Interview with Dr. Urs Seiler

«More digital intelligence per square metre!»

Dr Urs Seiler is a distinguished authority on live communication in the German-speaking world. During the pandemic, he was a reliable, independent voice for the Swiss event industry. In 2020 he launched a digital newsroom, ­, to draw attention to the significance and capacities of live communication and to act as a hub for live communication.

Seiler has worked in the event industry for 30 years. Nowadays, achieving reach no longer depends on how well ­journalists write. It is also down to technology. Digital media requires a different tone. Shorter online articles and subjective blogs use the spoken language of millennials. «More intelligence per square metre» was the subtitle of the fourth edition of his book in 2005. This was an industry need at the time, but should now be «More digital intelligence per square metre».

More expensive but more efficient

Seiler agrees with the Director of the Frankfurt Messe: after coronavirus, no one will be interested in digital trade fairs anymore, as shown by events held with 150,000 visitors again in China since October 2020. The Düsseldorf Caravan Salon attracted 185,000 people in September 2021. Seiler claims that face-to-face meetings between people won’t lose their attractiveness and magic, but predicts that hybrid formats will remain, as they increase reach.

Seiler calls replacing physical with digital events a myth. He recalls Jochen Witt, former President & CEO of Koelnmesse, who compares digital fairs to digital showers. Seiler believes that in ten years, events will be smaller, more regional, more hybrid, and will enjoy more reach. After coronavirus, they will be more expensive due to a lack of specialist staff and rising material costs, but also more efficient.