Students' Visions of Trade Fairs 2020

First round experiences with international student competition on "The Vision of Exhibitions until 2020" Central Europe 

CENTREX International Exhibition Statistics Union has recently launched an international Call for Papers among university/college students to tap their ideas, visions, assessment of trade fairs' future. The first experiences have shown significant signals to trade fair industry specialists and to university lecturers alike. 

In Poland during the first level of the competition for students "The Vision of Exhibitions until 2020" 13 students / teams of Polish universities and colleges submitted their papers. The competition was organized by Polish Chamber of Exhibition Industry in line with the concept of CENTREX. 

The Polish grand jury has selected the paper named "After the effect of the hundredth monkey" as the winning paper written by Sabina Obłój, Leszek Urbanowicz and Sylwester Szymański, the students of Rzeszow University of Technology. "It is an exceptionally interesting work which presents in an original way the futuristic vision of exhibitions interwoven with a love story. The authors, describing the future formula of exhibitions, used an unconventional style - including many neologisms which they created themselves." 

"Each of us may become the catalyst which starts the changes in the global awareness on our planet and may help to change the face of the world. Our work presents the vision of exhibitions in 2020 but it also contains our vision of the world, in which people reach the higher level of awareness and live in harmony" - adds Leszek Urbanowicz, member of the winning team. 

The second place also went to students of Rzeszow University of Technology. The team consisting of Justyna Paszkowska, Agata Płocica and Karolina Przytuła submitted a paper entitled "Touristic Garden of Dreams". This is also characterized by an original approach. The students clearly presented the modern concept of an exhibition stand suitable for unconventional presentation of selected regions of the world. 

The third place went to Radosław Gluza, a student of Marketing Department at Poznan University of Economics, for the paper entitled "Changes in trade fairs and exhibitions and the expected vision of exhibitions in 2020". 

Polish Chamber of Exhibition Industry sponsored valuable prizes for the laureates of the competition at the national level. The first prize – PLN 2,000 (appr. 500 €), the 2nd prize – PLN 1,500; 3rd prize – PLN 1,000.

In Hungary the competition has attracted 5 teams or individual students (a total of 13) to write essays about the "The Vision of Exhibitions until 2020". 

Completely new business model was presented by the winning Hungarian team – integrating face-to-face trade fairs with virtualities, the digital world's current and forecasted opportunities, the social media and web shops capabilities. The Team Academy (an experimental entrepreneurial education within the Debrecen University) – Zsuzsa Rita Balogh, Dávid Buglyó, Adrienn Horváth, Tamara Kassa, Vivien Kerekes and Norbert Széplaki – has concepted a programmed participation scheme, a meeting assisted by personal purchase consultants, a virtual avatar of the visitor and many other innovative ideas. 

2 individual papers were ranked as 3rd in the competition. Krisztina Bence, university student of Pécs has concepted a 'visitor assistant', a "second mouth and a third eye" – a robot assistant for those who were unable to come in person – helping to live contacts between exhibitors and potential buyers. Visitor experience enhancement can also be achieved through involving remote drone operations (in case of tourism fairs e.g.) as well as devices like fragrance dispensers – offering special chamber space options for exhibitors. 

Rita Balla, student at the Budapest College of Communication has also been awarded 3rd prize. In her paper she highlighted new venue architecture to reconsider visit experiences as an upgraded opportunity for the future – venues themselves are objects of special added value reason to call in, joyful places to visit. She wrote about real-time info updates and additions as part of augmented reality on the exposition space. 

The Hungarian first prize is an award of HUF 150,000 (approx, 500€), the 3rd prize is rated at HUF 50,000. The award is going to be announced on August 17, 2012 in Debrecen.