of all marketing activities of all manufacturers. The opportunity for everyone to stroll around the Volkswagen exhibition stand 24 hours is a completely new experience. “I am delighted that despite the cancellation of the Geneva Motor Show, our marketing team has now made our stand accessible to all visitors. You can virtually experience the attention to detail with which our team presents this trade fair and our product highlights. It shows once again that special situations also produce special solutions, ”says VW Sales Director Jürgen Stackmann. "We are convinced that in addition to the real presentation of the vehicles, we can reach many more people through these virtual trade fair visits in the future."
All vehicles planned for Geneva and the exhibition stand were digitally prepared for the 360 ° experience and convey the feeling of being directly at the exhibition. The focus is on the product innovations of 2020: From the future electric vehicle ID.3 to the new Touareg R with plug-in hybrid technology to the latest generation of the sporty, compact golf icons GTI, GTD and GTE. The viewer can take a tour of the booth or control his visit individually. And he can do something that would not be possible at the real fair: change the color of the exhibited vehicles to your own taste.
Personal contacts should not be neglected
With the entry into the virtual exhibition world, Volkswagen has opened a door through which other manufacturers will soon be going. Hopefully you will note that direct human contact should not be neglected. The haptic perception of new models, the sensual smell experience in a new car, the conversation with responsible managers must be maintained. Maybe not so often anymore and maybe not only at trade fairs, which numerous manufacturers have already said goodbye to without Corona.