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I Wasted my time at Webshop Vakbeurs
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I Wasted my time at Webshop Vakbeurs

Usually I am a trade fair fan, and I always try to find something interesting at a trade show. Once the organizer of an event even told me that my curiosity to explore all aspects of an event gets me to always find something interesting. However this time at Webshop Vakbeurs my curiosity didn’t save me and I clearly thought after my visit that I wasted my time. 


Please be more proactive and stop saying 360 every 5 seconds

So a few things during my visit triggered my nerves. In short let me highlight some of the problems I had with this event.


First of all let’s not forget that this fair used to be held in Brussels a few years ago. Then it moved with a rebranding to Mechelen, and offers a smaller event. From Brussels to Mechelen wasn’t a good sign. To start with I personally think that the Nekkerhal in Mechelen doesn’t ooze a lot of appeal and is not a suitable place for a professional B2B event. Also I could see that last year’s show was a transition year. But this year’s event seemed smaller. Moreover, in order to fill space, this year the exhibition area even offered not one but two big catering areas. I like to have a coffee but that is never the main goal of my trade fair visit. 

Same old same old

A smaller event doesn’t bother me if it is compensated with a high quality offering. However it wasn’t the case if you ask me. It feels I saw many of the same exhibitors as last year or some from similar events (e.g. Ecommerce Xpo…). 

Any new exhibitor you might ask? Yes some. Even Tesla was there, but not to show connected cars or anything of the sort. It was just to sell their cars. Now again, I understand the idea of filling space and I understand Tesla’s motivation. But again, buying cars is not my main goal when going to a trade show. 

What’s the point?

Another thing that struck me was that exhibitors seemed to have just given up. I passed in front of many booths without being approached, others just enjoyed their coffees too much, and the rest was simply glued to their computers. Well I guess those last ones needed to make up for lost time too. 

Stop the 360 story

Finally I did manage to speak with some exhibitors. And one really bugged me because it seems that this kind of annoyance occurs more regularly lately. It is not the first time someone tries to sell me a story that their company offers the 360 degrees services. But again, when you ask a few questions, and you scratch a bit further while questioning, suddenly the story changes “ euhmm..; well yes, euhm I mean no, indeed this part of the process is done by another company. No not a sister company or subsidiary, we’d ask you to choose among different partners …”. Again, the 360 story is appealing, and looks good on paper, but to do everything when you are a startup of two is a bit far fetched. And there is nothing wrong with just doing what you do and saying you are good at it. So please, stop trying to sell a 360 story. 


My 20/CENT on this year’s Webshop Vakbeurs

So what more to say? Not much I guess. Typically I am satisfied when I go to a tradeshow because I met new potential business partners or learned something new. But during this last Webshop Vakbeurs I didn’t. 

Furthermore, all the signs are there to confirm my opinion that shows aimed at ecommerce in Belgium are still at a basic level compared to other events in neighboring countries. 

Usually I would say, it was good and let’s already note the next year’s dates in the agenda. But for the first time I won’t. 







Check out 20/CENT Retail on YouTube here : https://youtu.be/AEspTw3B7KA


Check out the pictures of 20/CENT’s visit to the event on the Facebook @20CENTRetailhttps://www.facebook.com/pg/20CENTRetail/photos/?tab=albums


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