4 June 2020
4 June 2020, Comments Comments Off on Daniel Onggowinarso – CIVD
Daniel Onggowinarso - CIVD

In an exclusive interview with Aboutcamp BtoB, the Managing Director of Germany’s Caravanning Industry Association (CIVD), Daniel Onggowinarso, discusses the decision to continue with the Caravan Salon Düsseldorf 2020.

AboutcampBtoB: So far we have only heard of those who are not participating in the Caravan Salon Düsseldorf (CSD) this year. But we will also tell the point of view of the many companies that have decided to participate. What will the 2020 CSD be like?

Daniel Onggowinarso: “It is true, the decision to move forward with the show most certainly polarizes and thus far it may have been more interesting to focus media coverage on the ones that decided not to participate this year. Nonetheless, plenty of exhibitors have committed to this year’s show and I therefore very much appreciate your open-minded approach to not constantly talking about just one side of the story.”

“One thing is clear, though, the CARAVAN SALON 2020 will be different. Like in so many aspects of our lives, the pandemic related experiences of the past 12 weeks will also have their impact on the show. However, rest assured that Messe Düsseldorf, in close and constant consultation with all relevant authorities, have developed a sustainable hygiene and protection concept in the interests of all concerned. For some it may come as quite a surprise, that these measures may seem not as harsh as one may have initially expected. The reason for this is the pragmatic approach of mainly building up on or simply referring to already enacted pandemic-related general public requirements announced by the authorities (e.g. for retail trade, show rooms and restaurants) and only where necessary supplementing those by specific arrangements for trade fairs and the local exhibition centre in Düsseldorf.”

“Over the past weeks people have matured in their way of adopting certain precautions and newly learned behaviours into their daily life. Based on this and given the fact that more and more restrictions have already been lifted with more easements to come soon, I believe that when the gates will finally open on 4 September, visitors and exhibitors will be rewarded with a great show. Bear in mind, we still have a quarter year to go!”

“And even though we regret the decision of individual companies not to participate this year, the CARAVAN SALON will still offer a large variety of products across all categories with no vehicle type missing. You can be sure that everything will be done to make the leading caravanning show once again a great experience.”

AboutcampBtoB: Why is it important for RV producers and suppliers to participate in the CSD again this year?

Daniel Onggowinarso: “Speaking from a German perspective, the pandemic may have left a dent in new registrations in April, but it did not affect customer sentiment at all. More on the contrary, recent feedback indicates an even higher interest and demand in caravanning as a safe travel alternative. Many people who have never owned a leisure vehicle before or who even have never fathomed travelling in one all the sudden are enticed in renting or even buying one right away. These newbies need guidance and seek information. What better platform than the CARAVAN SALON to get a good and compact overview on what the market has to offer?”

“Yes, the customer journey has become more digital over the years, but the final steps at least for the time being require hands-on and multi-sensitive experience. Trade fairs bring brands to life and they allow for immediate and transparent comparison of competing products thereby urging exhibitors to showcase their A-game, which then again results in a much better overall presentation and thus customer experience. I anticipate this year’s visitors to be of the more hard-core type, meaning they will come with the serious intention of buying a product. Exhibitors should find themselves exposed to a more high-quality crowd this year.”

AboutcampBtoB: Given the absence of some important brands, how will the space at the Caravan Salon, be redesigned? Have you already decided how?

Daniel Onggowinarso: “Messe Düsseldorf have been very busy adjusting the overall and hall by hall layout. The final set-up will be locked in about two weeks from now. However, from what I have already seen so far, we are headed for a great show. Don’t be misled, we won’t have empty spots in the halls. For one, social distancing requirements call for wider aisles between stands. In addition, many of the participating brands have called for additional space, in some cases significantly more. Combine these two and you will have an interesting set-up with foreseen halls at their maximum capacity.”

AboutcampBtoB: Non-European visitors are likely to have difficulty reaching Düsseldorf this year. Have you also thought of alternative solutions to encourage B2B contacts between CSD exhibitors and companies outside Europe?

Daniel Onggowinarso: “Honest and short answer, no we haven’t yet. The fraction of non-European visitors to the CARAVAN SALON mainly consists of BtoB visitors. As I am saying this, travel warnings within the EU are being lifted. Although we certainly won’t be chasing new records in terms of overseas visitor numbers this year, we remain optimistic that for some countries travel conditions will return to a new normal by September.”

AboutcampBtoB: At the moment we are aware that both the Salone del Camper in Italy and the Salon de Vehicules de Loisirs in Paris have confirmed they are going ahead this year, as well also the METS in Amsterdam. You are therefore in good company. Is there anything you would like to say to any who are undecided about exhibiting or attending the CSD 2020? And what would you like to say to who has already chosen not to participate?

Daniel Onggowinarso: “Even if the CARAVAN SALON will be different this year in many aspects, it is and remains the world’s leading trade show for caravanning. It also remains the largest platform for presenting innovations to customers and media especially in times like these during which we are facing a high degree of demand from all customer groups but also the press. We must also not underestimate the strong advantage of the show being an outstanding platform not only for B2B, but also very importantly for B2C sales, with the latter clearly separating the CARAVAN SALON from for instance less successful automobile shows.

Finally, and as mentioned before: Safety first! The CARAVAN SALON will only take place because the approved hygiene and protection concept not only convinced the authorities, but also already a great number of exhibitors.”

AboutcampBtoB: How will you manage the busiest times of the show with the largest crowds? Will people have to make appointments to visit a stand?

Daniel Onggowinarso: “There will certainly be a limit on the number of visitors who are allowed to enter the exhibition grounds every day. At the moment, Messe Düsseldorf’s simulation tool determines a maximum of 20,000 visitors per day – service providers and exhibitors’ staff not included. This shall be guaranteed by exclusively selling online tickets in advance for a specific day of attendance. The distribution of persons in the halls and compliance with the minimum distance is amongst others ensured by means of intelligent guidance systems, existing video systems and increased staff deployment. Of course, this scratches just the surface of the overall concept, which should in detail better be explained by the experts from Messe Düsseldorf.”