This year, EXPO REAL is offering both physical and virtual meeting places for the real estate industry under the new banner EXPO REAL Hybrid Summit—The Hybrid Conference for Property and Investment. Messe München is currently developing the new format, which will combine the best of a traditional conference in the ICM – Internationales Congress Center München with a simultaneous digital conference platform. The two-day EXPO REAL Hybrid Summit will take place on October 14 and 15, 2020.
The decision to develop a hybrid format for EXPO REAL 2020 was made at the most recent meeting of the EXPO REAL Advisory Board, which was tasked with addressing the special circumstances arising from the Covid-19 pandemic. The meeting welcomed input from industry representatives, including the Stadt München, Union Investment Real Estate GmbH, Deka Immobilien Investment GmbH, AENGEVELT Immobilien GmbH & Co. KG, the German Council of Shopping Centers and two of Germany’s leading real estate industry associations, ZIA and IVD, all of whom signaled their full support for the new format. As well as enthusiastically backing the new format, the meeting’s industry figures also used the meeting to confirm that they will all be participating in October. They unanimously declared: “We have to send a signal that the industry is moving forward.” It was important to everyone at the meeting that, now perhaps more than ever before, EXPO REAL should not only maintain its high profile on the real estate market, but also act as a beacon to the future.
Klaus Dittrich, Chairman of the Board of Management of Messe München, welcomed the unanimous Advisory Board’s unanimous vote of confidence: “With the EXPO REAL Hybrid Summit, the industry’s most courageous representatives are leading the way and breaking new ground. EXPO REAL 2020’s innovative hybrid platform is a direct response to the unique circumstances created by the coronavirus pandemic. In developing this new format, we are giving the industry the platform it needs to share information, discuss the latest challenges and give their business a massive boost, all in compliance with the latest hygiene and protection regulations.”
The new Hybrid Summit will bring together leading figures from across the entire real estate industry. EXPO REAL 2020’s innovative format is based on three major pillars: live conferences for on-site attendees and live-streaming audiences around the world, individually bookable areas for exhibitors, known as Smart Spaces of 9 to 24 sqm, and special shows and exhibition spaces for specific topic areas, such as the trade show’s start-up platform, EXPO REAL Innovation.
The ICM – Internationales Congress Center München accommodates 7,000 sqm of exhibition space, including 3,500 sqm of hall space in the neighboring Hall B0, thereby offering more than enough space to ensure that applicable physical distancing rules can be observed at all times.
Messe München is anticipating around 5,000 participants on site, although this does still depend on the latest guidance from local authorities. Live-streamed conference sessions will be available for participants who cannot be physically present, enabling them to not only take part in the conferences as part of a global virtual audience, but also to exchange information with speakers and other participants. There are also plans to integrate global networks, with EXPO REAL’s international partners in Great Britain, the United States and France, for example, joining the hybrid summit’s discussions of country-specific topics via the online platform.
Attention now turns to the conference program, which will be finalized over the next few weeks. It is clear, however, that one of the major topics will be the short-, medium- and long-term effects of the coronavirus pandemic: What does the pandemic mean for real estate and investment markets in Germany and beyond? How impact will the coronavirus outbreak have on the industry’s different asset classes? How will the industry react to the turbo boost coronavirus has given to the ongoing process of digital transformation? The EXPO REAL Hybrid Summit will discuss and debate these and many other questions and topics.
The industry representatives who attended the most recent meeting of the EXPO REAL Advisory Board also unanimously agreed that the insights gained from this year’s EXPO REAL Hybrid Summit should be directly incorporated into EXPO REAL 2021. After all, the boost given to the digital transformation by the corona crisis will continue to be felt long after the virus itself has been successfully overcome.
The smart health and safety protocols developed for EXPO REAL by the team at Messe München over the last few weeks and months will now be adopted for the new hybrid format.