VILLAGE FAIR COMMUNITIES - The sector of fairs was affected by a great braking with, in most of the cases, countless economic losses. Several insiders could not manage to find in time solutions to limit the damage, others enjoyed such success not to miss in-person events. An example is Gulielmo Maffeis, CEO of Faq400 srl, who could seize two opportunities from this period, by jumping into the virtual world with a new project: a village fair open to multiple communities. The following tells about his experience.
In March 2020 we suddenly found ourselves facing an unexpected situation, but this did not stop us, in fact it allowed us to tread new grounds on which we will keep walking. We were not knocked down by difficulties and we searched for a solution that would suit us.
Faq400’s reality is driven by the will of building a community concerning who works with the IBM i/AS400 platform in Italy and abroad: we are connected to other Countries’ communities, in particular to the Common Europe. A large and strong community helps working better, networking, looking for partners, customers and resources. Thanks to new encounters, exchanges and mutual comparison, the community elicit ideas, collaborations and perspectives.
Since we live for these ideals, we definitely could not stop, therefore we relied on virtual reality. The creation of a virtual fair allowed us to continue working during the whole year nonstop, and above all to stay connected to our customers and partners. Differently from any dreadful forecast you could read around during 2020, the year concluded with a slight positive decline in turnover for Faq400.
The desire to encounter and build relationships are essential for us. Faq400 virtual fair experience taught us that not even imposed distance can stop us. Therefore we realized that we were ready to explore new approaches and give birth to new ideas that could allow us to unite more people and realities as possible. This is why the intuition of a village fair was born.
“The choice fell on this terminology because a village is inhabited by several individuals who, while belonging to the same sector, usually carry out solitary battles. On the contrary, if we show off diversity, this is an enrichment for everybody. This is the message we want to get across through our project”.
It has been a while now since we had last gathered for a large sector fair. Each of us went his own way, and those who used to do it in Italy were now dedicating more time to training and to start-ups. But last year’s experience taught us the importance of union, communication and connections, both in life and work. Thus we could not be indifferent.
Our fair’s concept is that it starts from the “bottom” and not from the top. That is to say, Communities are the ones gathering to inform and to question Vendors. And not only grandstanding Vendors. Therefore, the main objective remains the construction of a Community of Communities, which turns into a village where everyone owns a “home” to welcome customers. For now we are setting up the opening of more pavilions for each involved “community”.
Furthermore, our fair is not meant to be created in a phyisical environment. In fact, it will be entirely online. Advepa Communication’s virtual reality technology, put into play for us, allows us to gather in a single place with multiple different realities. Something that is normally not possible. The possibility of giving birth to this project through virtual reality prevents dispersion, despite the size of space that will be used. In fact, everything will be organized and easily reachable, you won’t risk getting lost among the pavilions and having to wait for a long time to speak to the exhibitors you’re interested in. Advepa’s technology made it all clear and intuitive. Let’s forget about the dispersion we are used to.
There are several different realities that have immediately responded with enthusiasm and availability. I am speaking of associations, user groups, rating societies, podcasts, etc. They will all have a dedicated area in the Fair to attract the audience interested in a range of services we thought about. For instance, they concern Jobs, talent search, calls for funding, software selection, IT podcast Radio, CIO Club, artificial intelligence explained in a simple way.For more about the 3D virtual events, click here
Guglielmo Maffeis is in charge of Social Media Marketing. Since 2017 he has been a member and CEO of Faq400, the Italian community of IBM i/AS400.